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Distributed Ledger
Client Tool
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Project Health

Indy is a healthy project, particularly at the deployments and business interest level, but has a current lack of contributors.  The maintainers are working to address that issue.

Per the Indy Activity Dashboard, Indy’s codebase has 22,520 commits from 241 unique contributors (up from 238 last report). This quarter there were 70 commits from 14 contributors, up from 8 in the previous report.

This quarter the Indy Interop-athon was held that attracted more than a 100 attendees to a two-day virtual conference about the future of Indy, and notably about creating interoperability between independent deployments of Indy. At this time there are at least 6 independent implementations of Indy in production (Sovrin Foundation), test (Indicio, IDUnion) or planning (Bedrock, CanCred and FIndy).

Questions/Issues for the TSC

Issues from previous reports:

Incompatible agent implementations

Update: This is progressing well and is really being dealt with at the Aries level.  Closing this issue from an Indy perspective.

Measuring the size and make-up of our user community

Update: The work of Ry Jones on the Indy Activity Dashboard has resolved this issue. Closing.

Build Pipelines

Update: Progress is being made on converting the CI/CD pipeline from Jenkins to GitHub Actions, particularly for indy-node.

We had one minor release of indy-node in the last quarter. We are currently preparing another release of indy-node that is largely focused on the CI/CD pipelines to integrate and deliver the release, transforming those pipelines from Jenkins (circa 2018) to GitHub Actions. We have a small team that have agreed to do that with the guidance of the early Indy developers from Evernym.

Diversity of Contributor Community

Update: Progress was made with the Indy Interop-athon Conference attracting a large audience that demonstrated there is strong interest in the conference. Attendance at the regular Indy Contributors call has been good, and work has (slowly) been starting.  A number of groups (BC Gov, Sovrin) are looking at ways to create opportunities for contributions, such as bringing together groups to fund capabilities. 

There two additional efforts in the community that will add contributors – a specification effort related to a W3C standard DID Method for Indy ("did:indy") to enable cross-deployment interoperability, and changes to indy-node to support the new DID Method.

Releases

August 2020:

Indy Node 1.12.4
  • A response to an identified security vulnerability that if exploited could allow unauthorized updates to meta-data about DIDs published on the ledger.

Overall Activity in the Past Quarter

In the past quarter, ledger development has slowed as we focus on upgrading the CI/CD pipeline and defining the Indy DID Method. Some work has occurred in the indy-sdk and release planning has begun for that, with resources committed to the work. In doing the indy-sdk release, we'll work on (at least) documenting the process to enable modernizing the CI/CD pipeline for the project.

Current Plans

There is little ledger activity occurring, so the current plans have not evolved significantly from the last report.

We've added a focus on interoperability across Indy deployments using the Indy DID Method as the driver for that work.

Previous work on "rich schemas" to support W3C VCs has been put on hold and will likely be replaced with a focus on BBS+ ZKPs, which likely has the benefit of eliminating (well, deprecating) features from Indy vs. adding.

Our focus for client libraries is to break LibIndy into separate components that can be evolved to fit the proposed Aries architecture. Isolated progress has been made on that effort, but the work is not had a large audience as yet.  We hope that will occur this quarter.

Work on an improved revocation has progressed slowly, delayed within the Ursa community.

Maintainer Diversity

The weekly Indy Contributors call continues to be the medium by which maintainers coordinate work, discuss critical issues to the Indy codebase, and agree on HIPEs. Interest in and attendence at the Indy Contributors meetings are rising.

Contributor Diversity

We've had several organizations join the Indy Contributors call and some are doing the work on the upcoming release (code changes) and the CI/CD pipeline.

Additional Information

Reviewed by

  • Angelo De Caro
  • Arnaud J Le Hors
  • Arun S M
  • Baohua Yang
  • Bobbi Muscara 
  • Dave Enyeart
  • Gari Singh
  • Grace Hartley
  • Danno Ferrin
  • Hart Montgomery
  • Mark Wagner
  • María Teresa Nieto
  • Nathan George
  • Tracy Kuhrt
  • Troy Ronda


5 Comments

  1. The "Indy community" seems to often work on other projects outside of core Indy (i.e. Aries and Ursa).  As such, would a better measure of community health be the sum of contributions/progress/development across all of these projects?  I'd be curious to hear what the maintainers had to say about this.  Thanks!

  2. I'd also love to hear more about how Indy has had success with different organizations joining their contributor calls. I know other projects, specifically Besu, have struggled to get engagement and attendance for our contributor calls so would be curious what works well for Indy.

    1. I’m not sure there is a secret to it.  Here is what we emphasize when working with call coordinators:

      • Always make sure the call happens.  Consistent time and duration is important to keeping your core audience.
      • Have content that creates discussion and fear of missing out.  Focus time on those writing code or who need discussions to get more done, not theory or speculation.  
      • Announce agendas early so that participants know in advance that it will be worth their time.  
      • Post the recording 
      • Encourage constructive debate and leverage calls for things that are hard to do over text-mediums.
      • Invite everyone to share, ask questions and get involved.  Your best contributors and participants will come from places that surprise you.
      1. Thanks, Nathan. This makes a lot of sense and is helpful feedback. I definitely like the idea of making contributors feel FOMO. I think Besu could also do better at announcing the agendas earlier. 

  3. Hart Montgomery – I would agree with your assessment that the set of Hyperledger identity-related projects is getting participation. However, the focus is much more on Aries because that is where the use cases exist and people are building apps and ecosystems around the use cases.  The challenge is that Indy is to the level that it "just works", and organizations can build their use cases and use Sovrin as a ledger. What they aren't doing is dropping down to add more to Indy itself.  For example, something as mundane as upgrading the dependencies to support Ubuntu 20.04 is not getting attention. Part of that is understanding (and having to understand) the CI/CD pipeline, which we are fixing.  But getting contributions has been difficult.


    Grace Hartley  – the success of the contributor calls has been because there are a number of groups building on Aries (and hence, Indy) and there is interest in the topics we are talking about. But those discussions are not translating enough into contributions – people spending time between calls writing code and submitting PRs.  We're working on that, as the ecosystem is reliant on it. The trick is to convey the urgency, without scaring groups off.