Atomic Commits: Concepts


The smallest possible piece of a state change. A Commit describes how an Resource should be updated. The required fields are:

  • subject - the Resource that the Commit is providing information about. (must be a URI to an Atomic Resource)
  • author - The Atomic URL of the Actor's profile - which in turn should contain a publicKey.
  • signature - A SHA-256 hash of the JSON-serialized Commit (without the signature field), signed by the actor's privateKey. This proves that the author is indeed the one who created this exact commit. The signature of the Commit is also used as the identifier of the commit.
  • created_at - A UNIX timestamp of when the commit was created.

The optional method fields describe how the data should be changed:

  • set - a Nested Resource which contains all the new or edited fields.
  • remove - an array of Properties that need to be removed (including their values).
  • destroy - whether the Resource needs to be removed

Serialization with JSON

Let's look at an example Commit:

  "subject": "",
  "created_at": 1601239744,
  "author": "",
  "set": {
    "": "my new resource description"
  "remove": [""],
  "destroy": false,
  "signature": "24c7d4b3c1b6b5f924243d67dbfc33fb680b5d3e2a77614cebe03c4a2840d29a"

This Commit can be sent to any Atomic Server. This server, in turn, should verify the signature and the author's rights before the server applies the Commit.

Applying a commit

An example implementation can be viewed in Atomic-Lib (WIP).


A Ledger is an (append-only) log of Commits.

  • Commits (required, ResourceArray) - A list of all the Commits, from old to new.