If you've been curious about our progress, we're happy to announce things are moving forward at a great pace.
We've spent the past few months working tirelessly on our code base. Productivity levels have been great; Our team has lots of positive energy and there's an air of excitement. We've crushed a few bugs, made some great improvements and this release will hopefully build some momentum forward. To keep everyone in the loop, this blog post will provide some specific details about all the work we've been doing, as we complete our newest software update and preparations for its GitHub release.
In a big software project, a developer codes a component, tests it out and gets it to work, and then integrates it with the other parts. Then the whole thing is tested to make sure the new part works correctly with the rest. Finishing one component often reveals another needs modification in order for everything to properly function as an integrated whole. The software development process is non-trivial and delays are actually very common. It takes a lot of patience to find and fix a bug, or to solve other difficult coding problems. Software development forces those who undertake it to become patient.
Those who have been following this project from the sidelines are likewise being forced to develop this virtue. So, you are anxious for the Group Chat and Market release? How much more so are the project's developers?! All of us are on the edge of our seats to get this project completed and launched into the main stream. It's very exciting how we could become the biggest privacy platform in the world.
Therefore, we ask those who have the ability to contribute, especially by coding, to please contact the dev team about how they might help. As an open source, community driven software project, things move forward as people step forward; As people contribute, updates distribute! Fortunately, many newcomers are taking interest in our project. We're seeing consistent and steady growth in traffic on our websites and social media accounts. We're building stuff that the world really needs at this time! Now, onto the details...
Notice: we are getting closer by the day, I can already hear the whispers of developers plotting release dates while they're sleep-talking.
Communication is essential for any market.
That's why the significant enhancements being built into our software's original chat are worthwhile. The new Group Chat sets our platform apart. It will be a great utility for conducting virtual meetings and other business, and will greatly aid in buying and selling on the marketplace.
We're proud to announce that our Group Chat is looking very professional and nearing completion. Updating our original Chat to support Group Chat started as an idea, swiftly taking form in our original proof of concept. Although the PoC was very rough around the edges, it successfully provided the basic features of group chat. Once that worked, crz started designing a beautiful chat GUI. After several new UX features and other improvements, including performance improvements in the core chat framework, we're pretty comfortable with what we've built.
Because the Group Chat is part of a sophisticated financial platform, it's obviously important to invest adequate development hours into making sure the code is tough as nails. All of the potential attack vectors are being secured so that no one can perform unauthorized actions by sending a chat message that executes code on the recipient's client.
Not only will the Group Chat parse incoming chat messages to neuter executable code, preventing execution, this section of the platform is sandboxed, so that if any executable code passes through and actually runs, it won't be able to access the platform's other components, nor perform unauthorized operations. A strict firewall between the GUI and the actual "core" C++ code responsible for ShadowCash functionality will ensure an attacker will never be able to steal coins via malicious messages. Fortunately, the security components built at this stage are equally applicable to the marketplace, and can be used there too, to prevent malicious code from running via marketplace listings. Additional work has been completed in locking down private keys used to sign and encrypt messages within the Chat and Group Chat, with utilities to manage and catalogue key types, that is, those belonging to group chat addresses or normal addresses, enforcing strict boundaries between the two, and making sure addresses and private keys are properly segregated. These security precautions have been major work and certainly worthy of the great effort and attention they have cost in development time.
A list of what the current implementation can do:
- Create a group chat
- Invite someone to a group chat
- Send and receive messages in group chats
- Leave group chats
- Public channels generated by name (optionally password protected)
- Have administrators in group chats who can ban people
- Have a user list and group title (?)
(Will be implemented in that order)
Our new Group Chat is built on top of the encrypted messaging code used in our original chat implementation, which was mostly written by tecnovert. Another member of our dev team, 'code' is studying tecnovert's encrypted messaging code and documenting it. Luckily tecnovert's code is very well written and all the variable names make sense; it reads smoothly and most of it already performs very efficiently. Most of the networking of the message protocol is in line with the BitMessage protocol, except we have a few extras (grouping by buckets, dynamic inventories based on which node) that allow us to make it more efficient than their design (as specified on their wiki at least). Our developer 'code' is very ambitious about building out the chat part of our platform. He would like to make it a full-featured communication system, on par with some of the big names in encrypted communication.
A final word
We haven't had an update in quite a while, that's because we're quite busy actually. Writing these updates takes a lot of time. Time that I'd rather spend programming.
We're planning to give our informative channels such as bitcointalk and websites a fresh new look so keep an eye out!
Blog Post Part 2: Coming Soon
We will soon publish another blog post very similar to this one, with specific details on the Market and the progress we're making on it.
The Shadow Team
- Official BTC donation address: 1GiosBkSpN8RS9pm1kgZU8AZUBEnLKYFem
- Official SDC donation address: SdcDevWEbq3CZgZc8UNbST1TaYLA5vLZTS