Weekly Dev Update #77

Loki Dev Update 77 (numerals '77')

Hey Y’all,

This week we did a lot more work on Loki Messenger focusing on multi-device and profile images, getting everything ready for a quality-of-life upgrade for this week. We also forked the Loki core testnet with the latest Lokinet release candidate and Blink, gearing up for a planned release at the end of the year. We also squashed some final Lokinet bugs that were causing unexpected client disconnections.

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet: 

This past week was one of the most intense weeks in memory for the Lokinet team. The team was focused on nailing down and fixing some final bugs in order to get 0.6.0 ready for a stable release. The late nights, extra coffee, and some forgoing of Thanksgiving turkey (most of the Lokinet team is based in the US) paid off, however: we finally nailed the remaining issues and are confident with the current state of the Lokinet release.  We’re continuing to test it on both a private network and on the just-forked Loki testnet (see Loki Core notes), but so far performance has been steady and solid.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Misc.

Lokinet Public Chat Server

Loki Android Wallet

Loki Public File Server


Thanks, 

Kee

Weekly Dev Update #76

Hey Y’all,

Last week the Loki Messenger team released the first revision of multi-device for public usage. For the rest of the week, we worked on upcoming features for improving the multi-device user experience. This includes adding QR code scanning for multi-device pairing, and also the ability to unpair devices. Both of these features will be released shortly. On the Lokinet team, it looks like we’ve tracked down and fixed the notorious 0-hop bug, which was the major hindrance to a new release. In Loki Core news, it looks like we will be forking the Loki testnet this week to start aggressively testing Blink.

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet: 

This week was productive in tracking down and eliminating some of the remaining performance issues. We’re aware of one more outstanding bug to be fixed early this week and are continuing to test the code for an upcoming 0.6.0 release.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks, 

Kee 

Lokinet: Understanding testnet vs. mainnet

We hope Lokinet will one day help revolutionise privacy and security online, but it’s currently still in beta. During the beta period, Lokinet and its SNApps — websites and applications that operate entirely over Lokinet — are running on the Lokinet ‘testnet’, rather than the ‘mainnet’. So what does that mean for Lokinet and its users?

What is the Lokinet testnet?

The Loki platform is in a stage of rapid iteration and constant development. During this period, we need to be able to safely test substantial changes to Lokinet without risking the integrity of the Loki network. Just like many video games with ‘public testing environments’ or ‘public beta environments’, Loki has a small network of Loki Service Nodes (our testnet) separate to the main network (the mainnet). This testnet, made up of a few dozen nodes, is used for testing cutting-edge features and changes to the Loki privacy suite.

Implications for Lokinet

Sybil resistance 

Right now, when you connect to the Lokinet beta, you’re connecting to the Lokinet testnet. This has some important privacy and security implications. When Lokinet moves out of beta, it will be running on the Loki mainnet, not the Lokinet testnet.  A critical aspect of the Loki mainnet’s security is its market-based Sybil attack resistance. Because the Lokinet testnet requires no stake a Sybil attack is can occur where a malicious actor rapidly starts up enough nodes that they can gain control of the network and perform passive traffic analysis. Gaining control of the majority of the network like this could allow a malicious actor to trace messages and information being transferred over the network, or even conduct a DDoS-style attack to force users or SNApps off the network. It’s absolutely crucial that any blockchain project has defense mechanisms in place to prevent such attacks.

Loki’s defense against Sybil attacks is to price attackers out of the market by requiring that new Loki Service Nodes ‘stake’ (lock up) a certain amount of Loki cryptocurrency before they can participate in the network. The staking requirement for starting up a Loki Service Node on the Loki mainnet means that it would cost a prohibitive amount to start up enough service nodes for an attacker to gain control.

One main issue with the Lokinet testnet is that because it is designed for feature testing, ‘staking’ isn’t required to start up a node. This means that Lokinet beta traffic could potentially be traced or intercepted by a malicious actor, and current Lokinet SNApps are vulnerable to specific styles of DDoS-type attacks.

