The Qubic development team hosted a two-hour AMA session on Reddit (r/IOTA) today, discussing the progress of the Qubic project. In this piece, I will gloss over the questions and answers that I found to be the most intriguing.
Qubic is in its early stage. Its programming language, Abra, is almost completed. According to Eric Hop, their short-term goal is to complete the Abra programming language so that others may begin working on the roadmap components identified for Abra.
Abra, however, may not be the only thing seen by smart contract developers. Paul Handy (IOTA Core dev) expects that integrated development environments will become popular, which will use the libraries and data made available through the tangle and output Abra. This would, hopefully, make smart contracts easier to write for people who are not comfortable writing in Abra.
Also according to Paul, we'll be able to get familiar with Abra once the naive LLVM JIT compiler/repl is released by the end of the month.
According to Samuel Reid (Qubic Architect), we can expect a detailed roadmap with an estimated timeline to release sometime this summer. No more details could be confirmed.
During the countdown for the much anticipated Q announcement, CFB (Come-from-Beyond) in Discord suggested that a demo showcasing the usefulness/efficiency of Trinary would be performed. Samuel confirmed that, due to an intellectual property disclosure, such a demo could not yet be shown. However, this implies that such a demonstration will eventually be shown to the public, but not in the interim.
Qubic Alpha release
When asked if the IOTA Foundation still thinks that a Qubic alpha release will still be possible by the end of the year, Paul expresses his optimism. Without promising anything per se, he explains how such a timeline is certainly achievable, despite many unexpected obstacles/events getting in their way. Paul concludes his optimism by stating,
"...the sun is rising on the IOTA Foundation, and we're again regaining the capacity to execute our vision."
From mining to Qubic processing
Eric Hop (Senior Product Owner) explains how, although Bitcoin miners using ASICs are not able to switch over to Qubic processing due to the specialized nature of ASICs that limit their use to mining specific cryptocurrencies, miners using GPUs are likely to give Qubic processing a try. Hopefully the incentives of Qubic processing will outweigh the incentives of cryptocurrency mining on modern graphics cards.
As told by Eric, the Qubic development team faces two significant challenges:
- Carving a new path and facing uncertainty
- Keeping up with hype
Although I could sum up his explanation, I think he explains it best:
Samuel also chimed in on the conversation, adding that he thought their biggest challenge is figuring out how much they want to keep under development before release and how deep they want to delve into the mathematical theory/technical documentation associated with Qubic. His answer aligned with Eric's in that it had a lot to do with the difficulties of managing expectations.
The Qubic development teamed ended the AMA session with this message:
The Qubic development team appreciated the opportunity to provided responses to some of the questions we had time to address and we look forward to giving future updates and releases of the material and work we have alluded to. All the best with the IOTA community and thank you for the support and interest in the Qubic project for years past and for years to come!
Please continue brainstorming over Qubic applications you can develop and keep your interest in learning Abra as we will need many more bright minds and passionate innovators to bring our ecosystem of computing into a positive feedback loop of transformation. We appreciate the continual influx of awesome ideas from the community and look forward to everything we have in store!
Overall, this AMA has reinforced my excitement and optimism for Qubic and IOTA. There were a lot of hard questions asked and a lot of thorough answers given. I highly recommend that every reader gloss over the AMA itself to view the questions/answers not discussed here.