Aral Balkan

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Hypha: Glossary

This is a work-in-progress glossary of terms for Hypha.

Term Description
Hypha A small technology peer web platform (work-in-progress) that provides individual sovereignty over those aspects of your self that you choose to express digitally and a means of communicating with others on your own terms without third-party mediators or filters. Hypha is free software and peer to peer. It aims to create a bridge from the centralised web to the peer web. Hypha is based on the Dat ecosystem.
Small Technology Technology created by organisations for which exponential growth and making a billion dollars or “becoming a unicorn” is a failure state. Technology designed for individuals that respects, protects, and strengthens the integrity and dignity of the person and thus provides the basis for a healthy commons. Technology designed to further social justice.
A hypha A single database that replicates according to the protocols of the Hypha platform. A hypha is addressed on the centralised Web by a domain name and on the peer Web by its hyphalink.
Node A node within a hypha is any location that replicates that particular hypha.
Initialised node A node that has a local copy of a hypha set up (even if it has not replicated yet).
Uninitialised node A node that does not have a local copy of a hypha set up yet.
Passphrase A secret Diceware phrase generated with a process that has at least 100 bits of entropy. All key material used in a hypha, including the hyphalink, are generated from this passphrase. The passphrase is never stored anywhere (people are highly encouraged to store it in their password managers).
Domain A centralised ICAAN domain that points to the Relay Node.
The Forever Node ∞ An unprivileged always-on node that can either be hosted first-party or (more commonly) by an untrusted third-party. The Forever Node: a) provides distribution of the latest Hypha source to browser nodes (and perhaps, later, native nodes), b) acts as a bridge between the centralised web and the peer web by i) providing findability, ii) bridging replication between browser and native nodes, c) provides signalling etc. (e.g., for WebRTC), and d) provides availability. The domain points to the relay node.
Hyphalink An Ed25519 public key that uniquely identifies a Hypha. A discovery key generated from this key is used with Hyperswarm to provide peer-to-peer findability for hyphas.
Authorised node An initialised node that has write privileges for a hypha.
Unauthorised node An initialised node that has read-only access for a hypha.
Signed-in node An authorised node with an unlocked local writer.
Signed-out node An authorised node with a locked local writer.
Origin node The initial database that’s created for a hypha. The only purpose of the origin node is the authorise the first writer.
Writer Any node with write privileges. Synonymous with authorised node.
Reader Any node with real-only privileges. Synonymous with unauthorised node.