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Next Gen Developer Tools

In this column, we'll take a closer look at developer tools like Solidity, MetaMask, Embark, Web3j, and Notifi, all of which are making waves in the world of blockchain...

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Next Gen Developer Tools


In this column, we'll take a closer look at developer tools like Solidity, MetaMask, Embark, Web3j, and Notifi, all of which are making waves in the world of blockchain technology. These trailblazers are revolutionizing how we interact with the decentralized web, from creating smart contracts to streamlining dApp management, and from simplifying Ethereum interactions to enhancing Web 3.0 communication.



Tools and Their Applications in Blockchain Technology

To this day, blockchain developers still face a myriad of challenges, from the lack of standardization across platforms and the complexity of the technology, to scalability issues and security concerns. They grapple with limited debugging tools, insufficient documentation, interoperability issues, and regulatory uncertainties. The limited testing environments and high costs also further complicate the development and deployment of blockchain applications.

Now, let's turn our attention to the innovative tools that are stepping up to address these challenges and revolutionize the blockchain development landscape.



Solidity

Solidity is a widely adopted, open-source, high-level programming language designed specifically for creating smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) for various purposes such as voting, auctions, safe remote purchases, micropayment channels and payment verification (1).

Solidity allows developers to write self-executing smart contract code for Ethereum-based applications. This code runs on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and automatically executes when predefined conditions are met.

In its latest version, Solidity has made some improvements:

  • It's now safer: If a calculation in a contract goes wrong, the contract will stop immediately. This prevents further errors.
  • It's smarter: The new version can handle more types of data and checks the inputs more thoroughly.
  • It's more intuitive: Some mathematical operations now work more like how people are used to.


MetaMask

MetaMask is a popular browser extension wallet and dApp browser that serves as a gateway to the decentralized web. As an open-source, decentralized wallet, MetaMask allows users to securely store, send, and receive digital assets.

Beyond being a simple dApp browser, MetaMask provides tools for devs to analyze blockchains without the need for a live Ethereum node (2). Moreover, with MetaMask APIs, developers can solicit users' Ethereum account details, access information from the blockchains to which the user is linked, propose that the user authenticate messages and transactions, and perform other advanced functions.

Another notable feature is the JavaScript-based application Snap. The app operates in a separate environment to personalize the user experience with the MetaMask wallet. It possesses the capability to calculate gas charges and offer insights into transactions through a tailored user interface (3).



Embark

Embark is a management tool designed to streamline dApp management and smart contract deployment and updates. Embark provides an environment to create independent HTML5 apps that leverage the benefits of decentralization. Devs can easily develop and deploy new smart contracts, and conduct app testing using JavaScript (JS) code. It also aids in decentralized app distribution via IPFS, enables peer-to-peer messaging with Whisper, and offers Cockpit for easier dApp development and debugging (4).

One of the key advantages of Embark is its ability to facilitate smart contract migration. Developers can utilize popular programming languages like Meteor, Angular, React, and more to seamlessly work with this framework (2).

What sets this blockchain management tool apart is its built-in monitoring capability, ensuring that any changes made to contracts are promptly detected and reflected in the decentralized software (4).



Web3j

Web3j is a suite of libraries that simplifies developers' interaction with Ethereum-based dApps, eliminating the need for complex setups involving multiple programming languages or deep blockchain knowledge. It empowers developers to perform tasks such as sending ETH, creating smart contracts and managing smart contract data, all using their existing coding skills.

Web3j is browser-compatible and operates with an Ethereum node connected via HTTP. This functionality can be further enhanced with the MetaMask extension and Web3.js front-end library as well.



Notifi

Notifi offers a specialized communication platform designed specifically for the Web3 ecosystem. It provides:

  • tools that actively monitor blockchain activities
  • SDKs that allow developers to integrate 1:1 user communication into their dApps
  • a universal web3 inbox that aggregates messages and alerts across different chains and wallets into a single communication hub.

Notifi provides customizable user experiences and contact preferences through an alert bell embedded within DApps or web wallets. It also facilitates wallet-to-wallet chat capabilities across any of the supported chains on the Notifi platform, among other features.



The Game-Changing Tool

Current platforms like Twitter, Telegram, and Discord often fall short in delivering optimal user experiences for timely updates, which certainly affects projects' community engagement as a whole. Not to mention, the influx of spam and bot messages on these platforms often overshadows critical project announcements and makes it difficult for users to access important information and opportunities. This clearly presents obstacles for Web 3.0 projects, which still largely depend on these platforms for community management.

With that said, Web3 notifications tools like Notifi or Push can be game-changing communication solutions to the current challenges faced by Web3 projects. These tools provide a seamless user-friendly interface, and streamline the user onboarding process. Users, consequently, can enjoy the simplicity of sign-up, personalized subscriptions, and unique features like in-app Inbox or cross-chain messaging for direct communication with other wallet users. With pre-integration into existing social media platforms like Telegram, Email, SMS, Discord, and Twitter, Web3 startups no longer need to invest time and resources in building and maintaining custom communication solutions. On the contrary, they can harness these integrated platforms to stay in the loop with continuous improvements, upgrades, and community best practices.



Conclusion

In wrapping up, it's clear that developer tools are the unsung heroes of the blockchain universe, tirelessly tackling challenges and propelling progress. Their seamless integration, interoperability, and customization are the lifeblood of innovation in this ever-evolving industry. As the blockchain landscape continues to morph and mature, these tools will remain at the forefront, holding the keys to unlock the boundless possibilities of blockchain technology.



Reference
  1. Solidity v0.8.20 White Paper
  2. Ruby Goyal on Geekflare, 6 Tools to Know as a Blockchain Developer, December 08, 2022
  3. Metamask White Paper, MetaMask developer documentation
  4. Embark Labs Documentation, January 19th 2020





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Established in 2022, M3TA is an AI-enabled data analytics platform dedicated to Web3 & emerging blockchains. Our team, composed of experts from Stanford, MIT, and Fortune 300 companies and seasoned in Defi, NFT, Metaverse & Gaming and Web3, distills over 10TB of data, covering 500+ projects and 5K+ tokens to produce clear insights for all audience levels. Boasting a robust presence in Korea, Vietnam, and South-East Asia, and spanning an evolving partner network, most currently with Google Cloud and FactBlock, M3TA is your trusted partner in unraveling blockchain complexities.

Writer & Reviewer: Research Analysts & Content Writers at M3TA Analytics

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