Replacing the Lisk Explorer
Lisk Explorer is a blockchain explorer designed for monitoring the Lisk network, inspecting the Lisk blockchain or watching LSK exchange markets. After implementing all important features into Lisk for Desktop, Lisk’s desktop wallet, we decided to make our product suite leaner and discontinue the further development of the current Lisk Explorer. This blog post will explain further rationale behind our decision, and lists all available alternatives.
The Lisk Explorer will be discontinued after Lisk Core 3.0.0 is released to the Lisk Mainnet. This step will result in taking offline our online versions for Mainnet at https://explorer.lisk.io/ and for Testnet at https://testnet-explorer.lisk.io/. Furthermore, there will be no new releases or software updates for the Lisk Explorer in the foreseeable future.
The Way Forward to Explore the Lisk Blockchain
We are aware that the Lisk Explorer is a very important and useful tool for many people to conveniently check and monitor the Lisk blockchain network. Therefore, we decided to integrate the majority of the features contained in Lisk Explorer into Lisk for Desktop and enhance it with additional statistics and visualizations. This will make it even more user-friendly and convenient to explore the Lisk blockchain network.
Furthermore, we began to collaborate with two Lisk community projects, namely Liskscan.io and Lisk.observer. Through our grant program, they are able to continue developing their alternative Lisk blockchain explorers and implement new features.
Lisk being a project from developers for developers, we also wanted to provide them with a tool that is useful during the development of blockchain applications with the Lisk SDK. Therefore, we are currently developing the dashboard plugin for the Lisk SDK. The dashboard plugin provides developers and node operators with monitoring capabilities for their blockchain application during development in an expedient manner.
All Explorer Features in Lisk for Desktop
Most of the former Lisk Explorer features have been visually modernized and ported over to Lisk for Desktop. The blockchain explorer can be accessed and used inside Lisk for Desktop without the necessity to sign in.
By default, Lisk for Desktop displays the data of the Lisk Mainnet. To switch to a different network such as the Lisk Testnet, the network switcher should be used, which can be easily enabled in the Settings. After activation, the network can be switched to “Testnet” (or any other Lisk network) on the login page, without the need to log in.
The former data of the Lisk Explorer is now available on the following pages:
The “Network” page displays general information about all peers you are connected to. It replaces the former network monitor page of the Lisk Explorer.
The “Transactions” page displays all existing transactions and provides various filters to search for specific transactions in the network. It replaces the former transaction explorer of the Lisk Explorer and adds new visualizations revealing the most important statistics related to transactions in the network. Every transaction can be inspected in detail by the user clicking on it or by pasting the transaction ID in the top search bar.
The “Blocks” page displays all existing blocks and provides various filters to search for specific blocks in the network. Every block can be inspected in detail by the user by clicking on it or by pasting the block ID in the top search bar. This replaces the former block explorer of the Lisk Explorer and adds new visualizations revealing the most important statistics regarding the included transactions.
Top Accounts Explorer
The “Accounts” page displays all existing accounts in the network, sorted by their balance in descending order. Each account can be inspected in detail by clicking on the account address.
Additionally, any account can be explored by entering the account address in the top search bar of Lisk Desktop.
The “Delegates” page displays various information about the registered delegates and their dedicated forging slots. This replaces the former delegate monitor page of the Lisk Explorer. Each delegate can be inspected in detail by clicking on the account address.
The New Dashboard Plugin
The dashboard plugin will be released with Lisk SDK 5.1.0 later this year. The main focus of the dashboard plugin is to easily provide access to the node information right from within the browser in the early phase of the development. Therefore, it is not expected to be used in a production network (mainnet).
The dashboard is a developer-focused tool used to interact with the blockchain application. In contrast to the statistics in Lisk for Desktop, it does not allow you to explore the complete blockchain, it only displays what currently exists in the memory. However, the dashboard plugin provides additional data and tools that make it straightforward and convenient to monitor and analyze the blockchain application that is being built with the Lisk SDK.
The currently planned features of the dashboard plugin are listed below:
- List of created accounts
- List of blocks that occurred in the network
- List of transactions that occurred in the network
- List of transactions in the transaction pool
- List of events
- List of connected peers
- General node & blockchain information
- Interactive features:
- Creating new accounts
- Invoking actions in the network
- Sending transactions to the network
Community-Maintained Lisk Blockchain Explorers
In case you miss the opportunity to explore the Lisk blockchain network through the browser, rest assured that’s still possible. For that we are collaborating with two community maintained blockchain explorers to decentralize Lisk’s development. These alternatives will also be made open-source in the future.
The two community-maintained alternatives for Lisk Explorer are listed below:
Outsourcing the development of web-based Lisk blockchain explorers to the community is the first step towards our new Lisk Developer program which will be officially announced in May at Lisk.js 2021.
Lisk Observer includes all of the most popular features of Lisk Explorer, such as a block and transaction explorer, an overview of the delegate rankings and their forging status, and an account explorer, including a list of known network accounts, (i.e. exchange wallets).
The Lisk Foundation supports Lisk Observer with regular funding to ensure the ongoing and future development and maintenance. Lisk Observer will offer dedicated blockchain explorers for the Lisk Testnet and Lisk Mainnet, and also plans to integrate explorers for the different sidechains in due course. Although it is already very aesthetically appealing, the developers have revealed that an extensive overhaul and redesign is planned for Lisk Observer as the next step to further enhance and improve the user experience.
LISKscan is an alternative Lisk blockchain explorer which is maintained by the Moosty team.
LISKscan is designed to work with any blockchain application that is developed with the Lisk SDK and is therefore not specifically intended to work only with Lisk Core but also with any Lisk blockchain application. The setup and configuration of LISKscan is designed to be straightforward for developers who want to have a blockchain explorer for their blockchain applications.
The Lisk Foundation supports LISKscan with regular funding to ensure the ongoing and future development and maintenance. LISKscan is already developed on the basis of the Lisk SDK 5.0.0 and Lisk Core 3.0.0, and therefore it currently displays only data of the Lisk Betanet. Once Lisk Core 3.0.0 is deployed on both the Mainnet and Testnet, LISKscan will also become available for these networks. Currently, LISKscan is using a custom plugin for Lisk Core 3.0.0 to receive the relevant data. In the future, it will be built to work in unison with Lisk Service to provide the user data in a more convenient and efficient manner.
In conclusion, although the Lisk Explorer will be discontinued, an enhanced Lisk Desktop, together with the new dashboard plugin for the Lisk SDK will replace it. The blockchain statistics in Lisk for Desktop display interesting network visualizations and explorer functionalities, and the dashboard plugin provides a developer-focused tool for blockchain applications built with the Lisk SDK. This allows our development team to fully focus on our core product suite.
As another alternative, we are supporting two community-maintained blockchain explorers which will continue to provide all important live data from the Lisk blockchain networks to the public through the browser: Lisk Observer and LISKscan.