Today’s Update and Testing Status
As of this morning we have over 50 testers who have sent what I estimate are hundreds of messages on nearly 30 channels.
Holochain data-integrity and basic networking are proving to be a complete success in this test.
This is our best live test of Holochain on HoloPorts to date.
Some specific details:
Messages that get sent, are received. If others are online when the message is sent, it can be received nearly instantaneously.
If a user is offline or if their browser is disconnected from their device when others send messages, those are also received, but they take a slower route using Holochain gossip.
These two different paths for transmission are why some users see messages instantaneously and why others may be seeing them after their app has caught up with all the gossip.
Eventual Consistency is the promise of Holochain and that is what we are experiencing. Received messages get placed in the order that they were sent when gossip updates the list.
The user-experience is not perfect. Sometimes the browser disconnects and users lose the message they were writing. This is an app issue, that in our proof of concept we did not code for. It is something that full feature messenger apps can handle easily.
We are learning things that will have us be able to better communicate with other app developers about the intricacies of writing apps on Holochain vs centralised databases. On occasion, it seems like a message disappears, but it always displays again when gossip updates.
We are learning things about HoloPorts - it seems that when we have the HoloPort look for an update, it disconnects the browser session for the chat app. (That means that an active user may get message slower because their app is thought to be inactive, when it isn’t.)
I’ll say it again. This test, for us, is about testing our infrastructure. It is about testing Holochain RSM and it is about testing HoloPorts running Holochain over open networks. We are not trying to build a full-feature messaging app. We are excited that others will do that. Feel free to start with the code in the open-source elemental chat repo.
Overall the test is extremely successful. We have found no blockers to our continued work on Holochain or on Holo. This is fantastic.