Breaking changes

Another thing to be aware of is that we regularly make ‘breaking changes’ to the Lokinet beta software and the testnet itself. A breaking change is an update large enough that older versions of the software will no longer function. While this isn’t a security risk, it means that all Lokinet beta users need to stay on top of software updates, or risk losing access to Lokinet.

Where to from here?

Soon, Lokinet will be making the leap to the Loki mainnet. When it does, Lokinet will have the full protection of the Loki mainnet’s market-based Sybil resistance system, and Lokinet SNApps will be much better protected against malicious actors. We’ll have more to share with you on that front over the next few months. For now, keep in mind that there are certain limitations while the Lokinet beta is still running on testnet — and make sure you keep your Lokinet software up-to-date.

Weekly Dev Update #75

Hey Y’all,

Last week we finished the last of our edge case testing for multi device and we’re readying ourselves for a release tomorrow. This will contain the first version of multi device, which allows for contact syncing and syncing of sent and received messages. While multi device for Loki Messenger has been our primary focus, the Loki core team also continues to put the finishing touches on Blink, specifically focusing on how Blink transactions are treated in the mempool. The Lokinet team continues to iron out a number of bugs introduced in the dev branch. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet:

The week was spent predominantly “in the weeds” debugging various issues in the dev branch, with a focus on tracking down and fixing unexpected latency introduced in 0.6.0 and a fix for the “0-hop” bug that is sometimes seen with suspended processes in 0.5 and 0.6.0  While some bugs remain in the new 0.6.0 code, we are pleased that CPU usage looks to be considerably improved compared to 0.5.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Misc


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #74

Hey Y’all, 

We have continued slogging away on Loki messenger over the last week. We’ve identified and fixed a number of edge case issues  with multi device support, so hopefully multi device will be released for end user testing soon. Work on LNS and Blink is also progressing, we have finished up the final details for both leading up to a testnet release.

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet: 

Intensive debugging of the “dev” branch (which will become Lokinet 0.6.0).  We pushed a significant amount of new code aimed at addressing throughput bottlenecks and crashes. We are also actively iterating our internal testnet — restarting it several times a day— to stamp out these issues. We are still investigating a bug which prevents the reconnection of Lokinet after Lokinet has been suspended (e.g. by a system suspend or manual process suspension) for a long time (typically more than an hour). This week, we will continue focusing on fixing these issues to stabilize Lokinet for a 0.6.0 release.

Just a reminder: 0.6 will not be compatible with 0.5.2, so you will need to upgrade to stay on Lokinet when it launches. Also note that SNapp addresses (i.e. abc123xyz.loki) will not carry forward to 0.6.0  because of changes to underlying cryptographic keys in 0.6.0.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:

Misc


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #73

Hey Y’all, 

This week we made big progress on Lokinet and Loki Messenger. On the Loki Messenger side, we are putting most of our efforts into finishing multi-device support, which means solving lots of edge cases. For Lokinet, we are getting closer and closer to a 0.6.0 release which will allow cryptographic operations to utilise multithreading, and iron out a number of bugs found in 0.5.2. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What went on last week with Lokinet: 

There was an increase in the public use of the Lokinet testnet this week. While we were encouraged to see the network being tested by real users, it’s important to remind the community that the current Lokinet release is still a testing, beta release!  Some things will change (i.e. break) between now and the final release on the Loki mainnet — most notably, protocol, private and public key cryptography has already changed in the dev branch and will result in (unavoidable) new keys and .loki addresses in 0.6.  We have our eyes set on a final, mainnet release but there may be additional, backwards-incompatible changes between now and then.

This week saw lots of activity, fixes, and improvements in the Lokinet dev branch, heading towards a 0.6 release. We have decided to clean up Lokinet internals by removing the home-grown JSON RPC HTTP server with a simpler JSON-over-zmq based approach. There were also various improvements to the debs (especially for routers), and we included several changes to make things work on xenial, while de-vendoring Libsodium in preference to the local system’s Libsodium library.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #72

Hey Y’all, 

We’re powering along with updates on Loki core. Last week, the Trusty Tyr Hardfork enabled Service Node checkpointing. This week, we are beginning work on LNS, and have finished a Blink pull request  which has most of the changes needed to send and receive Blink transactions. Loki Messenger pushed out Voice Snippet messages, more types of attachments, and a number of bug fixes. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet:

