October Update


It's been a while... We have been making amazing strides on humm. We've been busy behind the scenes and have been committing lots of code, and design, and community outreach, and testing.

In this post I will cover our strategy adjustment to building our app using a Mongo backend while we wait for Holochain and Holo to be completed, a sneak peek at our current UI, and what to expect from here.

Building a Bridge to Our Holochain Future - Our Test Database

It became clear that to continue to make progress on our app we needed to build a centralized database while giving the Holochain team more time to work on their platform. We have been making continuous progress this whole year, and a few months ago, we were at a point where we wanted to test our design assumptions and needed to be able to get humm into people's hands to get feedback from our community.

To accomplish this while giving Holochain more time to mature we decided to build a database using MongoDB, which has a very similar data storage pattern to how data is formatted in Holochain. We like to think of our Mongo database feeding a GraphQL API as a bridge that allows us to keep developing while allowing us to switch to a Holochain data storage layer as soon as possible. This will keep us in alignment with how we think about storing and retrieving data in both our short term product and our long term Holochain future.

Patterns & Technology

We are interested in drawing the patterns that honor human sovereignty. While the tools we need to fully embody our vision may not be available right now, we are continuing to design and build the patterns using existing technologies as they become available. We believe deeply that Holochain will enable an ecosystem of technologies that brings the world we want to live in into fruition. We are aligning both the product we are building, and the technologies we are building it with, with the clearest and most direct path to be fully distributed.

We are adjusting as we go and are walking along a centralized bridge while building and testing the patterns that are the most important part of the design process.

We can essentially build our API using GraphQL to power our application's human experience and use any backend we want. We will switch from Mongo to Holochain as soon as it makes sense.

Internal Alpha Testing

Building our application in this manner has allowed us to quickly get to an internal Alpha, which started in September. We are really excited to be using humm we've been dreaming of for so long and we are really grateful for the flexibility that GraphQL allows.

We have been able to work through lots of bugs and do some initial rounds of improvements in the human interface design. We are currently on phase 2 of internal testing; we are working through closing some loops in the human experience and going through all the fine details like error messages, button animations, page transitions, handling edge cases and cross-browser compatibility, and making sure our text editor is delightfully unlike anything you've used before.

A preview of a story being created in humm editor:

A preview of humm editor in action with a contextual sidenote link & the content card selector:

Don't worry... In my next post, I will be diving more into the two features you see in the screenshot above.

We are planning on spending the next few weeks to continue this process and get to our basic set of features (write, publish, discover, read, join creator's memberships, and view a stream of all the creators you are a member of) before starting to invite the first wave of public testers.

What to Expect From Here

We are resuming regular updates here on the humm blog, and you should expect frequent recaps of what we're accomplishing along with deeper dives into individual features we have built and how we are approaching building real solutions to problems.

We will be inviting more and more creators to use humm in our upcoming waves of alpha, so if you are a writer then reach out to us and we'll get you on the list.