Our Terminology

This page is an ongoing work-in-progress.

Access grant

Permits the ability to perform a certain action related to certain objects or resources.


A Holochain hApp that is built using the Applet Module Interface provided by Neighbourhoods framework, that is also employing reusable UI assessment widgets following the standards provided by the framework.

Applets are installed in the Neighbourhoods Launcher so that they can be enabled and composed by community activators into neighbourhoods.

An example applet is available here.


An assessment is a thoughtful evaluation of a resource, along a specified dimension.

Agents can assess resources on any of its input dimensions, resulting in a input assessment. Assessment entries are stored as links or anchors from the resource's entry hash with the dimension as a tag.

Assessment control

The UI component used for making assessments.

There is a set of assessment controls provided by Neighbourhoods, but any applet developer can also create their own, following the Neighbourhoods framework.

Assessment tray

A collection of assessment controls displayed next to a resource.

Assessment tray config

Details which assessment controls are mapped to which dimension and in what order.


A badge is a distinction added to a member which modifies the value of their reactions towards computing a score.

Community activator

Community activators are the real creators of Neighbourhoods. Whether a single leader or a DAO-like group acting in concert, community activators create sets of generic tools to pair with intentional design of reputation and culture. Community activators and whole Neighbourhoods benefit from data portability across the distributed web by deciding to bridge to other Neighbourhoods.

In all likelihood, community activators seek technical tools to promote group coordination, resource sharing, and advancement of common interests in communities.

Community Activation Wizard

A tool available inside the Neighbourhoods Launcher to enable community activators to create and change social configurations for a neighbourhood.

Access to the Wizard is determined by the Community Activator role.

Other members have access to the Sensemaker Dashboard, enabling them to inspect and interact with the social configuration for any neighbourhoods they are members of.

The current implementation of the Wizard consists in a link from the Dashboard that enables changing the assessment widget for each dimension defined for each resource provided by the applet.

In a future implementation, it will allow defining dimensions and assessment widgets and customising every aspect of the applet social sense-making interactions.

Cultural Context

Outdated; see instead list configuration.

A cultural context serves to group and display resources of a certain type, while defining a set of thresholds for filtering and ordering them.


See Sensemaker Dashboard.

Data Set

A data set is a list of assessments, as hashes. Methods are applied to data sets to return objective assessments, which means publishing a data set as a validation package, or for audit, can increase trust in a given neighbourhood.

Data external to holochain can also be grouped into a data set for later processing within a neighbourhood.


A named range along which assessments can be placed. Used to organize assessments into meaningful slices.


Any software groups use to connect with each other, share information, ideas, memories, and goods, and coordinate their actions.

In any given neighbourhood, groupware applets are lightweight Holochain hApps.


Currently an identity is equivalent to a Holochain agent identity. It is unique per device, but this must change in the near future.

Input Dimension

An input dimension is a judgeable quality or character of an entry, expressed as a value in a agent-defined range. It is judged by an agent. Examples include 5-star ratings, upvote/downvotes, and 60 mark scales.


This is an entry point application for any neighbourhood, where users can:

  • Create and access their personal Profiles

  • Search and join existing neighbourhoods

  • Create new neighbourhoods and configure them

  • Add applets to a neighbourhood and configure them

  • Invite more members and interact with them using applets

  • Inspect the Sensemaker Dashboard, gaining cultural insights for the neighbourhood


A template to compose resources, their views, their assessment controls, and other attached objects.

List view

A template for defining how resource views are laid out. Requires a list configuration.

List configuration


which are used in association with a list view. Previously, this was a cultural context.

Member/ membership

  1. A member is someone who uses a specific neighbourhood.

  2. Membership is the trait of being a member in a neighbourhood, particularly one which has admissions criteria (such as requiring credentials).


A method is an algorithm for computing an output assessment along a certain dimension for a resource, using assessments from other dimensions of the resource as inputs.

Navigation allows moving between pages in a culturally / community / goal / workflow sensitive way. By default, this is a list of pages created in a space.


A neighbourhood is a social context that consists of a network of agents who use Sensemaker and one or more Sensemaker-compatible applets with each other.

Neighbourhoods Framework

The framework is an architecture made available via the Neighbourhoods Launcher for Applet developers, that defines how Applets should be build and what extra features are available to them. It currently includes:

  • Applet Module Interface: and interface that must be implemented by all Applets explaining how to render their resources, contexts and assessments

  • Assessment controls: an applet may or may not define brand new assessment controls that can be packaged with their applet

  • Configuration file: A standard file format for describing the Social Configuration for that applet

  • Resource views: A standard way to specify generic resource views for each of the applet defined resources.

Output Dimension

An output dimension is a measurable quality or character of an entry, measured by an agent-defined Method. Examples include upvote ratios, mean ratings, and numbers of likes.


When defining a list configuration, one can specify the order in which resources will be displayed.


A way of interacting with resources in a space.


A reaction is a colloquial way of talking about an assessment on a subjective dimension.


A resource is a data/media item (entry) which users can make sense upon.

Resource filter

When defining a list configuration, one can specify which resource schemas can be seen in the list.

Resource view

OLD: This UI element specifies a generic way for how a specific resource is rendered inside the applet and within the Sensemaker Dashboard.

An applet must define at least one resource view.

NEW: Views can be bundled with a schema, in order to bootstrap the use the object. In a sense they are like miniature tools for creating and displaying objects that conform to a particular schema.


A role defines a type of member, determining their access to cultural contexts within a neighbourhood, and their rights within those contexts.


A definition of the potential shape and kinds of values a resource can have. This will be specified in JSON-LD or RDF.


Scoring is either of the following: 1. The order in which resources are shown in a cultural context. 2. The algorithm that determines how visible something is.


The main engine for calculating social computations in neighbourhoods, taking as inputs the social configuration created by the community activator and the many assessments produced by community members, and as outputs, scoring resources according to the defined cultural contexts.

The sensemaker is an internal holochain hApp that is part of the Neighbourhoods framework and made available for applet developers via interaction with the Launcher.

Sensemaker Dashboard

The Dashboard resides in the Launcher and is available to any neighbourhoods member to allow inspection and interaction with the social configuration, by viewing assessments made by other members on any resources mapped by the configuration, switching from existing cultural contexts, and also running existing methods manually (if they have permission to do so).

Each resource is displayed on the Dashboard according to the generic resource view defined by the applet.

Social Configuration

Configuration is an essential part of any Neighbourhoods applet. It is a file that defines the modes of social sense-making vis-a-vis the resources, dimensions and cultural contexts applicable to the functionality of an applet.

These can either be created (1) directly on the applet code or (2 - future) using the Community Activation Wizard provided by the Neighbourhoods Launcher.

Social sense-making

Social sense-making is social in two ways. First, it is about the social world. It is a process of orienting to people, spaces, scenarios, and representations. For this orientation to occur, the latter need to be defined in some way. Second, it is a social process, which is to say, articulable and/or visible between members of a social group. Individuals use their goals, aims, and desires, conscious or not, to make sense of the social world on their own. For social sense-making to be a group rather than an individual activity, the group must an have apparent, articulable set of common interests, goals, or values. Therefore, when groups pursue sense-making as a common activity, these interests, goals, and values are cultivated, becoming more refined and more actionable in the process.


Spaces organize resources and people around a purpose, enabling them to work with resources more fluidly. Spaces also mediate access to resources and people within the space.


A threshold is a value criterion in a given output dimension or input dimension, to enable resource filtering in a list view.

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