In the first half of the year, we focused on improving the developer experience on Stacks to give developers a world-class experience, empowering them with flexible, responsive tools that enable devs to build apps that scale. To that end, we shipped a number of meaningful improvements for developers the past few months, including (but not limited to):
- Supporting the Stacks network upgrades: In Q2, the Stacks network went through 3 consensus-breaking upgrades—Stacks 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4. Our engineers supported this ecosystem-wide effort, both contributing to the blockchain work and updating all Hiro tools to make sure they are compatible with the latest changes. With that work completed, stacking is re-enabled.
- Preparing subnets for mainnet: We spent Q3 testing and hardening subnets to get them ready for primetime, and the Stacks scaling solution is now ready for mainnet. If you’re interested in building with subnets, reference the resources in this blog. Our initial performance benchmarking results are showing 15-second block confirmation times across various configurations on our VMs. Those 15-second blocks included ~1300 transactions, and our benchmarking results also showed more than 10,000 transactions in a full block in less than 2 minutes.
- Shipping new features in the Hiro Platform: In Q2, we added deployment plans to the Hiro Platform, which are reproducible and shareable steps that minimize the inherent complexities of smart contract dependencies. We also made important headway on adding chainhooks to the platform as well as devnet-as-a-service, both of which are coming soon.
- Improving Clarinet’s smart contract development experience: We improved Clarity test code coverage so that it can now handle code branches. This is a big improvement for developers and lets you test all branches of your code (such as those created by “if statements”). We also improved syntax highlighting to better help you reason with and debug your code.
- Strengthening ordinals tooling: In Q1, we rolled out our first dedicated ordinals tooling: the Ordinals Explorer and Ordinals API. In Q2, we focused on improving those tools. To that end, we created <code-rich-text>/-/ord<code-rich-text>, our own ordinals indexer, from the ground up. <code-rich-text>/-/ord<code-rich-text> can handle Bitcoin reorgs and is more resilient than the reference `ord`. We also added support for ordinals transfers and cursed inscriptions.
- Migrating Hiro-hosted services: In Q1, we migrated Hiro-hosted services, including Bitcoin nodes, Seed nodes, Gaia storage, and API. We continued that work in Q2 and prepared for the migration of our hosted Gaia hub, work that included a comprehensive analysis on the existing data in that hub to understand what can be pruned and what data needs to be reformatted. The migration of that Gaia hub will commence in the coming weeks.
- Scaling API services: For developers who need access to higher rate limits for Hiro’s API services, we rolled out API keys. We also laid important foundational work to improve event replay optimization and reduce the time it takes to sync an API instance.
- Adding new features to our Explorers: Throughout the quarter, we shipped a number of improvements to the Stacks Explorer and Ordinals Explorer, including subnets support for the Stacks Explorer, transfer history for a specific ordinal in the Ordinals Explorer, and a number of visual and UX improvements for both.
For more specific details on this work, please reference our monthly release roundups:
Focus Areas for Q3
As we begin the second half of 2023, there are a few areas we are prioritizing and focusing our efforts on in the coming months:
- Preparing for the Nakamoto release: The Nakamoto release is the name of the upcoming Stacks upgrade that will launch sBTC in the ecosystem and offer important blockchain improvements, including faster blocks and a tighter relationship with Bitcoin. This is an ecosystem-wide effort, and our engineering team will support this work, by both contributing to the development and also making sure that all Hiro products support these upcoming changes.
- Adding new functionality to the Hiro Platform: We plan to continue investing resources to make development inside of the Hiro Platform a more frictionless experience for you. We will be working on several releases for the platform, including chainhooks integration, launching devnet-as-a-service to create a simulated blockchain environment in the cloud, a Git integration to bridge and facilitate the day-to-day developer lifecycle workflows, and more quality of life improvements.
- Shipping chainhooks v1: We are gearing up for the 1.0 release of chainhooks, a fork-aware transaction indexing engine for both Stacks and Bitcoin that enables you to build IFTTT logic (if this, then that) in your Web3 app based on real-time blockchain events.
- Continuing ordinals support: As Bitcoin ordinals continue to evolve, we plan to adapt and meet the changing trends. In particular, we are currently working on rolling out BRC-20 support for the Ordinals API and hardening our tooling for better reliability.
Get in Touch
On top of the priorities mentioned above, we will continue to support all of our products and the needs of the developers in the Stacks community. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please reach out to us on the HIRO-PUBLIC channels on Discord.