Hey everyone – Thanks for the responses to my article. It took a while for this thread to work its way over to me, but here I am… and I’ll make sure to monitor the Forum more closely in the future.
Responding here to the a few of the comments above…
First to @brooks:
I have done my best to present a fair analysis; it’s not my intention to “badmouth” another project at all, let alone unfairly. At the same time, I do believe it’s important that people have the opportunity to understand how Holochain is different from blockchain projects. I don’t believe it’s possible to educate about Holochain thoroughly without pointing to some of the limitations of blockchain projects. This is why we are embarking on this #AHolochainPerspective series, which is scheduled to continue for at least another few articles.
That being said, I do think an edit is warranted in the article in order to clarify the matter about transaction wait times on Cardano. It’s true that “users have recently reported transaction wait times on Cardano ranging from 1 to 18 hours”, as the discussion behind the link shows. But it’s also true that there may have been reasons for these wait times unrelated to the network itself. Part of the process of writing this article was to integrate input from various Holochain team members. One of my takeaways from receiving some critical feedback on this piece is that I need to more thoroughly consider the suggestions I’m receiving before finalizing their inclusion, or at least their languaging, in the article.
The only other specific critique I see in the Reddit thread you linked to is about use of the word “substantial” to describe Cardano’s gas fees. As far as I know it’s unclear exactly what Cardano’s gas fees will be once their network is up and running at scale. “Substantial” was a word designed to cover a broad range of possible costs, basically anything that adds up to a meaningful expense if anyone is doing a lot of transactions. One user on the Reddit thread said that 25 cents is not substantial, but if that kind of fee applied to every post, comment, like, share, etc in a social media platform, that absolutely would be substantial. Even for financial transacting that amount sounds quite substantial to me, especially if we want crypto to be versatile enough to use for small payments around the world.
By the way, I actually do like Cardano, and I hold ADA. I believe it’s a better blockchain protocol in a lot of ways. And I also think it’s not a stretch to say that the potential of blockchain, while substantial, is basically limited to low-throughput applications like financial services, with live-collaboration and media-intensive applications likely to remain always out of reach (unless decentralization is substantially compromised). Holochain does not have such limitations, or at least is far less limited by orders of magnitudes. That’s a story that needs to be told… especially because, to the unfamiliar, even the word ‘Holochain’ sounds like another blockchain project.
I am curious if there’s anything else about the article you “don’t like”. If it’s just the fact that we’re pointing to the limitations of another project, I don’t really see us changing that approach any time soon. But if there’s something further about the way I’ve done so, I’m interested to know more.
Now to @ddd-mtl:
Re “instant” latency: we considered a number of word choices here, and I do stand by this one as a fitting word. That’s because you actually do write to your own source chain immediately, and that’s actually what matters because your source chain is the definitive source of information on the matter. There is nothing else that happens, really, that could be considered something you are “waiting” for before transacting again based on your new account balance. The transaction does not need to be validated by the network. As soon as you write your transaction to your source chain, your balance is updated such that someone else may transact with you (by verifying your account balance themselves).
Re live video streaming: this is something I’ve spoken about with @artbrock on numerous occasions, including in my research for this article. He reports having seen live video streaming with latency of around one minute, which is suitable, and that was on Holochain’s prototype, which was thousands of times slower than the current version. (Note that we do not say “instant” here… it’s reasonable to expect a bit of latency in video streaming, in both centralized and decentralized environments.)
Re large media applications: again, my understanding is that, actually, you can. I’ve spoken with Art extensively about this as well. What suggests to you that “you cannot rely on Holochain alone” for large-media applications?
It’s essential to me that Holochain communicate with rigorous integrity to the absolute best of its ability, and it’s doubly essential to me that I do. I appreciate the checks and balances showing up here in the community, and it’s causing me to look at how I can improve my processes. At the same time, drawing a comparison between Holochain and blockchain projects – including pointing out the limitations of the latter – does not itself constitute unrigorous communication, in my view.