Quick Update - Jan the 7th, 2021

Today’s Update

Happy New Year!

Now that we’ve had a few days to reintegrate after the holidays, we’re experiencing Elemental Chat continuing to work with our community testers. As with the tests in December, we still see the eventual consistency that gossip in Holochain promises.

This test of Holochain networking has been very successful - and by that I mean that we are learning a lot about how we can continue to make Holochain RSM, the Holo infrastructure and distributed apps built on those even better.

In particular one of the things we have discovered is that over time and with continued use, the gossip between nodes continues to grow and eventually it becomes large enough that we may be hitting our provider’s bandwidth limits on our (temporarily centralized) proxy server. This leads to dropped packets effecting the length of time it takes for gossip to update such that nodes have eventual consistency, and reducing the percentage of immediate messages received through direct signals - thereby slowing down the chat experience. We have several solutions for these issues planned a bit later in our roadmap, but the dev teams are approaching this challenge in a few ways in the short term also.

  1. We’re experimenting with different server infrastructure for the proxy server
  2. We’re removing old versions of Elemental Chat apps (and their related gossip/bandwidth) from the proxy server
  3. We are abstracting out a few settings for networking/gossip configuration so we can do minor adjustments easily
  4. We’re limiting extremely large chat messages in Elemental Chat
  5. We’re prioritising TryCP development so that we can do automated tests with 500+ nodes
  6. We may also test decentralizing the proxy by making multiple proxy nodes.

After we have completed our testing over the next week we’re hoping to be able to predict how many nodes we can support during this release of Elemental Chat.

The Holochain team has also been working on many usability improvements for Holochain RSM that make it easier to use by the devs who are creating applications on Holochain today. An active community of ecosystem devs are pulling on the team and we’re figuring out how to balance our progress while simultaneously supporting them.

The Holo team is also finishing up the required work to make Elemental Chat a fully hosted hApp - meaning available for regular web users. We will still have some scaling issues for that release as a result of the maturity level of networking, but we expect to be in QA for that by the end of January.

A big thanks goes out to our community testers who are already back in gear and giving us valuable feedback this week.