We're back with an update. Although the blog's been quiet, we've been busy tackling some larger issues related to our company and our mission while keeping our head down making progress on our Rust core app and human interface (HI) design.
Some of the things we've been doing:
- Rust refactor making good progress, thanks to Dev Camp #3
- Are we building a company or an economy?
- Human Interface (HI) design decisions
- What does Holo Alpha release mean for the near-term future of humm?
On the surface, these may not seem intimately linked, but each of these larger topics informs and influences each of the others. The past few weeks have been a time of reflection. A time to take a step back now that we have a more whole understanding of the terrain we find ourselves in. A time to define and hold our long term vision while also not losing track of the step that's right in front of us.
Now to talk about these issues in more detail.
Rust has proven to have a steep learning curve, but with the help of a fantastic Dev Camp held by the Holochain all-star duo of Willem and Connor, we are now elbow deep into refactoring humm core into Rust! We're expecting to be done with the refactor soon and will be moving on to getting the HI finished in preparation for a release on Holo Alpha. More below...
Company or Economy? Choose Your Own Adventure
As part of a longer conversation, we've been discussing business models and organizational models. We're a small privately-funded team wading into this new economic world of the Holochain ecosystem, and we need to find new ways to work and finance a venture like humm.
We're realizing that what we're building is more of an economy than a company, and that we're the stewards of that economy - providing the tools and contextual environment for people to create, interact and thrive.
Just as Holo is building a distributed hosting economy rather than a hosting company, humm is building a creation-based economy rather than a content publishing company. We're tackling some big questions around what that actually means: looking at flows of value within the ecosystem and what a 'currency' might do, given what people want to achieve. We're also considering how we provide the tools that allow people to create freely without a central authority that can shadowban, throttle access or determine who can receive monetary rewards for their creations.
Human Interface Design
Just as we're trying to keep long term goals and possibilities in focus while we take the necessary steps to get there, we're thinking about product design in the same way. Design means keeping the following fundamental questions in mind:
"If humm weren't built on Holochain and no one knew or cared about the underlying technology, would people still use it?"
"What else can we get rid of?"
Humm has to stand on its own. It has to be simple enough, elegant enough, and powerful enough that we would want to use it ourselves. I think we're getting there, mostly through unrelenting editing and simplifying. Anything not necessary is gone. How do we do the most possible with the bare minimum of design? We have lots of big ideas, but they don't belong at the front of the humm timeline.
Our team has decades of experience in online publishing and various content management systems. We have strong opinions on what's good and what's bad when it comes to online publishing software, and we hope that shows when you get to use our hApps. We're not going to say the alpha release will be unlike anything you've ever used before, but we hope you'll say that yourself once we get further down the road(map).
Holo Alpha Release - What does it all mean?
While wrestling with economic models, business structures, coding, and design, the Holochain & Holo ecosystem continues to develop and with the Holo Alpha release, we now know a lot more than we did a week ago.
Most importantly for us at humm, we know that Holo is almost live and the hApp Store is coming, along with our access to the Holo World.
We're really focused on building the leanest possible version of humm in as short a time frame as possible so we can get it out to users in the Alpha hApp Store! So the first release of humm will be a simple blog publishing app allowing people to write, publish content, read and comment on others' content.
We're getting closer every day, and we can't wait for you to see it!