Polkadot Summit 24' -Parity Update + Q&A with Gavin Wood

Hi all, please see below a write up from one of the Polkadot Summit sessions that was held in Bangkok in 2024.
You can use the polkadot-summit tag to see all the other posts, and navigate to the summary post for a recap of the event.

Session: Parity Update + Q&A with Gavin Wood

Host: Pierre Aubert & Gavin Wood

Short summary of session:

Pierre gave a summary of the Parity strategy for 2024 and prompted an interesting thought experiment around the future for Kusama and Polkadot. Gavin then joined and fielded questions from the tight-knit group.

Main discussion points:

The decentralisation of Parity has meant that the org has had to reduce scope and deliver on core engineering only. Many teams decentralised have either raised treasury proposals or applied through the W3F Decentralised Voices to continue their work in the Polkadot Ecosystem.

There has been a change in strategy regarding smart contracts at Parity, with the Ink team being decentralised. Ink will be maintained by the team but no longer funded by Parity directly. Given that 95% of the market is Solidity, Parity is focusing on solidity instead to help boost adoption. This will be made possible by PolkaVM which will allow the use of standard solidity contracts to be deployed.

Documentation is a major focus as there is a lot of documentation at Parity, but it’s spread across many different areas, in 2024 there will be a concerted effort to standardize documentation. Along with an increase in documentation, Parity also want to add a lot more tests to the stack - we shouldn’t have things breaking in Kusama which could be easily identified with tests. There was discussion around Parachains providing tests which Parity could in turn run to improve quality and decrease bugs.

There was discussion around monitoring and reporting, Pierre suggested we need better tooling and monitoring for the release process. For example after pushing a runtime upgrade, how do we define if it’s “working”? If 90% of the chains are working, is it “working” ?
There was also discussion as to how we want to proceed with Kusama and how often we should ship updates if we really want to cause chaos on Kusama.