Alpha Testing with Hosts — The Next Phase

Leadership & Org Update 16

HOLO
HOLO
Dec 20, 2019 · 7 min read

Topics

  • Holo Org Updates
  • All about HoloPort Shipment and Alpha Test
  • What’s next and why does it matter?

A big hello to our Holonaut community.

We are rapidly approaching a new year and so many good things are happening at Holo in these last few weeks of 2019.

Holo Org Updates

As many have likely already heard, the frivolous suit that was being litigated against us in a California District court has come to an end with all claims against Holo being denied and the suit being dismissed. In addition, we also found out this week that the trademark applications in the U.S. submitted by that same claimant, for our names (Holochain, HoloFuel, etc.), are being refused and will not proceed through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office process because of our prior registrations.

I know this will put some concerns to rest for many people. We are certainly happy to stop spending time and energy on this and return our sole focus to delivery and product development as we move forward into this new phase of Alpha testing.

If you pre-purchased a HoloPort or a HoloPort+ you have likely already heard from us via email. We have asked you to confirm what electrical plug you needed and also asked for FINAL confirmation of your address before the hardware leaves the warehouse. We will ONLY ship HoloPorts in 2019 to those that provided an address confirmation to us by midnight on December 19th. If you confirm later than that we will send your hardware at the beginning of January or soon after your confirmation. If for any reason you haven’t heard from us, please message us via email at orders@holo.host.

This one is news today! Holo has acquired the Hylo community product. You can check out the full story here. We have been planning this for the past six months, but it took time to ‘cross the t’s and dot the i’s’, so we are happy to announce today that it is official.

The acquisition of Hylo has many benefits to our developer community because we are open-sourcing the modular codebase which can be used by Holochain app developers as they compose their own applications. But it is especially relevant and important to Holo right now as we move into this Alpha test with hosts. With the Communities application that we are shipping preinstalled on the HoloPorts, we are sharing one of the first ever applications that has been converted from a centralised architecture to the distributed Holochain architecture. Finally, we loved the Hylo application user interface (UI) and tech stack (i.e. React, GraphQL, Apollo) so much, we used them to improve our UIs for both HP Admin and Holofuel that will be used in this initial HoloPort shipment.

All about HoloPort Shipment and Alpha Test

When we ship HoloPorts, it’s all about testing. Only hosts will be testing initially. Just to be clear, web users will not be able to connect to the hosted applications that will be installed on the HoloPort — only hosts will be able to access those applications to begin. During this phase, we will be focused on testing key aspects of the HoloPort itself along with the Holo network, Holochain, and several applications. It is the testing across all of these that will help us to identify any pivotal issues prior to widening the testing to web users of Holochain applications hosted on Holo.

  1. HoloPort and Virtual Machine setups
  2. HP Admin (the application that ties together all the HoloPort functionalities)
  3. HoloFuel hApp with Test Fuel (we need to test the transactor in the wild with many people and many transactions)
  4. Communities hApp (the application that hosts can use to connect with each other directly via Holochain running on Holo)

So what does this mean? How do I engage in the testing? How do I give feedback? And what do I do if something goes wrong? We will get to all those questions here today. But let’s start by going back to some early descriptions of what we have been building with Holo. As you may recall from earlier blog posts, the Holo architecture is quite complex.

When we test a Holochain application like HoloFuel or Communities, we are not just testing the part that is visible. We are testing layers of technology that our team has been working on for the past years.

With this release, we are testing Holochain core, Holochain P2P networking, Holo’s browser-to-host networking and routings, the HoloPort OS software, the HoloPort self-updating process, and specific Holochain applications. These hApps, like HoloFuel, include both the DNA of the application and finally, the visible part that is the user interface.

When you receive your HoloPort, there will be a written guide inside the box. This will get you started and will point you in the direction of the first test — the HoloPort Quickstart process. Please keep in mind that when you plug in your HoloPort and it connects to the Internet, it will need to fully update before the Quickstart process will work.

If at any point during the testing you need some help — we invite you to join the conversation in the newly launched Holo Forum. As a host you will receive an email invitation to join right as we begin processing HoloPort shipments. The Holo Forum is where you will find team members and other hosts available to chat about your experience and you will also find a knowledge base with our Setup Guides and FAQs that can help with any details you need during this crucial Alpha testing. Finally, if you run into deeper challenges, our email support ticketing system will be on the ready and easy to find via links on the Forum.

A quick note for our Nano pre-purchasers: if you would like to test on a Virtual Machine, we will have setup guides with all the details about how to begin that process also available on the Holo Forum.

On the Holo Forum, there will be outlines of some of the key things we need you to test for each app. While each of these may seem simple, keep in mind that with every action you take, you are testing end-to-end on a new distributed internet. We expect that you’ll find some problems so we will have people on the ready to listen to your feedback about how it is going, to help problem solve any issues, and to take note when you find something that we need to take back into our development process.

What’s next and why does it matter?

While we are focused on getting this first stage of the product released in 2019, we are also looking ahead. We are working to create and share our feature roadmap for 2020, so we can engage together in this test journey as we build this important infrastructure for the Next Net.

This period of testing we are entering into together is critical for Holo and for the development process. It is extremely difficult to test a distributed platform built on a distributed framework when the existing test frameworks — which assume a centralised paradigm — just don’t work for us. At each stage that we progress through in this work, we find ourselves creating brand new developer and test tooling at the same time that we are developing the product itself.

When you all receive and connect your HoloPorts, we will be testing at scale for the first time ever with real users. This is a huge opportunity for us to observe how it works in the wild versus in our test framework, and we know we will need to tweak some of the settings and configurations in the network as well as make changes to different layers of the code to ensure it all works together in this real-life scenario. While we would love to think that it will all be smooth sailing, we also know there may be some bumps along the way.

You are part of the success of this. Without your support and your participation as a HoloPort host, especially during the Alpha test process, it just could not be done.

Together, we are bringing this more human and peer-to-peer Internet into being; a new Internet that empowers individuals, fosters trust, and helps build thriving communities. A huge Thank You from the entire Holo/Holochain team.

- Mary Camacho

HOLO

Post-blockchain technology, value-stable cryptocurrency, and peer-to-peer hosting of scalable, distributed apps. Now is the time for popular access to an equitable, decentralized web! https://holo.host

HOLO

Written by

HOLO

Holo is a distributed peer-to-peer hosting platform for Holochain apps (hApps); a bridge to the new Internet. Powered by @Holochain

HOLO

HOLO

Post-blockchain technology, value-stable cryptocurrency, and peer-to-peer hosting of scalable, distributed apps. Now is the time for popular access to an equitable, decentralized web! https://holo.host

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