You know those words you see on a car’s side mirror that say ‘objects in the mirror are closer than they appear’? In spite of that warning, it’s always a bit surprising when a car comes zooming past, out of the blue, when you thought it was way back in the distance.
I had that sort of experience yesterday morning. During my weekly check-in with Alastair from the Holo hosting dev team, he was practically bouncing in his seat. The reason for his excitement, in his words, was that “Holo is ready”. Alastair normally brings a critical, analytical mind to…
That might be a funny question to ask right now. If you’ve been reading the Dev Pulse for the last couple years, you probably already know what Holochain is.
But for those of you who are new to Holochain, or who want to share it with your friends, we’ve just publicly released a video, What Is Holochain?. It’s based on a talk I gave at this year’s FOSDEM conference, and it gives a quick overview of what Holochain is all about at a level that’ll help devs understand whether it’s a good fit for them.
As I pored over the most recent dev updates, I struggled to find a cohesive story to share. There’s no one thing I can point to and say “See, this is what’s happened since the last Dev Pulse.” Just a lot of small updates. And then I realised — that is the message. Right now we’re making consistent, steady progress. Components are being optimised and rewritten, bugs are being found, core apps are seeing accelerated development. For those who would rather not read a tweet stream, here are the major points:
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have suddenly become rather popular. I don’t exactly know why now is their time — maybe it’s because celebrities are beginning to sell them, or maybe it’s because recent price increases of BTC and ETH have given hodlers a lot of new money to play with. Whatever the cause, the world is taking notice. And not just the crypto world — traditional auction house Christie’s recently sold an NFT for $69 million USD.
NOTE: Beginning this week, we’re trying something new with the Dev Pulse. We’re going to start publishing smaller pieces more regularly. We think this will make them both fresher and more digestible.
This week we rolled out an update to all HoloPorts. The most visible changes are in the UI of Elemental Chat, our demo app. Users now have ‘identicons’ beside their name; these auto-generated avatars are based on their actual agent ID in the Holochain network and can’t be forged. This is important because usernames are just labels; you can set yours to anything you like, even someone else’s…
Mostly we’re working on performance, bugfixes, and features (proxy server, storage code, sharding, and validation receipts), but we’re also working on a few developer tools: the
hc command (yes, it's coming back), a mock HDK, and a nearly finalised hApp bundle spec.
hcdeveloper command returns!
Veteran Holochain developers will remember the
hc command, a sort of Swiss army knife tool that let you scaffold, compile, test, and run your hApps. …
The big news is that the core team’s work on the HDK, Holochain’s standard library for building DNAs, has slowed down and shouldn’t see any big changes for a while. Work is now shifting back to core features, such as sharding the DHT.
In the meantime, the Holo team is getting Elemental Chat ready for Holo hosting. They’ve also enabled the Host Console on all HoloPorts (read on to find out why).
To those brave application developers who took the plunge and started…
This week we decided to deploy Elemental Chat, the first Holochain app to be pushed out to all HoloPorts. This is an exciting week for us, and we hope you, our patient HoloPort owners, have fun with your first hApp!
The Holochain developer documentation has been updated so that everything you read is true and correct for Holochain RSM. We’ve retired the Holochain Redux documentation.
There have been some more breaking changes in the Holochain HDK, with a focus on improving developer ergonomics. …
The big focus of the last couple weeks has been testing Holochain, by way of testing Elemental Chat on HoloPorts. We’ve narrowed down the scenarios where performance decreases, and we’re doubling down on making Holochain work well in those scenarios.
I’ve also got a grab bag of news for developers — tools, promises of tools, and breaking changes in Holochain that should make your life a bit easier.
The first Dev Pulse of the new year is going to be a short one. That’s not because nothing’s happening — in fact, it’s partly because there’s a lot going on, and I need to get back to it. Holochain RSM is growing up, and it’s time for both veteran and new devs to start developing on it. (That means that new developer documentation is coming soon!)
Equipped with the results from our December testing, we’re working on fixes to Elemental Chat and speed improvements to Holochain to support our initial target of at least 500 HoloPort users.