How to find Ethereum updates (for casuals)

As a nerdy gamer, I was excited to find out that Ethereum lists updates to their network in a similar manner to how Blizzard releases patch notes to World of Warcraft. As long as you know where to look on GitHub and can memorize one acronym, you’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes finding updates about Ethereum

Finding Ethereum updates 

GitHub can be stressful and confusing to navigate as a new viewer. Luckily, on Ethereum’s GitHub, it only takes a couple clicks to see what’s being proposed, tested and implemented. 

  1. Navigate to github.com/ethereum
  2. At the top of the page, under “pinned repositories”, click “EIPs”
  3. Click the folder called “EIPs”
  4. On the top right above the list, click “History”

History section on Ethereum's GitHub

Unfortunately, using the history tab is the only way to sort information by date. The history section sorts by commits which are new files or saved changes to a file. 

“A commit, or “revision”, is an individual change to a file (or set of files). It’s like when you save a file, except with Git, every time you save it creates a unique ID”

What is an EIP? 

EIP is short for Ethereum Improvement Proposal. You can think of them as patch notes that aren’t promised. There are three types of EIPs according to EIP1 which acts as a guideline. 

  1. Standard Track EIP – any change or addition that affects the interoperability of applications using Ethereum
  2. META EIP – like Standards Track EIPs but apply to areas other than the Ethereum protocol itself
  3. Informational EIP – describes an Ethereum design issue, or provides general guidelines or information to the Ethereum community, but does not propose a new feature

EIP1 goes much more in depth than these descriptions, but will give you the gist of what you’re sifting through. 

Finding current implementation 

Ethereum Cat Herders is a community that helps Ethereum developers coordinate network upgrades. They recently were in charge of finding people to audit progPoW and have published straight forward updates about istanbul.  

By following their medium page, you will likely find the most updates to Ethereum without having to read through GitHub. It is always beneficial to your understanding of Ethereum to get in the weeds a bit though.