As I’ve talked with people at OSCON, the metaphor of the stock market has emerged as very helpful.   We’ve become so accustomed to documents, custom and form, that we can barely imagine that important dealings can be done without them.  Of course we transact document-free all the time.  At the cash register, for instance.

The stock market is the best paradigm.   A “term sheet” for a trade on an exchange is:

  • Buyer = @acme
  • Seller = @miller
  • Stock = @consolidated_interests
  • Price = $2.23
  • Quant = 1500
  • Time = 2103-07-24:18h23

Seller, Buyer and Stock are “objects.”  This works because there are rules of the stock exchange that point at the transaction, and agreements between the exchange and each party.

We could add one item to this and eliminate the need for the exchange, the rules and the agreements with the parties.

  • Form = @shareTradeFormDoc

The advantage of our data model is that this @shareTradeFormDoc renders into the complete agreement with all the data for the parties, the stock and the price, etc., filled in, for signature.   We can point at other @forms.  And modify the @forms with overrides or other @elements.  So that we get just the document we want, while keeping all the info organized and labeled.  As data that can be automated, reported and managed.