- Alpha and Beta context
- Publisher Alpha: Clutter, Place, Kizuna
- Updating the Holo Roadmap
- Holochain Roadmap progress across many milestones
Alpha and Beta are terms that get tossed around a lot and every organisation means something slightly different when using them. We have several distinct uses for these terms and we wanted to clarify what they are for both Holochain and Holo.
Holochain Beta: This is the point at which Holochain will have reached a level of feature completeness and also meets the reliability, performance and security criteria that critical apps need. Holochain is currently in Alpha, yet there are parts of the framework that are approaching what we’ve designated as Beta ready. For example, we’ve already begun a series of security reviews for Holochain. Further we’ve outlined in the recently refreshed roadmap the key features that must be in place before we reach the threshold of Beta.
Holo Beta: Holo Beta will come after Holochain Beta because Holo requires the features, reliability and security of the Holochain framework. Holo is also in Alpha and we are currently testing end to end functionality of applications that are configured for hosting in the Publisher Portal app and which are hosted on those HoloPorts which are part of the test network. Holo will continue to build out the three apps that support the Holo network while Holochain finishes the features and reliability hardening that we require for the cloud hosting marketplace to go live. Holo goes live when we pass the Beta threshold. Holo Alpha Programs: Holo has a few other distinctions for Alpha. We have a HoloPort Alpha Program and we also have a Publisher Alpha Program. These programs have come online at different times. The HoloPort Alpha Program is what we kicked off to pay a limited number of hosts for use of their ports during this Alpha stage. Whereas, the Publisher Alpha program is specifically starting with the current Publisher release and it is intended for early adopter partners to test publishing on the network while we continue to add all the necessary features and testing required to cross the Beta threshold.
The Publisher Alpha Program begins with the latest release of the Publish Alpha milestone with partner hApps. As of a few days ago that work has passed QA testing, which means a Holochain app can now be 'published' to the Holo network by Alpha Program Publishers. The apps they publish will be hosted on HoloPorts that are assigned to the Alpha network which will make these apps accessible to end users via a web browser. Most of the applications being hosted are also in a QA or alpha state so depending on how each publisher arranges their testing they may or may not be open to the public.
The Publishers that will be involved in the Publisher Alpha program have generally been part of our larger dev community in some way. At this point we’re being selective about who we’re inviting to publish as they need to be willing to work closely with the Holo dev team to provide feedback and help us improve the experience. The publishers and hosts involved now will continue to be the primary audience for all Holo feature releases until Beta.
You may have noticed that we have stopped talking about Elemental Chat in recent weeks. We have sunsetted the EC app because newer and better apps are ready to be tested on the hosting network. Specifically, several hApps have been tested on the QA network in preparation for this Alpha release including: Kizuna, Place, Clutter, and HoloFuel.
Kizuna is a messaging application that enables completely private messaging between individuals and groups, without a central server. Their team, including Tatsuya Sato, Akira Wakabayashi, and Nicko Pangarungan have been building prototype hApps for several years as they believe that Holochain puts users first because it is agent centric, data secure, and peer-to-peer by design.
Place is a fully distributed recreation of the social experiment created on Reddit in 2017 and 2022. Created by Lightning Rod Labs which is operated by one of our technical Co-founders - Eric Harris-Braun, Place was demoed on a recent video.
Clutter (a group of cats) is a peer to peer twitter-clone built on Holochain. Since the first Holochain hackathon it has been used to demonstrate that massive social applications, like twitter, could be built on a fully distributed framework.
During the QA process we also tested publishing with the alpha version of the HoloFuel app. Holochain apps created by the community as well as those created by Holo dev team were able to be published without issue.
In addition to marking the Publisher Alpha milestone complete (we changed the milestone name for clarity sake from “Publish hApp Pre-release”), we have also made a few other modifications to the Holo roadmap. We replaced the hApp Migration milestone with Holochain Integrity Zomes milestone as that Holochain feature accomplishes the same goal which is to allow for application changes without always ‘forking’ or requiring users to update to a newly created peer network.
We are underway on a large initiative with HoloFuel at the end of which we will have completed several milestones including a release of a version of the HoloFuel app that uses full countersigning and which includes some UX changes from our previous user testing. This initiative will also implement invoicing and payments based on service logs of bandwidth, and enable access to the HoloFuel application by publishers and hosts through the Publisher Portal and Host Console.
We’ve added the Holochain Integrity Zome milestone to the Holochain roadmap as well to acknowledge the important work that was done to split Holochain’s modules or zomes into two types: integrity zomes and coordinator zomes. This work was prioritised for two important reasons: 1) to bring stability to the Holochain Software Development Kit (HDK) and 2) because it allows developers to keep making minor changes without forking their apps.
We received some questions about the HDK 0.1.0 milestone which was focused on in preparation for the Holochain & Rust Developer Education Immersive this summer. The key part of that milestone was completed in time for the immersive, specifically, with the inclusion of the Holochain Integrity Zomes. We’ve pushed the HDK milestone a little into the future because it will be finalised as we complete work on other features leading up to it.
As you can see we’ve also added visibility on the Holochain roadmap for the work that is already completed across a wide variety of milestones. The reality of our Holochain development work is that we are simply not able to work on each milestone completely sequentially. This new view with progress bars enables our stakeholders to see the activity across many areas simultaneously as the core team levels up the codebase and prepares for a Beta release of Holochain.
We look forward to sharing more news about Holochain education opportunities in the near future. Finally, a huge appreciation goes out to all those who participated at DWeb with our team last month. Happy end of summer to those in the north and a warm welcome to spring for our friends on the southern side of the planet.