Quick Update

Elemental Chat optimization nearly complete + Holochain sharding tests continue

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The work on optimizing Elemental Chat so it can more gracefully handle additional users and messages is nearly complete, and we're now finalizing some UI changes. After that, we'll move the change to our pre-release test, likely early next week. We bumped up against a limitation with Elemental Chat, not because of any Holochain constraints--but rather due to our prototype hApp design. We prioritized quick development over great user experience, and certainly not optimizations for high level use.We're actually really happy with the performance, given that design. We've also invested lots of effort testing Holochain sharding because it is so vital to the integrity of managing the distributed state of an app's DHT. We're doing rigorous tests at multiple layers. Briefly:

- Sharded Gossip: Replaces the "simple gossip" module, should be more efficient for full-sync DHTs, and enables throttling of all gossip to a small amount of bandwidth.

- Multi-Conductor scenario testing: Uses different sharding settings to define data publishing scenarios.

- A "consistency overlord": Tests w/ many nodes across many conductors, all running on one local machine to emulate network behaviors.

- Fixed arc size tests: Normally nodes will slowly adjust the span of held DHT content but for testingwe want to set the size based o scale.

- Organic network growth: We're building longer-running tests to simulate DHTs changing sides as nodes come and go.

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