For many of us, the last few days have probably been among the busiest ever as witnesses. If something breaks with Steem, the coders involved have to work very hard to locate the problem and fix it, plus the witnesses also have tasks to do. As a minimum, we need to upgrade our (possibly multiple) servers and communicate with other witnesses to learn and help the process along.
In this case, Hard Fork 20 has so far produced 5 different versions of the software and so that has meant 5 versions to install, sync and test to some extent. It typically can take half a day to a day for each version, so this is no minor process and so while the obvious mistakes that were made in the process have been hard for many Steemians, they are just as hard on the technical people involved in getting things working again.
Even though I now have the automated version of the Steem software running on one of my witness servers, I have still needed to put quite a bit of time into understanding and adapting to the recent problems with Hard Fork 20. I am currently part way through installing the 5th version of the code on my two witness servers and that process should complete in the next few hours.
The current version of the Steem software includes the changes that significantly boost the amount of actions that each account can carry out, along with other fixes that are needed to improve the other issues involved, particularly with new accounts not having enough power to act on the network.
As of the timing of this post, the majority of the witnesses and all of the top 20 have adopted the latest version of the code, so it is possible that most people will be able to use their accounts again. I can see in the list of new posts on Steem that there are posts from accounts with very low SP in their wallet, so clearly some are able to use Steem OK now. Let me know in the comments if you or others you know are still having problems, I haven't had much time to get more detailed data from the network at this point.
I have a new server!
I have taken this opportunity to use some of the steem I will be paid from recent witness votes to set up a better 2nd server. This new one is in Europe and has a faster CPU than my previous ones, so I will be able to handle future upgrades more effectively. :)
My other posts on HF20
I have already documented some of my thoughts on the situation in recent posts, so I won't go on about that side of things here any further:
I, like many people, while respecting the complexity of the task at hand and not wanting to add to the imbalance here.. I still feel like important lessons need to be learned and we have seen so many times already that they generally aren't being learned. I am not saying that I would do everything perfectly myself and I do fully understand that mistakes are part of life. The best I can probably do here at the moment is to aim to test future hard forks myself by trawling the code and setting up tests as best I can with the resources I have available.
As I understand, it can take some serious hardware to run proper tests of some of the more complex aspects of changes to Steem, so some things may be beyond my reach - but I will do my best when the opportunity arises.
This means I really need more witness votes to get more funds in to support that work. Thanks to everyone who has voted for me, including those who have valued what I have been saying on these subjects and chose to support me recently. :)
Wishing you well,
Vote @ura-soul for Steem Witness!
(Witnesses are the computer servers that run the Steem Blockchain.
Without witnesses there is no Steem, Steemit, DTube, Utopian or
Busy... You can really help Steem by making your 30 witness votes count!)