Alpha SDK Released and Lisk SDK 2.2.0 Completed
Last month was very important for us, as we achieved a significant milestone with the launch of our long-awaited Alpha SDK.
Here are the main takeaways:
- First version of Lisk SDK released, creation of PoC decentralized applications is now possible. We are waiting for your feedback!
- SDK specific documentation and tutorials have also been released.
- Development of Lisk SDK 2.2.0 is completed, it will be released tomorrow.
- Lisk Core 2.3.0 is nearing completion, with only 5 features left.
- Lisk Core 2.0.0 was released to Mainnet on July 24, 2019.
- Patch release Lisk Core 2.0.1 was released to fix P2P-related vulnerabilities.
- Lisk Center Utrecht (LCU) launched a new website and started crowdfunding campaign.
- Moosty announced plans of real delegate marketplace for Lisk and its future sidechains.
- Carbonara created a countdown tool for upcoming soft-fork on Mainnet.
- Lisk Hub 1.19.0 and 1.19.1 released with support for Bitcoin (BTC) and a new design.
- We explain the implementation of Design Thinking in our UI/UX and describe a recent usability testing workshop.
Lisk SDK 2.1.0 was released on July 24
We published the Alpha SDK blog post explaining the details fully and next steps for feature releases. We have already started gathering your ideas on improving the developer experience for the Lisk SDK. If you want to share your feedback join us on Discord or open an issue on the lisk-sdk GitHub repository. If you have completed our Cashback tutorial, we would value your input via this short survey.
Lisk SDK 2.2.0 will be released tomorrow, August 2
Development of Lisk SDK 2.2.0 is now complete, which means we will release this version tomorrow. Its main focus was technical debt reduction, benefitting experienced developers who want to modify the Lisk SDK themselves. The codebase is clearer and easier to understand.
- Previously there was no way to run module-specific database migrations, so we added this capability. Now database migrations can be registered and executed per module — allowing developers of custom modules to add their own bespoke database migrations.
- We removed many third-party dependencies, reducing the risk of malicious code hidden in dependencies and making both the build and installation process faster.
- We migrated the codebase to ES6 standard, replaced callbacks with async/await. Async/await allows asynchronous code to be read like synchronous/procedural code, so it’s easier to understand. Here is a nice article which highlights differences between callbacks, promises and async/await.
- Circular dependencies were removed. Modules that are dependent on each other is considered an anti-pattern.
Lisk Core 2.3.0 nears completion with 5 features left
The next version, Lisk Core 2.3.0 is almost completed. It brings changes to the peer to peer communication (P2P), making the network robust and more secure. There are only 5 features left and 4 of them already have pull requests open:
- Peer address book with peer buckets (in review)
- Improvement to consensus calculation
- Inbound peer eviction based on netgroup (in review)
- Use a random secret as part of hash when choosing peer buckets (in review)
- Improvement to peer selection mechanism for the connection phase (in review)
The soft-fork will trigger at block height 10,000,000 on August 23
Lisk Core 2.0.0 was released to Mainnet on July 24, 2019, the soft-fork will trigger automatically at block height 10,000,000, on August 23, 2019. If you are running a Mainnet node, make sure you have upgraded ahead of this time.
As well as hosting last week’s Lisk Meetup, the Lisk Center Utrecht (LCU) launched a new website, check it out for the latest initiatives and events. LCU also uploaded a video of Rachel’s presentation on their YouTube channel. They are currently running a crowdfunding campaign, read Crowdfund2020 article if you want to know more about their current and future plans.
Community project, Moosty announced they are going to create a concept for a real delegate marketplace for Lisk and its future sidechains.
Lisk delegate Carbonara created this handy countdown tool for the upcoming soft-fork.
Lisk Hub 1.19.1 released to fix a bug and improve onboarding of mainstream users
After releasing Lisk Hub 1.19.0 we discovered a blocking bug and decided to release a patch version to resolve this issue. Lisk Hub 1.19.1 resolves duplicated transactions showing up in transactions history of the accounts you search. We’ve used this opportunity to update some messages in on-boarding widgets so they’re more helpful for new users.
Lisk Hub 1.19.0 final version was released
Last month we released the final version of Lisk Hub 1.19.0 with several cool features. You can find out more about them in our previous dev update.
The Importance of User Experience
Design is not just about making things pretty. It should be better understood as a helpful guide, or loyal companion. This is especially important in blockchain where design supports a very complex technology. Great design builds a relationship with every user and intuitively guides them through every single step of their journey. What is happening? What just happened? What will happen next? The answer should be as obvious as possible.
The Importance of Design Thinking for Lisk
The industry is evolving as fast as ever. Between managing tokens, Delegated Proof-of-Stake, or using hardware wallets, user interactions with our UI products are increasing and getting more and more complex. This means we needed to find a way to take back control in a user-centric manner. Design thinking is the answer here. This school preaches taking the time to understand the user and their challenges, followed by thorough testing and prototyping before final implementation.
On July 24, we took part in a Usability Testing event organized by Testessen
This project connects product developers and users together at regular usability events in German cities. Lisk had a station where we could test Lisk Hub with six people who never heard about Lisk and had limited knowledge about blockchain. Immediately we found some design aspects to work on.
For example in the Account Creation process it was evident that the passphrase was a difficult concept for most testers. Most users had trouble recognizing the importance of storing it safely, and were automatically convinced that it could be somehow recovered. The most frequent behavior was, after choosing the avatar, trying to pick one of the 12-words, instead of assuming it as a complete passphrase.
For mainstream users unfamiliar with blockchain, we learned that our current descriptions are not sufficient, and we need to do more to educate and guide new users, both from the UX and UI perspective. Right now this pain point is on the ideation phase of the Design Thinking process.
There, we will prototype solutions for this specific problem to test on the next session. Nevertheless, the insight is as critical as valuable, and it would have never happened if the test would have been conducted with any of the other user groups.
Since we saw a lot of value in Testessen Usability Testing, we have decided to host an event in our office in August. There, we will test Lisk Hub, Lisk Mobile, and the Lisk website.
The initiative is called “Fortnightly Usability Sessions” and is aligned with the completion of each UI sprint. The goal is to establish a solid, recurring time frame for feedback loops, to make sure we are always open for feedback and get challenged in our ideas on how to keep improving our products. During each session, we will test or interview a maximum of 5 users around a specific flexible topic which will be defined beforehand based on the progress of the UI roadmap.
Your way to contribute
Last week, we started our efforts to recruit users for our fortnightlies. We wanted to thank you all for the positive response of the community and insist, one more time, that if you would like to participate from time to time, giving us your feedback, please don’t hesitate to send an email to us at design [at] lightcurve [dot] io