The biggest news coming with the release of v1.5.4 is the Sia Foundation Hardfork code.
Additionally, v1.5.4 brings performance improvements in production as well as new features.
For a refresher on the Sia Foundation check out Luke’s recent blog post, and to stay up to date on the latest on the Sia Foundation, head over to the Sia Forum.
Performance Improvements in Production
Skynet has grown explosively since its inception in early 2020. This has been an exciting challenge for us to push out groundbreaking new features while improving the performance of our production portals.
Skyfile metadata contains a lot of useful and important information about a Skyfile. As Skynet has grown and the community has shown us some amazing use cases, we have added information to this metadata to help the ecosystem grow. However, if all you are interested in is the contents of the Skyfile then this metadata is wasted space and adds unnecessary latency to the UX. Skyfile downloads now have a new
no-response-metadata option that does not return this metadata resulting in smaller payloads and decreased latency.
Lastly, some of you might have seen a recent blog post about the revitalization of the Sia Ant Farm. The Sia Ant Farm is a local testnet for Sia and allows developers to debug and test applications built on Sia. It also allows us to test more complex test cases. We’ve recently integrated the Sia Ant Farm into the Sia repo’s CI/CD to test version upgrades. This will enable us to catch more bugs introduced when nodes upgrade versions before any code is released making for even more stable releases. These version tests not only test upgrading from the current version to the latest version, but also cover older nodes upgrading from versions going back to the last hardfork (v1.3.7).
Encryption of data stored on the Sia network has always been one of the foundational pieces that give users control of their data. With the introduction of Skynet came an interesting challenge with encryption. The goal with Skynet was to make it easy for users to share data and applications. Webportals make it even easier since users can access Skynet content without having to run their own Sia node. While this makes onboarding to Skynet incredibly simple it added a layer of trust in the portals as the portals have to handle the encryption for the users.
Sia v1.5.4 brings a solution to this problem with a new Skynet download API endpoint. Developers can now use
/skynet/root [GET] to download the pieces of a Skyfile and handle the decryption client-side. This enables encrypted downloads on Skynet without having to trust a portal with your Skykey!