Re: Proposing Solang Solidity Compiler


Sean Young
 

Hi Vipin,

First of all thank you for your kind words, it's appreciated.

As you point out, a single maintainer isn't ideal. I have spoken to many
people who are interested in the project. However, the set of people who
understand how compilers are built, rust, llvm, and Solidity is a small
intersection. My hope was that through being a hyperledger project,
more contributers/maintainers will present themselves.

My hope remains that through becoming a full-fledged project that it would
increase collaboration between Solang and the ledger projects, and help
write Solang target support for any ledger project that wants Solidity
support, using their flavour of webassembly (not just ewasm).

Secondly I hoped it would simply get more people using Solang.

The aim is not to be a top-level project; the aim is to be succcessful
project. However, it feels somewhat like a chicken-and-egg type problem.

Thanks,

Sean

On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 09:28:19AM -0500, Vipin Bharathan wrote:
Hi Sean,
Great to see your active involvement in developing components for community
use; especially those that have such potential.
Also heartening to see is the support you are getting from grants.
Any HL project needs community support. Not just verbal support. With a
single maintainer, many of the governance kpis will not be met.
This is in spite of stated support from several people.
The main question that I have is, what is the advantage of having Solang be
a full-fledged project, rather than a lab?
If the answer is publicity; let us ramp up slowly; prompting its use and
scale by inviting interested parties to collaborate and work together in
labs.
Once we demonstrate momentum in community participation, there will be more
of a chance to get this adopted as a project.
It is exciting to see significant projects being launched through the lab
infrastructure.
Thanks,
Vipin


On Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 8:40 AM greg.hill via Lists.Hyperledger.Org
<greg.hill=monax.io@...> wrote:

As a fellow Burrow maintainer and previous colleague, I would also like to
sponsor Solang. I strongly believe in the vision set out by Sean and I will
be excited to see it grow under the strengthened adoption of Hyperledger.
In the coming months I intend to contribute in both my official (Monax) and
unofficial capacity.

Regards,
Gregory Hill


On Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 8:21 PM Silas Davis via Lists.Hyperledger.Org
<silas.davis=monax.io@...> wrote:

Hi TSC,

Some may know Sean as a Burrow maintainer and former employee of Monax.
Sean now works as an independent developer, but Solang was started as a
side-project while Sean was still at Monax getting to observe the
idiosyncrasies (and lack of formal grammar) of the Solidity compiler (solc)
at first-hand and knew there was a better way with modern compiler tooling.
Solang quickly became a Hyperledger Labs project and since then Sean was
able to secure funding to work on solang on it to work full time. So while
we were all sorry to see him go (and I was sorry to lose my lunch date 😭)
we would be very happy to support this project at Monax - specifically I
would like to get involved, and I suspect so would Greg Hill. I know Sean
would welcome other interested maintainers on contributors. I think solang
has huge potential and to become a viable competitor to solc with the
emergence of eWASM. But I think to have the best chance Solang needs help
to gain traction _now_.

If you look at the repository statistics you can see the development
velocity and effort Sean has put in already. It is also very clear to me
that Solang fits the bill as a clearly delineated, cross-project,
cross-organisation (with EEA now as an associate member of Hyperledger)
project that will be more than a nice-to-have for those wanting to bridge
the gap between EVM and WASM, and WASM and blockchains. Sean also spent 11
years at IBM, so he'll fit in around here ;)

In the case of the Burrow project we have merged initial support for this
(https://github.com/hyperledger/burrow/pull/1338) and will be working on
corollaries to this feature in our roadmap (
https://github.com/hyperledger/burrow/issues/1331), see also our update
due this week:
https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/TSC/2020+Q1+Hyperledger+Burrow. We
can iterate rapidly on the cross-contract calls and possible extensions to
the set of externs defined be eWASM.

I would be very happy to act as a sponsor for this proposal.

Silas

On Mon, 17 Feb 2020 at 18:13, Sean Young <sean@...> wrote:

Hello tsc,

I'd like to propose Solang to become a hyperledger project.

Description
-----------
Solang is a compiler for the Solidity language that can target ewasm
(used by Hyperledger Burrow and others), Sawtooth Sabre, and Parity
Substrate. It is written in rust and uses LLVM as the compiler backend.
The
aim is for full compatibility with the Solidity language where possible
(e.g.
assembly {} with EVM instructions are not supported in wasm context).

Solidity as a language does have its quirks, however it has established
itself as a defacto language commonly for smart contract. Having Solidity
support for the Hyperledger blockchains would be a great feature,
conversely
it would be beneficial for those project to colaborate on a common
compiler
component.

Other than Burrow, there are many other projects that allow ewasm
smart contracts. When ewasm comes to mainnet ethereum, Solang will be
ready to support it.

Possible future directions:
- the Solidity language can improve (e.g. string processing or generics)
- create a solidity language server for IDEs
(see
https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/INTERN/Create+a+new+Solidity+Language+Server+%28SLS%29+using+Solang+Compiler
)
- Integer arithmetic overflow detection in Solidity
- introduce foreign function interface, making it possible to link in
code
written in other languages using the llvm linker (e.g. new crypto
written
in C).
- Fabric can also run wasm chain code:
https://github.com/hyperledger-labs/fabric-chaincode-wasm
- There is an experimental evm llvm backend, so Solang could compile to
EVM just like the Ethereum Solidity compiler.
https://github.com/etclabscore/evm_llvm

See:
https://solang.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
and
https://github.com/hyperledger-labs/solang

Scope:
-----
The scope is the Solidity language and smart contacts written in wasm;
compiler and related tools like language server (for IDEs) and style
hints
(like lint or clippy).

Other than smart contracts, there are also other areas where a wasm
compiled
language can help. For example, the BitXHub proposal needs wasm to do
cross
chain validation.

Commit development resources
----------------------------
Solang is funded through a web3 foundation grant. The grant funds the
project
for full Solidity language support, compatible with the ethereum
foundation
solidity compiler. As part of the grant the project has committed to a
roadmap.

Initial Maintainers
-------------------
Sean Young <sean@...>

Neutral
-------
I'm not affiliated with any company or in employment; funding is through
a
web3 foundation grant. My interests are compilers and smart contract, not
any ledger in particular.


Thanks,

Sean Young




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