Progress Update (November 2022)
Hello, and welcome back to another Greymass progress update. This time around we have updates to Anchor, exciting news about the Web Client SDK project, and more.
You may also have noticed that this update is a couple weeks later than usual — this is because we’re changing our update schedule to the end of the month, rather than the middle. So you can look out for the next update towards the end of December! With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let’s dive into all the things Greymass has accomplished in the last month (and a half):
The team is working on a new version of Anchor for Desktop, which we’re currently calling the “Anchor Authenticator.” This will be a minimalist version of Anchor for Windows, macOS and Linux, similar to the mobile Anchor apps that many people use today. Our September update goes into greater detail on our vision for the Anchor Authenticator, in case you’re curious.
This past month, we completed work on a Ricardian contract renderer for the Anchor Authenticator. This will take the code that makes up a transaction and generate a description of what the transaction will do, so that users can read the description and make an informed decision about whether to go through with the transaction or not. Our hope is that this will make smart contracts more user-friendly, offer a sense of security, and help to protect users from malicious transactions.
Anchor Android recently released versions 0.44 and 0.45, which you can download from the Google Play store. While 0.45 focused primarily on bug fixes, 0.44 introduces some new quality-of-life updates for users, including:
- Allowing users to now export their private key upon creation, so that they can choose to use the same private key across multiple wallets or devices.
- Displaying a full broadcast error when account recovery goes wrong, so that it’s easier to diagnose and solve the issue.
- Automatically adding the user’s device model and Android version number if a user submits a help request, so that we can help them more quickly and pinpoint if certain errors are device- or Android-version-specific, for quicker fixes in the future.
- Showing in-app products as unavailable in countries where the Play Store cannot be reached.
We’ve also been preparing Anchor Android to be released in multiple languages in the future, with work on localization and translation. So if you would like to use Anchor in a language other than English, you can look forward to that soon!
Progress on the Web Client SDK is well underway, with both branding and development work being released to the community.
Significant progress has been made on the branding of the Web Client SDK, with the brand name, design, and messaging being presented to both the Antelope Coalition and the wider community. The whole team worked together to create a cohesive identity for the SDK so that it could be easily recognized and shared among developers, and the result is Wharf!
For those who are curious about the brand as a whole, you can check out any of the following:
- Read our blog post announcing Wharf
- Listen to the ENF’s interview with Aaron about the new brand
- Watch the full recording of the brand presentation
- Download the brand guidelines in PDF format
You can also check out Wharf on the internet, either on Github, Twitter, or on the new Wharf website. The site will continue to evolve as the project progresses, but for now, it serves mainly as a hub for recordings of our Wharf meetings with the Antelope Coalition so the wider community can closely follow Wharf’s development.
Session Kit (Technical Preview)
Development work on the various kits that will make up Wharf has also progressed, with the Session Kit recently published on Github. The Session Kit allows developers to set up reusable account sessions where they can submit requests for signatures.
The goal is for the Session Kit to abstract away different authenticators and transaction signing flows, reducing their complexities and presenting developers with an easy-to-use interface to perform actions for a given account. The process by which the Session Kit facilitates transactions is also customizable through the use of hooks, which can be included globally in the Session Kit or specifically enabled for certain transactions.
However, we would like to note that while the Session Kit is publicly available, we’re currently using this time to refine the kit and collect feedback from the community. Or in other words, the Session Kit is not ready for production. We’ll be posting further information in the coming weeks about ways that developers in the community can inspect the Session Kit and ensure it will work for their specific use cases.
In Other News…
We recently updated the EOSIO Signing Protocol to fix a minor bug with how block numbers were being handled. As the EOS blockchain expands, we’ve recently discovered that the protocol would occasionally struggle with larger block heights. This has been resolved, so that the protocol can now handle larger numbers without issue.
For those who would like some additional reading or podcast-listening, we have you covered! In addition to the blog post introducing Wharf, you can now check out:
- Ways to make sure you never lose access to your crypto wallet, in our special Halloween blog post
- How to keep your coins safe when crypto exchanges crash, in a post that was inspired by the unfortunate situation with FTX
- What it’s like to be a crypto-native company (with tips if you’re thinking of starting your own business) in a podcast chat with Aaron Cox
And that’s all for November, folks! Stay safe out there, and we’ll see you in December.