Introducing Holo Closed Alpha Testnet
Leadership & Org Update 05
The Holo network is a bridge from the new distributed app environment of Holochain to the centralized world of the Internet. With the release of our Closed Alpha Testnet, we are instantiating key components and applications required for an end-to-end test of distributed Holochain apps accessible via Internet web browsers. This is something that has never been done before, using innovations in technology that have not been previously attempted. We are not only committed to the developer community and technical crowd, but our aim is to make innovations in privacy and control available to everyday users of the Internet.
I think it is important to make it clear that Holo is comprised of many integrated layers of hardware, networking, applications, services, and protocols. In the Holo GitHub account alone, there are 55 distinct repositories and about 35 of those are active for this release — in addition to all of the Holochain code repositories. A release for Holo is a complex, integrated process with many moving parts. The Closed Alpha Testnet is a huge milestone and achievement on our journey to a new, distributed Internet. We are currently finishing the final unit testing and integration testing for the release.
In this brief post, what we are aiming to introduce a few of the key infrastructure components and apps enabled for the Closed Alpha Testnet, as well as share what will be tested by our internal and external participants.
- DeepKey — Distributed Public Key Infrastructure (DPKI). DeepKey is the tool for managing keys in Holo and Holochain. With Holochain, you are using a different key pair for each app, which means you are managing a large number of keys. DeepKey ensures users have continuity of identity across Holochain Apps.
- Holo Networking Infrastructure. This infrastructure is what allows a web user of a distributed app to type something into a browser address bar and be routed to a HoloHost that serves up the distributed application to the end user. Other network services support the cryptographic validation of a user via the browser and device simulating the same experience of an installed Holochain app user.
- Holo Hosting OS Virtual Machine Image. For Closed Alpha, HoloHosts will use a virtual machine image that runs the Holo Hosting OS Virtual Image. This virtual machine image comes with Holochain pre-installed. Cryptographic keys will be generated for Hosts and the device will be registered with the Holo network during the initialization process.
- Holo Hosting App. The Holo Hosting App comes pre-installed in the Holo Hosting OS. It allows App Providers to specify the apps they wish to publish for Internet users, and allows HoloHosts to select which apps they wish to host on their device. The UI specifically provides for a HoloHost to view and manage their hosting activity.
- Holo Service Logs App. The Holo Service Logs App is what tracks the bandwidth and processing usage for a host. As a Holo Hosting Device performs functions on behalf of a Holo web user, the associated Holo Service Log App collects signed service logs. When enough service logs are obtained for a HoloHost, a “Proof of Service Invoice” is generated and sent to the relevant App Provider. This invoice is a pre-authorization for payment.
- Holo hApp Store. The hApp Store is where App Providers manage applications and make them available for others to install for p2p use. In the Closed Alpha Testnet, this will be implemented as a website with links to installable applications. Additionally, uploads of any hApp will be limited to the Holo Team.
- HoloFuel App. The HoloFuel App is a Holochain App for mutual credit currency accounting. It allows Holo users to exchange value and is used by the Holo Hosting App when Holo App Providers compensate HoloHosts. In our Closed Alpha Testnet, this app will support transactions, billing for hosting, and payments between App Providers and HoloHosts using ‘test HoloFuel.’
- HoloPorts. HoloPorts from production assembly are expected to arrive to internal team testers during the Closed Alpha Testnet. They will be tested along with the OS Virtual Machine Image, ensuring that they will auto-update to the latest version of the OS.
All of the components above are part of our Closed Alpha Testnet. Because of the level of complexity in this sort of infrastructure release, we are incrementally testing components in three waves. We will expand what we are testing with each wave, as well as invite a wider audience of testers.
Our ultimate goals for the Closed Alpha Testnet are:
- to enable non-technical users to install a Holo Hosting OS Virtual Machine Image on their computers, such that they can configure and run Holo Hosting Devices; and
- to provide a Holo test network capable of serving Holochain distributed apps over the Internet.
There are many other technical deliverables in the Alpha Testnet that make up the inner workings of the Holo platform. This post is by no means an exhaustive list of functionality or testing involved in Closed Alpha. We’ll be preparing metrics and reporting for our Testnets, and eventually, for Mainnet, which will help in visualizing the number of nodes and transactions on the network, as well as other aspects of performance.
Holo & Upcoming Milestones
We are excited about all that is coming together for this Closed Alpha Testnet. Throughout the next month, we will be monitoring the testing and feedback from Closed Alpha and based on those results, we will share our expectations of how it will go moving forward with the future Milestones outlined below.
We know HoloPorts are an important milestone for many in our community, especially our IGG backers. As the HoloPorts go through the steps to final assembly before being placed on ships to the distribution centers, the majority of our team is focused on what it will take to ensure a great experience for HoloPort owners when they arrive into the world. Thorough testing of the components listed above — of which an individual bullet is often the entire business in other blockchain projects — is what it will take for the HoloPorts to deliver on the vision and value we believe is coming soon.
Upcoming Holo milestones include:
- HoloPorts shipped to Distributors and then End-Users
- Holo Open Alpha Testnet
- Holo Full Feature Testnet
- Holo Beta Mainnet
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey. We are so appreciative of the questions, participation, enthusiasm, and support you’ve provided. We are excited to be stepping into this Closed Alpha Testnet with you! Some Rights Reserved.
Holo Executive Director, Mary Camacho