Just weeks short of its intended release, Ethereum’s latest hard fork, Constantinople, has been shelved until the beginning of 2019 at the earliest. News that the Constantinople hard fork is to be postponed following the discovery of a series of bugs was broken at a developer meeting yesterday.
As we reported seven days ago, the launch of the Constantinople hard fork was scheduled for the first few weeks of November. However, in the days that have passed since, test network trials have revealed numerous coding bugs which will require considerable attention before the upgrade is viable.
During a conference entitled, Ethereum Core Devs Meeting Constantinople Session #2 [10/18/18], which was streamed live on YouTube, developer Afri Schoeden noted his concerns about a proposed November release;
“I keep getting the feeling that we’re trying to rush this and I would second that we should breathe and see what happens.”
The rest of the ensemble agreed, reaching the consensus that a delay of at least two months would be preferable to rushing an imperfect Constantinople hard fork into effect.
The fact that cooler heads have been allowed to prevail is emblematic of the scientific method adopted by the Ethereum Foundation and its loose association of developers. The postponement may also allow positive additions to be integrated into the final product.
Martin Holste Swende, lead security developer for the Foundation, stated that now would be an opportune time to think about incorporating the so-called “ProgPoW” feature into Constantinople’s existing code.
ProgPoW is code designed to bolster Ethereum’s resistance to the disruptive effects caused by specialised mining equipment like application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Such heavy duty equipment has been held largely responsible for the increasingly centralised nature of the networks where it’s allowed to dominate, most notably the Bitcoin blockchain.
Holste Swende has been quoted as saying;
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if we do decide that Constantinople isn’t until January or February, then I would probably try to push for including ProgPoW into Constantinople”
Without wishing to sound too much like a simpering fanboy, it’s always a pleasure to watch the Ethereum collective wrapping their considerable intellects around the problems which face their battered but never bowed platform.