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Project

Hyperledger Fabric

Project Health

Fabric continues to grow and mature. Our v1.4 LTS (Long Term Support) release was delivered on January 11th. We have experienced a slight increase in the diversity of contributors with IBM comprising 45% of the contributors over the past quarter (-4%).

There are a good mix of questions in chat, email and on Stackoverflow – now 3,450 questions (an increase of ~500 since October) for the 'hyperledger-fabric' tag, with the majority being answered. The questions themselves continue to be increasingly sophisticated, which is also a good sign.

There has also been a good deal of new major contributions being proposed and started. Fabric performance (which for a DLT is actually pretty decent) is receiving lots of interest with various proposals for optimizations that can yield significant performance improvements. Additionally, there's ongoing work on a new command-line interface and more.

Issues

One issue that has been addressed recently is the aging of Gerrit CRs. Often times, when someone submits a CR, there is no follow-up of review comments, or someone submits a draft CR and lets it linger in the CR backlog. This can be a turn-off for new contributors. Hence we have adopted a new CR aging policy that will endeavor to apply some objective criteria and automatically abandon CRs after they have been idle for two successive 2-week periods without activity (note that the policy is in force, the automation still needs to be implemented).

Releases

As noted, Hyperledger Fabric 1.4 LTS was released on January 11th. This is the project's first long term support release. What this means for users is that the maintainers pledge to back port fixes to this release for one year. We hope that this will give users confidence in deploying to more production contexts.

Overall Activity in the Past Quarter

email traffic dipped in the last month of 4Q, but remains strong. The RocketChat traffic seems to have increased as well, but there are so many channels to track it is hard to get a sense for how much of an increase there's been. Stackoverflow traffic icontinues apace, reaching over 3,500 questions, an increase of over 500 in the last quarter.

Current Plans

With version 1.4 LTS just released, the project is working on 1.4.1 and 2.0.0 releases. The project maintains a release roadmap, and maintains a JIRA dashboard to track specific items.

v2.0.0 is the 2019 target release for more substantial new features, including an enhanced chaincode lifecycle, a raft consensus mechanism (stepping stone to full BFT ordering service), and deeper token support.

We hold playback meetings for design reviews and intend to continue regular maintainer hangouts (see community calendar) every other week to track the release plan's progress against objectives.

Maintainer Diversity

Maintainer diversity was static though there is potential on the horizon.

Contributor Diversity

As previously noted, contributor diversity grew in 4Q. IBM now represents 45% of the contributors with some new more substantial contributions being proposed.

Additional Information

n/a


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2 Comments

  1. Question... what is the barrier to developing the BFT ordering service? Is there a particular architectural challenge or is it just a prioritization of features/development resources?

    1. No specific barrier. Fabric ordering service was designed so that various consensus algos could be plugged in but this had never really been tested. When the team started looking into implementing BFT they realized the API wouldn't quite cut it so they decided to implement RAFT as a first step. The idea is that the revised API will then be more suitable to implementing BFT and having RAFT also provides for a lighter alternative to KAFKA.