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ADR 0017: ParaTime Application Standard Proposal Process




  • 2022-10-05: Initial version
  • 2022-10-12: Accepted




Applications running within a ParaTime having a novel runtime environment (e.g., Sapphire, Cipher) benefit from interoperability standards. For example, ERCs in Ethereum. ADRs are already present in the Oasis ecosystem and so are a starting point, but these are intended for lightweight recording of decisions, not gathering consensus around community contributions. This ADR proposes a template and process amendment for ADRs introducing ParaTime-specific application standards.


ADRs will be used for application standards because they are already well supported within the Oasis ecosystem, and have most of the structure needed for application standards. Although adapting another project's process would be easy, having multiple proposal repositories could lead to confusion.

For use with application standards, ADRs shall have more structure to make contributions fair and straightforward. Specifically, additional required sections and concrete requirements for acceptance.

Although community standards are only proposals, the Decision section will keep its name for compatibility with the existing template. The decision in this context will be to accept the standard for distribution to a wider audience.

Naming Conventions

App standard ADRs shall be referred to as ADR-<number> regardless of the targeted ParaTime.

Changes to the ADR template

  • add a new Apps component, which has the ParaTime as its sub-component

New Section Requirements

Decision: Specification & Reference Implementation

The Decision section gets two new sub-sections:

Specification: A complete description of the interface of the standard, including the threat/trust model, rationale for design decisions, alternative approaches, and references to related work. This section will generally be mostly prose with sprinkles of code for illustration.

Reference Implementation: A basic implementation of the proposed standard written in a common language that targets the ParaTime runtime environment. The reference implementation in the ADR should be executable.

Security Considerations

This new section details any weak points of the proposal or common security flaws that a re-implementation of the specification may run into, as well as suggestions for avoiding security issues.

Acceptance Requirements

Like all ADRs, an Apps component ADR will start as Proposed and end up merged once Accepted. An application standard ADR following the above format will be accepted once:

  • there is consensus within the ParaTime's own community that the standard meets its design goals
  • there are no outstanding compatibility or security issues
  • an ADR repo committer has signed off on the structure and format of the ADR


One alternative is to fit the ParaTime-specific application standard proposals into the existing ADR template, but this would cause the Decision section to become overloaded with the necessary information in an ad-hoc way.

Another alternative is to encourage ParaTimes to do whatever they think most effective. That's always allowed, of course, and it may sometimes be useful to wholesale copy the best practices of another community. However, if we make the ADR process convenient enough, the community can focus its collective effort on the single ADR repo.

Within the chosen decision, there were many choices of structure from the now several EIP-like repos. The ones chosen were the minimum we need to get going, in the spirit of the lightweight ADR process. If more structure is needed in the future, we can amend this process or switch to a new system entirely, at which point this ADR shall be marked as Superseded.



  • The community has a rallying point for standard development.
  • We can reuse existing process.


  • The app standard process might still not be ideal even after this proposal.
  • ADR-NNN naming convention is not forwards compatible.


  • We will need to maintain additional ADR process going forward.