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Cosmos Development Update — July 2019

Hello Cosmonauts, the development team has been hard at work since the last network upgrade and there are some really exciting things coming down the pipe in the coming months. This post is an update on that work and the drive towards IBC. It also includes an outline of the major features in the Gaia 1.0 release that is currently in the RC (release candidate) phase. With the successful upgrade of the testnet on 22 July, the release is on track to be deployed on mainnet as cosmoshub-3. Let’s review some of the upcoming changes below:

LTS Guarantee

This release of the Cosmos SDK is the first where Tendermint Inc will be offering a Long Term Service (LTS) Guarantee. This means in practice that Tendermint Inc will guarantee for six months that we will backport security critical updates for the 0.36.x line. In addition, we pledge to not break the REST and CLI APIs on this release line. The SDK development team will also ship a guide for applications updating to the next LTS release from the 0.36.x line.

Dev Process Changes

The LTS Guarantee doesn’t come in a vacuum. There were a number of internal processes that matured over the last few months to enable that pledge:

Gaia Repository — Gaia, the hub application has been split into its own repository. This is important because it decouples the release of Gaia from the release of the SDK and allows the two products to evolve independently. This will allow us to start shipping regular releases of the Cosmos SDK with bug fixes for chains relying on it. This change should also go a long way to relieve the confusion of new users. It also helps them differentiate between Gaia and the Cosmos SDK. Reproducible Builds — This guarantees that the Gaia suite can always be built from source, provide independently verifiable executables, and allow anyone to protect themselves from targeted attacks. Branching Strategy — Previously all of our projects had a separate `master` and `develop` branch. We have switch...
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