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Subject: RE: More on throwing some context on them codes....

Thanks for the education.  

I appreciate the fact that a vocabulary becomes useless 
when it is extended without constraint.

Are you saying that no vocabulary can be useful unless there
is a context mechanism? 

I am still quite skeptical of that theory at the lowest level
of interactions.   I think there is a stairstep, between the
small, common horizontal business vocabulary that applies in all
contexts, and, the vertical vocabularies which are endless.

What bothers me about ebXML (and EDI) is that I cannot find
that smaller, horizontal layer of words that apply universally,
could be extremely helpful and valuable to individuals smaller
businesses.   Must every word be a complex "object", having 
conditinoal meanings like a chameleon?


-----Original Message-----
From: William J. Kammerer [mailto:wkammerer@foresightcorp.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2001 2:22 PM
To: ebXML Core
Subject: More on throwing some context on them codes....

In 1998, Transaction Set 284 - Commercial Vehicle Safety Reports - was
added to ANSI ASC X12 004020  (Version 4 Release 2) by DM#098198. The
message has something to do with commercial vehicle safety reports.

In order to identify relevant parties to such a report, new codes were
added to D.E. 98 Entity Identifier Code for Co-Driver, Complainant,
Interviewee, Law Enforcement Agency, Towing Agency, Party Performing
Verification, and Victim.  Certainly the folks intending to use this
transaction set had yet other parties in mind, but it stands to reason
that the - by now - mature X12 standard already had existing codes for
things like Repairing Outlet, Inspection Location, and the like.

But somehow these very same codes, perhaps peculiar to American public
highway safety, found their way into enumerations for the XML Common
Business Library's (xCBL) PartyRoleCode as "Co-Driver," "Complainant,"
"Interviewee," "LawEnforcementAgency," "TowingAgency,"
"PartyPerformingVerification," and "Victim"!! See http://www.xcbl.org/.
The same thing repeats itself for enumerations within yet other xCBL
elements: e.g., xCBL's QuantityQualifierCode has "Arrests" and "Lanes" -
introduced with and for transaction 284 - and which most certainly don't
have anything to do with the xCBL's coverage of Direct and Indirect

The point is not to make fun of xCBL, or to pick on my friends at
Commerce One certainly, but to illustrate how a glaring deficiency in
EDI  (maintenance and documentation) may get propagated into ebXML -
viz., the failure to annotate codes with their expected functional
utilization; at a minimum, in this case, of either the subcommittee X12G
(Government) which devised the code, or a general category like "Highway
Safety."  Commerce One could have avoided picking these codes up if
their categories - or "context" - failed to match those desired when
building their schema components.  The result would have been a much
leaner and more maintainable standard, without obviously ridiculous
("arrests"???) codes littering xCBL documentation.

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

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"accelerating time-to-trade"

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