Holochain Forum

Open Space Meeting №1

Hi All,

Holochain Open Space Meeting is a regular monthly virtual meeting to provide an open environment for those interested in Holochain technology to meet each other.

The first session of Open Space Meeting is held at:

Thursday, 10 December 2020 at 15:00 CET (calendar link)

Zoom link

Click here to see Every Time Zone Converter

Facilitators: @Hedayat, @f00bar42

Looking forward to see you,


Hi, My name is Alex Ough and I’m just getting to know the Holochain. One question I have is if the Holochain is suitable to build a data fabric. If you can provide any related information, that will be very appreciated. Thanks!

In data layer Holochain is using DHT(distributed hash table) that is content addressable. Something like torrent if you are familiar with it.

Some core concepts is accessible here: https://developer.holochain.org/docs/concepts/
And the new documentation which will be released soon, provides more deep detail.

You can also participate to today meeting and discuss this topic with others. There might be others with the same interest.

Thank you all for coming to the first meeting of Open Space.

It is the document of questions and chat of the meeting. Looking forward to the next one.

@guillemcordoba I put some more thought in your question about what would be useful in learning holochain.
As I said, having small Rust only toy programs are very interesting, because they are easy to read and only reside in the Rust ecosystem. It has less moving parts, and therefore a bit easier to get working.
I’m currently learning Rust and trying to understand basic concepts like Path, capabilities, …
And having to work only in Rust, relieves me of dealing with the extra complexity of Typescript, Npm, node and setting up related tooling.

But I can imagine that for people who are trying to learn how to build apps with UI’s and want to combine multiple dna’s and learn about the default conductor, this is not what they need.
For those purposes the same tactic might be usefull. Making examples or tutorials in a way that eliminates of minimize the use of Rust, could help people focus on the specific thing they are learning: e.g. writing testscenarios, playing with conductor functionality, …
I’m not sure it is possible, but if you could work with precompiled dna’s, that would relieves some of the complexity of setting up a Rust environment.

I know in the end, to make usefull hApps, it’s necessary to know the full stack. But having typescript only and rust only examples, might lower the barrier for developers to try out holochain.
I know from experience, that having a working toy example, builds confidence and triggers more curiosity. And on the contrary having quick start examples that don’t build or require a lot of set up, discourage beginners.
I think holochain RSM needs to provide solid, reproducible and stable examples if it wants to attract more people.
Case in point: the cmdchatter example worked perfectly, but now 2 weeks after it featured on the newsletter it gives a compile error. I know RSM is still evolving quickly and cmdchatter is from the dev community, but still I’m fearful these things with discourage newcomer and affect holochain’s reputation.

Hi @tixel, thanks for the response! Really helpful.

I see all your points. In this regard, I guess that right now it’s not fair to say that RSM is ready to be tried from a usability standpoint. There are going to be a lot of road bumps and blockers, because that’s the reality of the development stage, and right now I don’t think any tutorials or examples will mitigate that pain. Fortunately, the holochain core dev team is focusing next on usability improvements, which should improve things a lot in that regard.

So, I have two offerings, and feel free to do anything with them. I am bringing forward two separate efforts, and would love to have more people to play with!

  • Holochain Gym: this is very early effort to have very small incremental exercises on holochain RSM that will teach the basic concepts of holochain. Here, it would be immensely useful to have newcomers try the exercises out and give feedback about them, so that we have the best learning experience possible.
  • Holochain Open Dev: these are a collection of open-source holochain modules, both backend and fronted. These are foundational building blocks that are to be used in many applications, but they are in very early development stages. I could offer guidance to them and in general RSM development if you are interested, and this way you don’t need to learn everything at once but can focus on what you’d like to do.

What do you think? Happy to continue the conversation either way :smiley:


@guillemcordoba het holochain gym aligns a lot with the things I’m trying to learn.
I will try it out and document the problems/confusions/questions I encounter along the way. That might be a good starting point to figure out the next steps.

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Hi @guillemcordoba,
I ran through the excercises and I made some notes:

I was fun to work test-driven. I’m convinced that for a certain group of developers, e.g. C#/Java/… back-end developers- this could be an interesting learning path.

Only the last example was too hard to solve. I was missing some context.

As a next step I’m thinking about make similar exercises but starting at the conductor level. It might help if we take developers from the conductor level all the way to the element level so that when they reach the element level they already have a notion of the larger context.

Making a conductor test is a little ambitious for a novice Rustacean, but it has peaked my interest, so I will give it a go. It’s definitely fun to look around in the code to learn more about Rust and Holochain at the same time.

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Hi @tixel, sorry for taking long to answer.

First of all thank you so muuuuuchh!!! This is awesome, and just the kind of thing I need right now, so I would love to continue this feedback and try to see if the direction I’m taking the gym in is adequate or not.

The feedback you’ve given is awesome, although I have one question: were you aware and/or following the elements explanation from the gym website? I don’t think this relationship with the code exercises themselves was clear anywhere, sorry about that.

Hum I understand what you mean about the larger context… Although I worry a bit that writing tests where you interact with the conductor is something that a happ dev won’t have to do basically ever, and wouldn’t be giving actual holochain experience, but more of a core-dev experience. But I admire your courage in going in that direction just for learning and explore :slight_smile:

I want to go from smaller and easier concepts to larger ones, and until I have all of the fundamental ones it could be difficult to begin with the more advanced ones.

Would you be willing to try out this new paths exercise? I tried to make this more close to a happ dev experience and also provide better guidance.

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Hi @guillemcordoba,

I didn’t know about the website, and I also overlooked the fact there was a git branch with the solutions :slight_smile:

Trying to write a conductor test helped me to practice Rust (and Cargo, tokio, …) and learn more about the conductor api and I didn’t need to fight the node/javascript ecosystem.

That said, I noticed that to write meaningful tests for a conductor it quickly becomes complex. And what you said is definitely true: a happ dev doesn’t need this level of complexity or needs to understand the conductor at this level.

I will try out the new exercises and give you some feedback.

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