TON Developer Report: January 2023

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The TON Foundation oversees the development of the TON platform and contributions from a host of independent developers globally. The tireless efforts of many are critical to the ongoing development of TON to help redefine the way blockchain is used in the real world.

That said, the TON ecosystem is always open to receiving additional contributions from the greater TON community. If you’d like to contribute, feel free to reach out to us directly in the TON Dev Telegram chat. All feedback provided by our amazing community is always greatly appreciated.

TON’s ongoing development is pivotal to increasing the adoption of the TON blockchain and its underlying ecosystem. For that reason, we'd like to welcome all of you to our first installment of the TON Developer Report. Let’s dive in.

TON Metrics

Amazingly, the number of monthly active developers in TON-related open GitHub repositories increased by 8% between December and January. Furthermore, the number of developers in open source TON-related repositories on GitHub increased by 50% over the last 12 months.

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What’s more, the number of active TON-related open GitHub repositories increased by 13% between December and January and over the last year has increased by more than 400%. For those who wish to dive deeper more into our developer metrics, the Electric Capital Developer Report is an in-depth resource that provides a clearer picture into TON-related repository activity. In fact, we’d love it if you’d add your own TON projects to the repository to ensure TON continues to increase its visibility within the Web3 community.

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To add to the above metrics and ongoing adoption of TON, it should be noted that the total number of members participating in TON Dev chats increased by 11% between December and January. In fact, as is displayed below, Telegram's TON developer community has almost quadrupled in the last 12 months alone.

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TON Events

Events hosted by TON are a perfect way for community members to get involved with the TON project in a more meaningful way. More importantly, offline events allow for real interaction with experts building TON, unlocking a greater understanding of how TON is being built and why. The TON team was out in full force to launch the Hack-a-TONx with DoraHacks to support the greater TON community, attending four events spanning two continents and numerous regions internationally.

  • Hack-a-TONx DoraHacks: The TON Foundation with the help of DoraHacks recently launched a 3-month online hackathon consisting of a $300,000 prize pool. For those unfamiliar, DoraHacks is a global hackathon organizer that hosts events to enhance developer communities throughout the Web3 industry. The TON Foundation also recently hosted the DoraHacks Onboarding Week between January 30th and February 5th. A collection of livestreams hosted during the week provided an avenue for new developers beginning development on TON, while introducing the community to the upcoming hackathon. Additionally, it is also possible to join a wide range of our offline events which are hosted in more than 10 countries (and increasing) globally.
  • Launch of International TON Hubs: In January of this year the TON community initially launched TON Hubs in Lisbon, Bangkok, Hyderabad (India), and Barcelona. For those unfamiliar, TON Hubs are community groups that meet regularly to contribute to the development and growth of the project by sharing ideas, knowledge, and development ideas for all things TON. In time, new hub locations will be proposed moving forward. If you are interested in setting up a hub in your specific geographical area, feel free to reach out to acquire more information here.

TON Documentation Materials

January focused on the amendment and modification of numerous developer documentation updates and onboarding initiatives that continue to enhance the TON project and its underlying ecosystem. These include:

  • Ongoing Tutorial Updates: Recently, a host of beginner-friendly tutorials were updated by one of TON’s main ecosystem partners and blockchain platform, Orbs. These represent an ever-expanding initiative to ensure FunC development is streamlined and more readily accessible to all. In addition, the newly added Technical FAQ and the FunC Cookbook sections represent one of the most important updates to TON’s documentation so far. The entry details 45+ questions and a host of valuable insights and explanations specifically tailored to TON development.
  • Developer Survey: In January, TON carried out an in-depth developer survey among engineers building on TON to gauge their feedback towards the new version of TON Docs. During the course of this undertaking, the TON team received 80+ responses and an average rating of 7.56 out of 10.0 in developer satisfaction. As a reminder, community members are always welcome to contribute to our documentation should they feel the need. To participate in the enchantment of TON Docs consider checking out our instructional GitHub webpage found here.
  • FunC Course Completion: Furthermore, the finalization of the first 2 modules of FunC lessons for Coursera initiative were completed by contributors to the greater TON community. It should be noted that once complete, the course will consist of 5 modules in total. As explained in the corresponding link above, the course will detail various topics related to programming on TON in FunC. The project is expected to be completed in Q2, providing a great way for new developers to streamline the development of smart contracts in FunC. To learn more about how you can participate, consider reaching out via the TON Footsteps discussion platform on GitHub.

