Feeling a Little Rusty: DevCamp, Comments, and Rust Updates

There have been a lot of developments in the past week in the larger Holochain community that we have had to digest and internalize here at humm.

Rust: A brand new Holochain?

We have been waiting excitedly for the release of the Rust refactor of Holochain so we could refactor our code base, and then add to it without increasing our future work every time we write a new line of code in the old Go-based Holochain. For the past couple of weeks we've prioritized work that would not add to our Go code base, while planning to jump straight into refactoring humm as soon as the Rust version was released.

Well, the new release of Holochain Rust is here in the form of a developer preview pre-alpha release, and we are essentially still waiting to refactor. Without a network layer or full functionality, we've decided to move back to our original development strategy: building with the tools we currently have, and then refactoring whenever a fully usable Rust Holochain is released. Here's hoping it's soon! We know the Holo core team are working their butts off to get this done, and what we've seen from the developer preview has been very encouraging so far.

In the meantime, DevCamp!

As part of our strategy to get prepared as possible for the Rust refactor, our engineers attended the online bootcamp this past weekend and learned quite a bit. Even though they didn't get a lot of working time with Rust, they did get some great of experience and guidance in a few areas.

Here are some things our engineers learned this past weekend:

  • ReactJS and Holochain go together like peas and carrots. This is what future builds of humm and humm components will be built using. We have been developing our proof of concepts with vanilla Javascript to speed up the development process but finally using these three together made us realize how awesome they are.
  • Learned more technical details about the Holochain API and the testing tools available for it.
  • Used Holochain Rust for the first time but wished it was the main focus of the DevCamp.

Plans for the future: So much to discuss

The non-engineering part of our team have spent a large part of this week working on increasing the depth and detail of our larger mission and goals, and thinking about how that practically translates to code and user experience.

We've been asking: how do we create a publishing ecosystem that values free speech, nonconformity and sovereignty, while also encouraging positive interaction feedback loops?

The beauty and power of an agent-centric design perspective really shines through when discussing the intersection of individual sovereignty and group health.

"Fractal sovereignty" is a term we've been discussing a lot, while working through the implications of making each holon sovereign in its own level of a nested hierarchy.

This has triggered interesting design discussions, like spending hours rethinking a basic building block of the publishing ecosystem...

Rethinking comments

We have lots of ideas about how we can make blog comments better by combining some of the "old tech" of internet discussions, such as message boards, and combining them with the user level point of view controls that agent-centricity allows. Our goal is to enable the exact reading experience and moderating experience that a reader and publisher desire, while preserving the integrity of open discussion. Our vision is that people can have meaningful conversations without fear of a single editorial decision wiping that discussion from existence.

Practically, we'll be rolling out increasing levels of comment functionality on this blog over the next several months. The first milestone will simply be launching normal timestamp-ordered comments. This is the focus of our current engineering sprint, scheduled to go live in 2 weeks time. We're very excited to facilitate discussion in this space - powered by Holochain.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week.


  • Mushin 2 years ago

    Thank you for this. Interesting to get insight into how your project is doing. BTW: I read without login > wanted to comment > was requested to login > filled in the form > was referred back to the homepage; so needed to open the post again, scroll down and then comment.

  • Boyan humm team 2 years ago

    Hi @Mushin. It's great to see you here! Thanks for the feedback. One of the reason it's important having users testing Humm is that this helps us make it more user friendly with each update.

  • forcize humm team 2 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback Mushin! Just like Boyan expressed we are looking forward to make the process as easy as possible so please look for our future updates!