Phasing out the ffnet

At the moment the master branch of the registry provides compatibility with the ffnet. Now we have changes coming up that would break compatibility or require significant effort to keep compatibility (Substrate update #508 and consensus changes #475). This is why we are considering to stop maintaining compatibility between the master branch and the ffnet. In particular this would mean that the node, client, and cli build from master will not work with the ffnet. This also means we would stop releasing updates that work with the ffnet.

The alternative would be to put of the changes or work around them. Comparing the effort and delay to value of continued support for the ffnet we don’t think it’s worth it.

We will keep the our ffnet infrastructure (miners, validators, rpc nodes) running until we start a new public network. Upstream does not use the ffnet to develop or test at the moment. (They use the emulator). Should the need a shared network at some point we can use the devnet or start a ffnet successor.

@igor and I agree on this. We’re waiting for input from @NunoAlexandre and @lftherios on this and would like to reach a decision on Monday, 6 July. If we agree to move forward with this we’ll start accepting changes to master that break compatibility.

Is there much point in continuing to run the ffnet in this case? If upstream isn’t using it at the moment are there any other clients who are? Feels like we might as well spin it down for a bit and wait for a new release?

I think it makes sense for us (the dev team) to keep it around so we can play with it and the infrastructure. We’ll dowsize our miners though to save some resources. On your side it probably doesn’t make too much sense to continue running the miner.

I’m happy to keep running it if it’s useful for you folks to have a third party running things. Just making sure I understand what the purpose of it is :slightly_smiling_face:

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