TON Developer Tools

This section provides a general overview of the tooling systems and frameworks that were introduced over the past several months and released in January. These include:

  • TON Connect 2.0 Release: Among the ongoing development milestones launched in January, perhaps the most important was the release of TON Connect 2.0. The communication protocol provides a standardized format for users to connect to their favorite wallets and applications via a seamless in-protocol integration. Moreover, TON Connect is also supported by the Tonkeeper wallet and the OpenMask browser extension. Currently, TON Connect is integrated with 14+ services (and growing).
  • TON Verifier Release: Also released in January, is TON Verifier, a public smart contract verifier developed by the Orbs team. The service is used to check the integrity of smart contracts on TON using open source validation parameters. As of this writing, the verifier is available for community member use to validate contracts prior to deployment.
  • Blueprint Release: TON also recently released Blueprint — a development environment for writing, testing, and deploying smart contracts on TON. The toolkit greatly simplifies the development process for engineers building on TON, lowering the barrier to entry for all involved.
  • Sandbox Developer Toolkit Release: The release of the Sandbox toolkit (which is typically used for testing smart contracts on TON) was also another significant milestone that came to fruition in January. The solution dramatically increases the functionality of the TON platform for mainstream smart contract development for a host of enterprise, retail, government, and institutional uses.
  • Tact Language Beta Release: January welcomed the successful release of the Beta version (the v0.9.1 release) of the Tact programming language by the community, passing several roadblocks as the result of Steve Korshakov’s effort and the support of numerous independent Tact development community members. To compliment Tact’s release, its corresponding documentation was also launched for the first time, detailing its uses, its semantics, syntax, and more, while also particularizing the Tact Hello World smart contract framework. With the recent release of Tact Beta, it would be helpful to garner additional feedback into how the product currently stands with our developer community. To give the community your suggestions and overall impressions, please consider reaching out to developers via the Tact language discussion group on Telegram.

TON Footsteps Community Program

For those unfamiliar, TON Footsteps is a program developed by the TON Foundation to incentivize community contribution for the development of the platform via in-ecosystem rewards and other benefits. At the time of this writing, there are currently 27 TON Footsteps initiatives open for potential contribution.

Past and present TON Footsteps contributions include the development of numerous video tutorials, English article translations, suggestions for TON documentation amendment, and contributions to a wide range of developer initiatives such as protocol and middleware development, TON libraries, dApp tutorials, and more. The TON Footsteps project follows a succession of steps that are decided upon through open community dialogue.

Below, is a list of TON Footsteps milestones that were finalized in January:

  1. Continuous article and documentation amendments and improvements
  2. TVM assembly and Fift tutorial detailing their differences
  3. Ast node meta information and tlb-parser finalization
  4. FunC Cookbook amendments and improvements
  5. Addition of amendments to FunC Cookbook documentation
  6. Launch of TON Overflow Telegram Bot
  7. Trust core wallet and TON asset integration (support for Toncoin within the Trust wallet)
  8. Various FunC Cookbook amendments, improvements, and additions
  9. Addition of the random number block generation section of TON Docs
  10. TON Connect 2.0 integration manual
  11. Creation of the random number smart contract generation section of TON Docs

With this report, we are starting a tradition of regularly highlighting developer activities in the ecosystem. January has been a very productive month for the TON community. More and more developers are joining, which means more and more projects appear in the TON ecosystem. Stay tuned. There are more achievements and news ahead!

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