Polkadot Release Analysis v1.2.0

Polkadot Release Analysis v1.2.0

:warning: The following report is not an exhaustive list of changes included in the release, but a set of changes that we felt deserved to be highlighted due to their impact on the Polkadot ecosystem builders.

Please do not stop reading the release notes v1.2.0. This report is complementary to the changelogs, not a replacement.

Highlights are categorized into High Impact, Medium Impact, and Low Impact for ease of navigation.
Also there is a section related to all note worthy changes related to tooling integration.

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In the following report we are featuring some of the changes included in the polkadot node release 1.2.0. All the runtime changes that are part of this release will be included in the corresponding runtime release done by the polkadot technical fellowship.

:hammer_and_wrench: Tooling Section

:exclamation: High Impact

[S] Remove deprecated pallet_balances’s set_balance_deprecated and transfer dispatchables

PR: asset-rate pallet: box asset kind parameter by muharem · Pull Request #1545 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

pallet_balances provides functionality for handling accounts and balances.

As a part of #12951, below dispatchable functions have been deprecated:

  • set_balance_deprecated
  • transfer

As a part of this PR, these functions have now been removed. Instead force_set_balance and transfer_allow_death should be used respectively.

Related Issues: #147, #148

:warning: Medium Impact

[S] asset-rate pallet: box asset kind parameter

PR: asset-rate pallet: box asset kind parameter by muharem · Pull Request #1545 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

Asset-Rate pallet provides a means of setting conversion rates for some asset to native balance. This pallet has a config type AssetKind which defines the type for asset kinds for which the conversion rate to native balance is set.

This type parameter is being used in all dispatchables of this pallet. As a part of this PR, this type parameter has been Boxed.

Related PR: #1333

[P] Remove Polkadot & Kusama native runtime

PR: Remove Polkadot & Kusama native runtime by bkchr · Pull Request #1304 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

As a part of this PR, Polkadot and Kusama native runtime have been removed from Polkadot node.

There are some implications after this change:

  1. There won’t be kusama/polkadot-dev chain specs available.
  2. The try-runtime job for Polkadot & Kusama won’t be available anymore as there won’t be the dev chain specs anymore.
  3. Certain benchmarking commands will also not work until they get migrated to use a runtime api.
  4. As from this change --dev will run a Rococo based relaychain.

You can track the fixes of these issues here.

Related Issue: #603

[P] XCM: Deprecate old functions

PR: XCM: Deprecate old functions by gavofyork · Pull Request #1645 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

How does this impact the Polkadot builders?

teleport_assets and reserve_transfer_assets in pallet-xcm are now deprecated, please use their limited versions instead.

  • limited_teleport_assets
  • limited_reserve_transfer_assets

:information_source: Low Impact

[S] Modular block request handler

PR: Modular block request handler by rahulksnv · Pull Request #1524 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

Block request handler has been moved behind a trait. This allows new protocols to be plugged into ChainSync.

BuildNetworkParams has been changed so that custom relay protocol implementations can be (optionally) passed in during network creation time. If custom protocol is not specified, it defaults to the existing block handler.

BlockServer and BlockDownloader traits are introduced for the protocol implementation. The existing block handler has been changed to implement these traits.

How does this impact the Polkadot builders?

Users will need to adapt their parameters in BuildNetworkParams (usually found at initialization of the network in service.rs) to accomodate the above changes.

sc_service::build_network(sc_service::BuildNetworkParams {
		config: parachain_config,
		block_announce_validator_builder: Some(Box::new(move |_| block_announce_validator)),
+		block_relay: None,

[P] Uncoupling pallet-xcm from frame-system’s RuntimeCall

PR: Uncoupling pallet-xcm from frame-system's RuntimeCall by arrudagates · Pull Request #1684 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this change interesting for builders?

This PR uncouples pallet-xcm’s Config trait from frame-system’s RuntimeCall and instead uses it’s own RuntimeCall trait type, it also removes the trait requirement for it’s RuntimeCall to be IsType<<Self as frame_system::Config>::RuntimeCall>, meaning you can write custom types to be used for the XCM Transact instruction in a runtime that has pallet-xcm, which was previously not possible because of the hardcoded requirement imposed by pallet-xcm, which is not imposed by xcm-executor.

How does this impact the Polkadot builders?

This does not require any other changes to existing or future code, since all it does is make the trait requirements slightly less strict, maintaining compatibility but expanding it.

[C] The Ambassador Program

PR: https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot-sdk/pull/1308

Why is this important?

This is the on-chain aspect of the Polkadot Ambassador Program.

At a high-level, there are nine ranks, divided into four categories in this collective:

  • Ambassadors (1-2 tiers)
  • Senior Ambassadors (3-4 tiers)
  • Head Ambassadors (5-7 tiers)
  • Master Ambassadors (8-9 tiers)

Reference the PR for details on the AmbassadorReferenda, membership management, content management, and additional functionality.

Next steps will be to seed the program members, mint ambassador NFT badges on Asset Hub when promoting, and a Treasury pallet instance for the Ambassador Program!

[P/C] “Common good” vs “System” parachain clean up

PR: "Common good" vs "System" parachain clean up by bkontur · Pull Request #1406 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

The term “common good parachain” is no longer used in favor of “system parachain”. You can see the discussion in Joe Petrowski’s speech at Decoded2023. This pull request fixes and aligns the codebase with that vision.

[S/P] Stabilize VersionedMigration

PR: Stabilize `VersionedMigration` by liamaharon · Pull Request #1503 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

The experimental flag is being removed from VersionedMigration.

VersionedMigration is now considered stable to use in production.

If you’re curious how to use try-runtime-cli to test your chain, please start here.

[S/P/C] Disable Calls to Identity Pallet

PR: Disable Calls to Identity Pallet by joepetrowski · Pull Request #1476 · paritytech/polkadot-sdk · GitHub

Why is this important?

This PR prepares the runtime for moving the identity state and logic to a system parachain. This is done by filtering calls from the Identity pallet from all Relay Chain runtimes.

Once this change is enacted on the Relay chain, no more identity changes such as creating new identities or sub-identities will be possible on the Relay Chain. The frozen state will be part of the genesis for the system parachain. It is important to note that once the system parachain launches, the identity pallet and all its state will be removed from the Relay chain.

Applications and UI that depend on the identity pallet will need to read the relevant state from the system parachain instead.

[S/P/C] genesis-builder: implemented for all runtimes

PR: https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot-sdk/pull/1492

Why is this important?

A step towards GenesisConfig in a native runtime free world.

This PR implements GenesisBuilder API for every runtime in the polkadot-sdk repository. As shown in the code changes, users might want to take advantage of genesis_builder_helper for this.


why https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot-sdk/pull/1363 is not metioned here

Indeed we missed including that PR as part of the report. Thanks for pointing it out! :pray:
A new system for generating change logs is in the works and will avoid things like this form happening again in the future. I’m looking forward to see this improved version coming out.

For some context in case it would be still necessary, the PR that @xlc is talking about revamps pallet-preimage to move away from managing deposits directly in favor of using Considarations for such purpose.

The migration script is provided in the description of the change.