Cardano ($ADA): Hoskinson Delivers Some ‘Very Positive News’ Regarding Vasil Upgrade

On Monday (August 1), Charles Hoskinson, Co-Founder and CEO of Input Output Global (“IOG”), the company responsible for Cardano’s research and development, shared some important news about the upcoming Vasil hard fork, which recently got delayed by “a few more weeks.”

Why Vasil Upgrade Has Been Delayed Another Few Weeks

On Thursday (July 28), at the July edition of IOG’s Cardano360 monthly show, Tim Harrison asked Kevin Hammond for an update on the Vasil upgrade.

IOG’s Technical Manager said:

As usual, the team has been working really hard to deliver benefits of the Vasil hard fork to the community. And the good news is that this week we’ve just tagged a new 1.35.2 release to fix some issues we found, and we’re doing the final testing and benchmarking on that right now. So, 1.35.2… is a release for testnet only. It fixes some issues that stake pool operators, DApp developers, internal testing, and other people have identified. And the goal is it will flush out any final issues as we go to the Vasil hard fork.

So, obviously, Tim, what we’re doing is we’re focusing on testing thoroughly, getting it right, and not rushing, and the communities support in helping us to do that has been absolutely brilliant. We’ve been working very closely with many leading community members to get this absolutely right…

This is software development. Inevitably, some issues can crop up. And what we have to do is we have to assess those issues as they come in, determine what impact they could have, and we need to make sure that any issues that could affect the use of the node as we’re going to Vasil are fully worked out.

Obviously, from where we are, there could be a few more weeks before we go to the actual Vasil fork… All the users have to be ready to progress through the hard fork to make sure there’s a smooth process both for them but also very importantly for the end users of the Cardano blockchain. As we’re rolling out to the new node versions, we will be communicating very closely with the stake pool operators and other users.

Hoskinson Explains Latest Delay to Vasil, but Also Delivers Good News

Yesterday, the IOG CEO released a short video, in which he explained why the Vasil hard fork had been delayed for a second time and provided an status update regarding the testing of the Vasil protocol update.

Hoskinson said:

Originally, we planned to have the hard fork with 1.35, and that’s what we shipped to the testnet. The testnet was hard forked under it. And then a lot of testing, both internal and community, were underway. A collection of bugs were found: three separate bugs that resulted in three new versions of the software. And now, we have 1.35.3, which looks like it is going to be the version that will survive the hard fork and upgrade to Vasil.

There’s a big retrospective that will be done. The long short is that the ECDSA primitives and amongst a few other things are not quite where they need to be. And so, that feature has to be put aside, but all of the remaining features, CIP 31, 32, 33, 40 and other such things are pretty good.

So those are in advanced stages of testing, and then a lot of downstream components have to be tested, like DB Sync and the serialisation library, and these other things. And that’s currently underway. And a lot of testing is underway. As I mentioned before, this is the most complicated upgrade to Cardano in its history because it includes both changes to the programming language Plutus plus changes to the consensus protocol and a litany of other things, and was a very loaded release. It had a lot in it, and as a result, it’s one that everybody had a vested interest in thoroughly testing.

The problem is that every time something is discovered, you have to fix that, but then you have to verify the fix and go back through the entire testing pipeline. So you get to a situation where you’re feature-complete, but then you have to test and when you test, you may discover something, and then you have to repair that. And then you have to go back through the entire testing pipeline. So this is what causes release delays…

I was really hoping to get it out in July, but you can’t do it when you have a bug, especially one that is involved with consensus or serialisation or related to a particular issue with transactions. Just have to clear it, and that’s just the way it goes. All things considered though, things are moving in the right direction, steadily and systematically…

The set of things that could go wrong have gotten so small, and now we’re kind of in the final stages of of testing in that respect. So unless anything new is discovered, I don’t anticipate that we’ll have any further delays, and it’s just getting people upgraded…

And hopefully, we should have some positive news soon as we get deeper into August. And the other side of it is that no issues been discovered with pipelining, no issues of been discovered with CIP 31, 32, 33 or 40 throughout this entire process, which is very positive news as well, and given that they’ve been repeatedly tested internally and externally by developers QA firms and our engineers, that means there’s a pretty good probability that those features are bulletproof and tight. So just some edge cases to resolve, and hopefully we’ll be able to come with a mid-month update with more news.
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