The Flow network is constantly being worked on to provide a better network for the Flow ecosystem. Recently, Permissionless Smart Contract Deployment was launched on Flow, which means now anybody can deploy a smart contract on the Flow Mainnet. This exciting upgrade was many months in the making and is a huge milestone for the Flow ecosystem. For this to happen, there had to be a few small time periods of scheduled maintenance.
These periods of scheduled maintenance, also known as Sporks, are used for rolling out node software upgrades to the Flow network. During a spork, all Flow node operators upgrade their node software. This means the upgrades to Flow can be released across the network at great speeds and minimizes the impact of any potential breaking changes. A spork is announced in advance and usually happens about once every two months.
Of course, those people building, collecting, or trading on Flow, the downtimes can impact your plans. Fortunately, any impact is always short lived and temporary. However, making sure the community is as prepared as possible for these scheduled maintenance periods is extremely important. Which is why we wanted to highlight a few key resources for the community on how to stay up-to-date on any past, current, or future sporks/maintenance periods of the Flow Blockchain.
One of the best ways to see what’s happening with upcoming Sporks are the Flow Docs page: Upcoming Sporks. This page provides an overview of the upcoming Sporks and is regularly updated with the latest information. This is a handy page to keep bookmarked for anybody developing or building on Flow.
You can also find out information about previous Sporks in these same resources, on the Past Sporks page. If you have any questions about previous or future Sporks, you can also ask in the Flow Discord.
You can also view all maintenance messages ahead of, during, and at the conclusion of a spork on the Flow forums. You can subscribe to alerts from this forum specifically to make sure you receive all notifications around upcoming sporks.
Recently, we launched a new Flow Status Page. This is a great resource for the latest in real time news for any maintenance on Flow. This page is kept up-to-date in real time. So, not only can it be useful during Sporks and scheduled maintenance periods, but it can also help to keep you updated for any unexpected downtime.
The status page includes the ability to subscribe for notifications in various formats: Email, Text Alerts, Slack Integrations, Webhooks and more. With the Webhook functionality, this also allows for integration directly into Discord. If you do this with a 3rd party bot, please always be careful with giving access to bots to create webhooks and what permissions they have in the Discord.
Another way to keep updated with the status of the Flow Blockchain is directly in the Community Discord. At the very top of the Discord Server, you will see three important Status channels - Mannient Status, Testnet Status, and the next Spork date.
This is regularly updated to keep the community fully aware of what’s going on with the Flow network. When Mainnet or Testnet is experiencing issues, you will see a yellow dot. If one of them is down completely, it will be a red dot. The date of the next Spork is updated when it has been decided upon.
There is also a Developers Updates channel, where a bot will post high level updates from the Flow Status Page. You can see this channel to ping you with a notification when a message is posted to help keep an eye on the most important information and updates for Flow developers.
With this range of ways to keep updated of any Flow maintenance, sporks, or unexpected downtime, it is easier than ever to plan around these essential upgrades to the Flow network. If you have any questions about using these tools or would like to learn more about the topics discussed here, you can ask the Flow team in our Flow Community Forums, or the Flow Discord Server.