This week, Cardano has undergone its most significant update since our launch in September. The soft fork update increases Cardano’s transaction size, as well as validating our update mechanism. Included below are key highlights from the update, as well as further information about how soft forks work. We’d also like to share a blog post on functional programming languages by Professor Philip Wadler, senior research fellow and area leader for programming languages at IOHK. Professor Wadler is also one of the founders of the Haskell programming language in which Cardano has been developed.
IOHK: Cardano 1.0.3 update
Cardano soft fork increases transaction sizes
Cardano has made an upgrade to its blockchain through a soft fork, marking another milestone in its development. The soft fork is the first change to the Cardano protocol itself and increases the transaction size from 4 KB to 64 KB, a necessary step to accommodate the growing number of transactions approaching the previous transaction size limit on the Cardano network.
For a soft fork to take place on Cardano, the update must first be voted through by a majority of stakeholders on the network. Once the vote has taken place and majority approval secured, there is a ‘lock-in period’ during which the nodes are upgraded with update, before the protocol change is activated. When most nodes signal that they have updated their software and are ready for the protocol change, the fork is safely activated. This process ensures that there is no possibility of consensus not being reached and the blockchain splitting as a result.
The soft fork is part of a package of updates that includes small fixes and performance improvements. These include a fixing for an issue where Daedalus did not launch when it took a while for the Cardano node to start up. There was another improvement to the issue where the Cardano node might sometimes shut down incorrectly and lead to a delay in Daedalus connecting to the network next time it started.
The full release notes are available online at GitHub.
Simplicity and Michelson: A programming language that is too simple
“Only once in my life have I encountered a programming language that was too simple to use. That was Lispkit Lisp, developed by Peter Henderson, Geraint Jones, and Simon Jones, which I saw while serving as a postdoc at Oxford, 1983–87, and which despite its simplicity was used to implement an entire operating system. It is an indictment of the field of programming languages that I have not since encountered another system that I consider too simple. Until today.”