This week was focused on stamping out bugs and deploying a new internal testnet for the current dev builds. There’s a great addition (in PR activity below) enabling traffic prioritization, which should enable better performance as network traffic heats up. Behind the scenes, we’re also looking into reconnection issues that happen when Lokinet is suspended or disconnected for long periods of time, as well as starting development for iOS and Android support.  We are also getting started on our plans to re-architect how the Lokinet daemon runs this coming week, which will make the way the binary runs more secure; aside from that, our primary aim is now stabilization and small improvements heading towards a 0.6 release. 0.6 will, of course, include the various improvements we’ve made over the past month, plus it will come with a much nicer means of controlling and monitoring Lokinet for desktop users.

PR Activity:


Loki Storage Server 

Loki Messenger for Desktop 


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #71

Hey Y’all, 

Last week the Loki Messenger team continued their short term pivot to get File Attachments and Mentions finished for a quick release. These long requested features are very close to being rolled out. The Loki Core team continued their push to get Blink finished, while also working on LNS (Loki Name System) – expect updates on these soon. Finally, the Service Node checkpointing fork will be happening in about 24 hours from this post being published, so if you have not yet updated your Service Node to 5.1.2, please do so now. This will ensure your node does not desync when the fork occurs. 

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet: 

Work continued on the Lokinet control panel, which will become a GUI control interface in the next release. Progress was made on the changes to make Lokinet switch back to lokid’s standard ed25519 keys (added in loki-core 5.x). There’s also been prep work to make Lokinet talk directly to lokid, and continued work on the core VPN-layer functionality needed for future Android support.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #70

Weekly Dev Update #70

Hey Y’all, 

Last week we released the Trusty Tyr 5.1.1 Binaries. All Service Nodes, mining pools and exchanges will need to update to these new binaries before block height 385824 (est. 7PM AEDT, 2019-10-23). Currently, approximately 78% of Service Nodes have upgraded, so if you are operating a Service Node, make sure you update in the next week so you stay on the correct chain.

In other news, the Loki Messenger team has sidelined multi device work for now since a key team member is on holidays. Instead, the Loki Messenger team are working on File attachments, profile pictures and @mentions, which should be delivered in a new release shortly.  


Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet:

We merged a significant batch of performance improvements for Lokinet, which should allow for better performance scaling, particularly on multi-core machines. Work continues on implementing a Lokinet GUI, which will allow desktop users to easily control and view their Lokinet connection stats. This requires the underlying Lokinet daemon to be securely controlled by another process (the GUI), so we will need to do some rearchitecting of the Lokinet internals to allow for that. The plan here is for the interface to be used in both the GUI and also via a `lokinetctl` command-line tool that will allow command-line users (such as Linux greybeards and SNApp admins) to control some portions of Lokinet without having to edit config files.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee 

Weekly Dev Update #69

Hey Y’all, 

Last week the Loki Messenger team continued work on limited multi-device support for mobile devices, and finished the last required changes to support @mentions on Desktop. The Loki Core team is almost ready to release Trusty Tyr 5.0.0 – we just want to fix a bug which previously caused some Service Nodes running lokid 4.0.5 to become stuck on an invalid chain.

Loki Core


Lokinet

If you’re on our Discord you can catch Jeff, the lead developer of LLARP, live streaming as he codes at https://www.twitch.tv/uguu25519. He typically streams on Tuesday mornings, 9am – 12pm Eastern (US) time.

What Went on Last Week with Lokinet: 

The Lokinet team (now including new addition Stephen Shelton – welcome!) spent some time discussing new designs for the Lokinet internals. In the long term, we’re aiming to make Lokinet easier to use for end-users with, among other things, a separation in the design to allow the integration of a graphical control interface. We’re also looking make Lokinet work on mobile devices. In the shorter term, we’re planning some significant performance improvements to the build process, a new starting point for iOS builds, and various command-line updates.

PR Activity:


Loki Messenger for Desktop 

Loki Storage Server


Loki Messenger for Mobile (iOS and Android)

Loki Messenger for iOS:

Loki Messenger for Android:


Thanks,  

Kee