IRC meeting summary for 2018-06-07


Topics discussed during this weekly meeting included a quick update on the progress of the next maintenance release, what pull requests members of the project would like reviewers to focus on during the upcoming week, and finding a better way for Bitcoin Core to internally keep track of command line parameters. Also some side discussion about optimizing code for various computer processor architectures.

0.16.1 release progress

This was not an announced topic, but it was briefly discussed before other topics.

Wladimir van der Laan announced the tagging of the second release candidate for version 0.16.1, asked Gitian builders to generate signed checksums, and said, “I hope this can be[come] the final [version] very quickly.”

High priority for review

Background: each meeting, Bitcoin Core developers discuss which Pull Requests (PRs) the meeting participants think most need review in the upcoming week. Some of these PRs are related to code that contributors especially want to see in the next release; others are PRs that are blocking further work or which require significant maintenance (rebasing) to keep in a pending state. Any capable reviewers are encouraged to visit the project’s list of current high-priority PRs.

Discussion (log): the following pending PRs were mentioned this week:

  • #12196: Add scantxoutset RPC method. Previously on the list.

  • #13062: Make script interpreter independent from storage type. Previously on the list.

  • #11082: Add new bitcoin_rw.conf file that is used for settings modified by this software itself. Previously on the list. The author of the PR, Luke Dashjr, had some concerns that were discussed as a separate topic later in the meeting.

  • #12136: Implement BIP 174 Partially Signed Bitcoin Transactions. Previously on the list. Wladimir van der Laan noted that this had lots of active discussion in the last week. The author of the PR, Andrew Chow, said that it and its associated BIP still needs more review. Pieter Wuille added, “I’ve also been discussing some ideas for splitting part of it up.”

  • #13111: Add unloadwallet RPC. Previously on the list. Van der Laan said it “should be pretty close [to being merge-ready].”

There was also some discussion of processor-specific optimizations and tests being written and run primarily by Pieter Wuille and Cory Fields with several other developers assisting with testing on specific hardware platforms. These were related to SSE4, SSSE3, SIMD, and AVX.

Command line argument mapping

Background: as discussed in a previous meeting, several contributors are working towards creating a machine-writeable configuration file that will be shared between Bitcoin Core’s daemon and GUI so that when users change a setting in one program, it’ll be set the same way in the other program.

Discussion (log): Luke Dashjr requested the topic and introduced it by describing a recent change to how Bitcoin Core handles startup parameters. “The change complicates how to implement [a machine-writeable configuration file].”

Several developers said that they didn’t understand the interactions well enough to comment on the matter, with Pieter Wuille saying, “I feel like the right people aren’t here to discuss that.”

John Newbery said the change in question “added really good code coverage […], so it should be pretty straightforward to follow.”

Conclusion: it was suggested that Dashjr contact a developer with more knowledge who wasn’t in the meeting, inspect the currently available tests, and ideally write more tests to ensure proper behavior before making any significant changes. Dashjr agreed, “sounds like either way I should start with tests.”

Comedic relief

<wumpus> I do not have the capacity to pay attention to
         all PRs in parallel
<promag> really? :P
<sipa> we need to have an AVX2 wumpus
<wumpus> sipa: +1
<sipa> +8


IRC nick Name/Nym
wumpus Wladimir van der Laan
sipa Pieter Wuille
luke-jr Luke Dashjr
gmaxwell Gregory Maxwell
promag Joao Barbosa
cfields Cory Fields
achow101 Andrew Chow
jonasschnelli Jonas Schnelli
jnewbery John Newbery
jimpo Jim Posen


This summary was compiled without input from any of the participants in the discussion, so any errors are the fault of the summary author and not the discussion participants. In particular, quotes taken from the discussion had their capitalization, punctuation, and spelling modified to produce consistent sentences. Bracketed words and fragments, as well as background narratives and exposition, were added by the author of this summary and may have accidentally changed the meaning of some sentences. If you believe any quote was taken out of context, please open an issue and we will correct the mistake.