Writing basic validator scripts¶
Validators receive some information from the validating node:
The redeemer, which is some script-specific data specified by the party spending the output.
The datum, which is some script-specific data specified by the party who created the output.
The validation context, which contains a representation of the spending transaction, as well as the index of the input whose validator is currently being run.
The validator is a function which receives these three inputs as arguments. The validating node is responsible for passing them in and running the validator.
But how are the validator’s arguments passed? At least the redeemer and datum can be of different types depending on the script.
The answer is that we pass them as a generic structured data type
Data is designed to make it easy to encode structured data into it, and to be itself encoded as CBOR.
Consequently, the validator scripts we will write in this tutorial take three arguments of type
However, you will typically not want to use
Data directly in your program, rather you will want to use your own datatypes.
We can easily convert to and from
Data with the
You usually don’t need to write your own
Instead, you can use the
makeIsData Template Haskell function to generate one.
-- | A specific date. newtype Date = Date Integer -- | Either a specific end date, or "never". data EndDate = Fixed Integer | Never -- 'unstableMakeIsData' is a TemplateHaskell function that takes a type name and -- generates an 'IsData' instance definition for it. It should work for most -- types, including newtypes and sum types. For production usage use 'makeIsDataIndexed' -- which ensures that the output is stable across time. unstableMakeIsData ''Date unstableMakeIsData ''EndDate
The most important thing that a validator can do is fail. This indicates that the attempt to spend the output is invalid and that transaction validation should fail. A validator succeeds if it does not explicitly fail. The actual value returned by the validator is irrelevant.
How does a validator fail?
It does so by using the
Some other builtins may also trigger failure if they are used incorrectly (e.g.
We write validator scripts as Haskell functions, which we compile with Plutus Tx into Plutus Core.
The type of a validator function is
Data -> Data -> Data -> (), that is, a function which takes three arguments of type
Data, and returns a value of type
() (“unit” or “the empty tuple” – since the return type doesn’t matter we just pick something trivial).
Here are two examples of simple validators that always succeed and always fail, respectively:
alwaysSucceeds :: BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> () alwaysSucceeds _ _ _ = () alwaysFails :: BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> () alwaysFails _ _ _ = error () -- We can use 'compile' to turn a validator function into a compiled Plutus Core program. -- Here's a reminder of how to do it. alwaysSucceedsCompiled :: CompiledCode (BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> ()) alwaysSucceedsCompiled = $$(compile [|| alwaysSucceeds ||])
If we want to write a validator that uses types other than
Data, we’ll need to use the functions from
IsData to decode them.
fromData can fail: in our example if the
Data in the second argument is not a correctly encoded
Date then it will return
Nothing, indicating that it couldn’t decode it.
However, a decoding failure indicates a mistake in the transaction that was submitted, and so we can simply fail the validation.
Unfortunately there’s no way to provide failure diagnostics when a validator fails on chain – it just fails. However, since transaction validation is entirely deterministic, you’ll always be informed of this before you submit the transaction to the chain, so you can debug it locally.
Here’s an example that uses our date types to check whether the date which was provided is less than the stored limit in the datum.
-- | Checks if a date is before the given end date. beforeEnd :: Date -> EndDate -> Bool beforeEnd (Date d) (Fixed e) = d <= e beforeEnd (Date _) Never = True -- | Check that the date in the redeemer is before the limit in the datum. validateDate :: BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> () -- The 'check' function takes a 'Bool' and fails if it is false. -- This is handy since it's more natural to talk about booleans. validateDate datum redeemer _ = check $ case (fromBuiltinData datum, fromBuiltinData redeemer) of -- We can decode both the arguments at the same time: 'Just' means that -- decoding succeeded. (Just endDate, Just date) -> beforeEnd date endDate -- One or the other failed to decode. _ -> False
Using the validation context¶
The validation context gives validators a great deal of power, because it allows them to inspect other inputs and outputs of the current transaction. For example, here is a validator that will only accept the transaction if a particular payment is made as part of it.
validatePayment :: BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> () validatePayment _ _ ctx = check $ case fromBuiltinData ctx of Just valCtx -> -- The 'TxInfo' in the validation context is the representation of the -- transaction being validated let txinfo = scriptContextTxInfo valCtx -- 'pubKeyOutputsAt' collects the 'Value' at all outputs which pay to -- the given public key hash values = pubKeyOutputsAt myKeyHash txinfo -- 'fold' sums up all the values, we assert that there must be more -- than 1 Ada (more stuff is fine!) in fold values `geq` adaValueOf 1 _ -> False
This makes use of some useful functions from
Ledger for working with script contexts.
Using the typed interface¶
The interface we have used so far is quite low level:
You need to manually decode the arguments from
You need to manually call
checkat the end.
You can accidentally get the arguments to your scripts wrong.
There is a higher-level interface in
Ledger.Typed.Scripts which handles some of this for you.
To use it, we first need to define a datatype that we can use to identify the particular validator that we are working on. This data type is empty, because we’re just going to use it as a “name”: it helps the Haskell type system know what to look for.
We then define an instance of
ValidatorTypes for our “name”.
This tells the compiler what the Haskell types for the redeemer and datum are, so that the compiler can check whether we’re using the right ones later.
data DateValidator instance ValidatorTypes DateValidator where type instance RedeemerType DateValidator = Date type instance DatumType DateValidator = EndDate
We can then write a nice version of our validator that only uses the Haskell types!
This is what we would write if we completely forgot about all the concerns about
Data, returning errors, and so on.
To turn this into a validator like we saw before, we can use
This takes advantage of the information we provided in our
ScriptType instance to automatically work out how to decode the arguments.
validateDateTyped :: EndDate -> Date -> ScriptContext -> Bool validateDateTyped endDate date _ = beforeEnd date endDate validateDateWrapped :: BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> BuiltinData -> () validateDateWrapped = wrapValidator validateDateTyped
Finally, we can use the
mkTypedValidator function to get a
This packages up the compiled validator for us, letting us pull out the compiled version, the hash, the address, and a few other useful things.
dateInstance :: TypedValidator DateValidator dateInstance = mkTypedValidator @DateValidator -- The first argument is the compiled validator. $$(compile [|| validateDateTyped ||]) -- The second argument is a compiled wrapper. -- Unfortunately we can't just inline wrapValidator here for technical reasons. $$(compile [|| wrap ||]) where wrap = wrapValidator dateValidatorHash :: ValidatorHash dateValidatorHash = validatorHash dateInstance dateValidator :: Validator dateValidator = validatorScript dateInstance