Q4 2021: Update on Milestones and Progress
You may have noticed an uptick in stories, blogs, apps, news and announcements coming from Holo recently. In large part this is simply because there is much more that can be built on Holochain than ever before. The proof of this reality is that the wider community of projects and developers are beginning to move with haste in their respective projects. Simultaneously the Holo development team is now unblocked. Certain feature development had been on pause until Holochain had finished updating to a necessary level of features and stability. This is huge.
In order to make the sequencing of our interdependent work more visible to our community, we refreshed our roadmap for Holo and included some key Holochain releases.
Milestones Clarity Tied to Weekly Updates
We’ve renamed a few milestones for clarity but mostly we’ve included additional milestones to be able to more effectively tie our regular development updates to the milestones so that everyone can better understand where we are.
You will notice that we now have 9 of the Phase 3 milestones completed. An additional 7 of the milestones are what we call our work in progress, each of which is focused on by a specific sub-team. Every week, across the board, we are delivering features into test networks, usable builds for our community, and public releases.
Sharding Ready for Developers
In the past month the Holochain team released what we call the “Sharding Ready” release. If you are looking at it on Github, it is the release that is numbered 0.0.107. They have since delivered two additional releases that solidify and make those fundamental changes usable by community developers and by the Holo team. These releases of Holochain are precisely what the participants of the Dev Camp are using now for building, testing and deploying their own Holochain applications.
New Tools Make Rapid App Development Possible
Some amazing tools have also been made available on the tails of the Holochain release. The Launcher, our scaffolding tool, and the Dev Hub all make it easier for developers to adopt Holochain by saving them work and shortening their learning curve.
The Holochain Launcher is a dashboard that allows end users to install and run Holochain applications locally. This means that Holochain apps are easy to demo, easy to configure for testing by QA teams and community members — and ultimately easy for non-technical users to simply install and begin running on their own computers.
The scaffolding tool is the first in a set of Rapid Application Development tools — what’s known in the software world as RAD tools. The scaffolding tool provides a kickstart to the process of building an application. It allows new developers to lean on patterns that other more established Holochain developers have designed. It will also let non-developers who are members of product teams use business terms and logic for setting up the basics of an application. For example, if you are designing a blog, the scaffolding tool is where you would define concepts like a post and a list of posts.
Dev Campers Show RAD Tools Working
Session 3 of Dev Camp is where they introduced the RAD scaffolding tool to the participants and then assigned homework to participants to scaffold their first Holochain application. After that they will package the application and then run it from inside the Launcher.
DevHub Makes hApps Testable, Available to Devs
The DevHub is another tool that is being tested by a few of our community developers now. It’s a developer console where hApps are uploaded and tested, and where they will be reviewed/rated by other ecosystem developers. This component is critical to Holo in the sense that our Publisher Portal will look to it as the source for all Holochain applications that can be published to the Holo network for hosting.
Work in Progress
This week our team just finished getting all the various applications and services related to the Holo Platform updated to the Sharding Ready release of Holochain. This means that now Holo hApps and Infrastructure are working with a version of Holochain that exceeds all of our prior baseline performance metrics as compared to the previous releases of Elemental Chat.
There is so much underway — so we’ve added a small overlay to the roadmap that shows the following parts we are already working on.
Next Up: Elemental Chat Public Release (still just a Prototype)
Yes, with the performance gains with Holochain, we’re now preparing to let people use Elemental Chat on Holo. We’re working through testing and release processes now so stay tuned for announcements.
Publisher Portal & HoloFuel Readying for Pre-Release Testing
The Holo team is steadily working on the first pre-release of the Publisher Portal as well as a release of the HoloFuel app with basic transactions of Test Fuel. Development on these two applications had paused previously because certain features required changes in Holochain that are now available with the recent Holochain update.
Holochain 0.1.x HDK Release
Holochain is preparing to do their first bump to a 0.1.x release. This indicates a greater level of usability and reliability. Our release numbering is based on the standard of Semantic Versioning, where the first number is a major release, the second is a minor release and the third is a patch. Each time a project moves over one decimal in a startup project, it is a milestone worth celebrating as it typically indicates increased stability and documentation for the developers who are dependent on the project.
HoloPort Registration Useability
Another effort currenlty underway in the Holo team is the new key generation process for HoloPorts. This work will revise the current HoloPort Registration process, adding in critical steps for security as well as making the process more extensible for both our operations team and for the hosts who are registering. This will specifically set us up to build other features required for beta like multi-port registration and identity verification.
Wrapping it up with Community & Customer Service
As we move forward today we are entering a period of increased complexity for our Community and Customer Support folks. For most of our Dev cycles up until now, we’ve had two sets of users — Hosts and Holochain developers. Others who follow the project have wanted to know what is possible with this new tech, what is available and how it works, and many others have wanted to better understand how it all relates to our token and eventually HoloFuel. This past month, however, saw us push forward to have multiple new tools and applications that are being used by many more developers and now also the end users of the applications those developers have built.
This means that non developers are asking more questions on our support channels and forums. This will only increase as we do pre-releases of HoloFuel and the Publisher Portal and as other projects make more and more Holochain apps available on the Launcher. We’re going to be working diligently with the community on ways to direct those questions to all the right places.
So thank you for all the interest and engagement — and a special thanks too for your patience as we stretch and evolve through these wonderful growing pains.