The final quarter of the 2010’s has been an eventful one for the Accord Project. See what Accord Project accomplished just in time for the new decade.
Ergo and Cicero version 0.20
In November of this year, we released Ergo and Cicero version 0.20. This was one of the most substantial updates in the history of the Accord Project.
In this update, we fully redesigned the Accord Project template syntax, for flexibility and expressiveness. The new syntax is called CiceroMark and v0.20 ships with a brand new template library which includes all previously published Accord Project templates as well as new templates which take advantage of the new CiceroMark capabilities.
The CiceroMark syntax enables many powerful new features such as:
- The ability to render templates in rich text
- Template expressions to handle variables, conditional text, lists, clauses, and more
- Ergo expressions within your template text to dynamically generate text and lists
Templates built on Cicero v0.13 will need to be migrated to v0.20 to take advantage of the new functionality and be compatible with the latest Accord Project tools. Follow this migration guide to migrate your template to v0.20.
New and Improved Documentation
This quarter, with the help of Accord Project intern Katie Sa, the Accord Project documentation has been rewritten and reorganized. The new documentation not only documents all the new features available in v0.20, but also includes new sections to make it more comprehensive for developers and more accessible to non-developers such as business owners and lawyers.
Please feel free to contribute or suggest ways to improve our tech docs.
In addition to the new Cicero release, the Accord Project has taken ownership of the Concerto Modeling Language from Hyperledger, and developed a new library for markdown transformations, both of which power Cicero v0.20.
Concerto enables the content of machine-readable and smart agreements to be modeled in a technology-agnostic manner. Concerto models can be used to define concepts, transactions, assets, and participants for agreements.
The Concerto language is widely extensible; supporting new class declarations and reuse of models across namespaces that are used across different smart legal contract templates. For example, an intellectual property assignment template may utilize a model for defining a patent.
Cicero utilizes Concerto to express variables in natural language that may be bound to Ergo logic.
Acquiring Concerto affords the Accord Project greater control in adding functionality to templates. Stay tuned to see how Concerto develops under the Accord Project banner.
One part of the Markdown Transform is the CiceroMark DOM, which extends the CommonMark DOM, defining nodes for Clause, Variable and ComputedVariable. These are crucial to support templates within markdown. CiceroMark also enables templates to have formatting such as bold, italics, and lists.
Some of the most recent improvements we’ve made to the markdown transform are support for images and improved support for hard and soft linebreaks to give drafters greater control of how their smart contracts are formatted.
Markdown Editor + Cicero UI
To support the update of Ergo and Cicero v0.20 in user interface, both Cicero UI and subsequently the markdown editor have been improved to support markdown rich text and have an inline hyperlink editor. More general improvements are consistently being made to refine history actions in the editor, copy or cut and paste, as well as clause template specific actions such as parsing.
These two repositories are a great place to get started contributing on the front end!
Our First Hacktoberfest
This October, Accord Project participated in Hacktoberfest, a month-long celebration of open-source software (OSS). During Hacktoberfest, developers are encouraged to contribute to open-source software and are rewarded with shirts, stickers, and other swag for their efforts.
This year’s results have been incredible. We had over 210 successfully merged pull requests from over 80 contributors in the community. Over 15% of these contributions were of higher difficulty levels, and over 40 contributors qualified for our Accord Project + Hacktoberfest T-Shirts.
Substantial progress was made in many Accord Project code repositories during the event. Performance increases, bug fixes, accessibility compliance, internal testing, features, and documentation have all been greatly enhanced.
- Improving error processing by memoizing errors in objects (Ph0tonic & flagoon)
- Smooth scrolling to headers and clause templates (archhhh)
- Enhanced usability of our markdown editor (husseyexplores & qualitymanifest)
- Tooltips for hyperlinks (ahmedkrmn & sahalsaad)
Thank you to everyone who contributed! Don’t forget that contributions to the Accord Project are welcome during every month of the year, not just “Hacktober”! Keep the momentum and contribute to the Accord Project and join us on slack!
New Chairperson of Technology Working Group
Jerome Simeon has been appointed the new chairperson of the Technology Working Group, taking over the role from Dan Selman.
Dan said, “After two years of incredible progress for Accord Project (now over 3,000 people!) I’m thrilled to be passing the torch to Jerome. Jerome has been a core maintainer of the project from the outset, and led the successful delivery of Cicero v0.20. I will remain closely involved, and look forward to contributing to the ambitious plans for Cicero v1.0.”
The Technology Working Group meets every Wednesday at 4:00 PM Eastern Time (US).
As the decade comes to an end, we can’t help but be excited for how the Accord Project will expand and improve in the 2020’s. Until then, we wish everyone a joyous and merry holiday season. Together we can define the future of contracts!
If you have any questions or would like to get further involved, please contact the Accord Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.