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Subject: Re: core components analysis, incl. Units of Measure

Hartmut Hermes asked, tentatively, whether "we should use the Oxford
English spelling to avoid discrepancies and misunderstandings?"  Perhaps
he brought this up because of Duane Nickull's example XML snippet
identifying the country of a product's origin:

        <produit xml:lang="FR">Potage de boeuf</produit>

I don't know what will be expected to go over the wire, but I suggested
to Duane that the country of origin should eventually resolve to an ISO
3166-1 country code so that anyone in the world can unambiguously
interpret it. Perhaps an exporter in Belgium will use a schema type with
a name like <produit_de_Belgique>; as long as the information can be
normalized mechanically to whatever core component signifies "Country of
Origin" with a value of "BE" upon receipt, then the receiver can
unambiguously interpret it.  How this is to be done with schemas and
types and geegaws and registries and repositories is beyond me.

The names and descriptions of the core components themselves in the
Reg/Rep would probably be in English, as would all of the specifications
for ebXML.  There is no requirement anywhere that this "Oxford English"
spelling be used.  Section 2.3, Globalization, of the ebXML Requirements
Specification Version 1.0 of 12 May 2000 simply states "To simplify
development efforts, all work shall use English."

Having resolved the dictionary conundrum, let's move on to a serious
faux pas I made last Friday.  See the last paragraph in
http://lists.ebxml.org/archives/ebxml-core/200012/msg00019.html.  The
exponent in X12's C001 is that of the unit of measure itself, not of the
scaling factor of the value.  So an exponent of 2 used with the unit of
measure (D.E. 355) for meter ("MR") would simply mean "square meter."
Another field of the C001 - the Multiplier - is the scaling factor for
the value (or is it the unit?).

In any event, I just wanted an easy way to manufacture new units of
measure from the existing ones: e.g., some way to specify "meter" and
add the scaling factor exponent of 3 (log base 10 of 1000) to come up
with kilometer.  Or something like that.  Maybe someone who is
mathematically literate can examine what Frank Olken and John McCarthy,
both of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have done in this area;
see "What XML Schema Designers Need to Know About Measurement Units,"
presented at the GCA XTech 2000 last February, at

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
+1 614 791-1600

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
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