January SAFE Network Summary

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We returned from our festive break raring to go and it shows with the amount of progress and work currently ongoing in the Network. This month has been filled with releases, updates and a lot of research across teams.

The Front-End team have been on fire this month with three releases. A new Java API, an updated C# API and an update to the SAFE Browser. The release of the Java API means that developers, like you, can now create native Android apps for the SAFE Network. This release not only contains this new API but also an example app and tutorials to help developers understand and begin utilising this new release. Development superstar Lionel has not only been working with the rest of the Java team to create the latest APIs, but has also become the face of the Java release as he created a step-by-step guide to the release, tutorials and example app but also featuring on the SAFE Crossroads podcast. But it was not only Java developers who were treated this month. The C# API also featured a new update and the release of a new example app and tutorials (for Windows and mobile). This update enhances your ability to develop .Net decentralised apps on desktop and cross-mobile platforms using Xamarin. Following the successful release of the SAFE browser v0.11.0 at the tail end of last year we have just launched an update to v0.11.1 to fixes some bugs and provide incremental updates. As always we are thankful to our community who diligently test each new iteration and help us make the SAFE Network as user-friendly and community-driven as possible. Please download this new version of the Browser from GitHub and let us know what you think.

Delving into the backend we can also see some key updates. The Crust team improved both reliability and security of connections by introducing what is called the ‘external reachability test’. This means that honest nodes will not let other nodes join unless they are externally reachable — in other words, able to connect to each other. A node will now undergo a mandatory check to ensure that it is externally reachable, as well as switching from simple TCP to an encrypted Crust request/response system. Ultimately, this is another mechanism by which the SAFE Network security front and centre.

The Routing team have been squirrelling away at the PARSEC and Fleming work and there will be a lot more detail on that in the very near future. Most recently the teams have been dedicating time to the design of network restarts and how nodes reconnect following a restart in a number of different scenarios. The Fleming team has begun the release of a series of forum post outlining the research, design and plans for their upcoming work towards SAFE-Fleming. These will be released regularly on the SAFE Forum with the first looking at the Road to Fleming already available. These should give you an insight into the work the team is undertaking as well as the opportunity to provide feedback, comment and suggestions.

In terms of team appearances this month, Dug was on the popular and CrytpoBeadles YouTube show and Ernest Hancock’s ‘Declare Your Independence Show’. Founder David however, wasn’t going to let Dug take all the limelight with a feature on the IRL Podcast which we expect to be published in February so keep an eye out for that one. We finished off this month with a live interactive developer session with Front-End double act Josh and Gabriel. Following an overview of the SAFE Browser, its recent updates and run through of the coolest features including the ability to toggle between mock and non-mock versions of the Network and the ability to access any data type through XOR-URLs. They also took questions from the community to help people who are currently building DApps on the SAFE Network. Some new faces have also graced the MaidSafe team and we are featuring them on the Medium publication this month with the introduction of the newest members of the Chennai team. Joining technical teams across the business these new starters, including three interns will no doubt be on the forum and you will hear much more from them soon.

Here’s to an exciting 2019!