Thursday, 11 February 2016

They're not smart and they're not contracts

I know, I know, they're not smart and they're not contracts. But in the well-known Birch-Pannifer-Parulava model for thinking about shared ledgers from a business perspective (a model that continues to be refined, even as I type), we've stuck with the term "contract" on our 4C layer, more for marketing reasons that anything else (clients like the "4C" model and find it easy to remember).

 Birch-Pannifer-Parulava Four Layer Model

So I’m happy to continue to use the word contract But it does bother people, and I think we need to discuss it.

I think folks know this and that’s why there’s been a subtle effort lately to avoid “contract” and “smart contract” in favor of more use-specific labels like “Distributed Application” or “DAO.”

From Upacking the term ‘Smart Contract’ — Medium

From Upacking the term ‘Smart Contract’ — Medium

I did have an effort to introduce the new term LAPPS (i.e., Ledger APPlicationS) so as to have a simple and natural term, but it doesn't seem have gained much traction. I suppose the whole "smart contract" thing has just become too embedded. But I agree with the author, and others, that it's time to pick up the cudgels and fight a rearguard action before it is too late.

This is probably a good idea. Calling something that is really just an application a ‘contract’ or ‘smart contract’ sends signals you may not want to send. You don’t, for example, want users of your Hello World app to think they’re [entering a legal contract]

From Upacking the term ‘Smart Contract’ — Medium

So. LAPPS it is for the time being.

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