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Subject: Re: ebXML Core Components Submission Version 1.03

Thanks to Mary Kay Blantz for sharing the new, new Core Components
submission to QRT.   What with all this talk about Representation Types,
I anxiously rushed over to the ebXML Naming Convention for Core
Components Version 1.03 (12 April 2001) to see what was shakin' in
Section 6: List of Representation Types - maybe I'd even find what was
getting Mike Rawlins all hot under the collar.

Even the UN/EDIFACT MDR has bloated definitions in its Section B.5 (List
of representation terms), but if we insist on not using EDIFACT's, then
at least we could work on ebXML's definitions.  Starting with Date, Time
and DateAndTime.

A Date is defined as "A day within a particular calendar year," with a
helpful note referring to ISO 8601. So instead of making up
definitions - "A particular point in the progression of time"!!!??? -
why not simply copy or paraphrase what ISO 8601:2000 says these things
are? Considering these types will be constrained by the expected use of
XML schema datatypes, we might have:

    Date - calendar dates expressed in terms of year, month and day of
               the month in the Gregorian calendar.
    Time - time of the day based upon the 24-hour timekeeping system.
    DateAndTime - combination of date and time.

The Guide on Data Entity Naming Conventions, NIST Special Publication
500-149, Gaithersburg, MD (October 1987), supposedly has definitions for
Representation terms; see http://www.gils.net/naming.html, whence the
following definitions are extracted, for which I don't think I could

Amount - Monetary quantity.
Average - Numeric value representing an arithmetic mean.
Count - Non-monetary numeric value arrived at by counting.
Code - A system of valid symbols that substitute for longer values.
Date - Calendar date.
Measure - A record of the dimensions, capacity/amount (non-monetary) of
an object.
Name - A designation for an object.
Number - A number associated with an object, used as an identifier.
Quantity - Non-monetary numeric value not arrived at by counting.
Rate - A quantity or amount considered in relation to another quantity
or amount.
Text - An unformatted descriptive field.
Time - Time of day or duration.

I notice that "Identifier" is missing from the list, and "Number" isn't
that satisfactory, so how about copying the definition from Section 3 of
ISO/IEC 11179-1?  Thus an Identifier is "A language independent unique
identifier of a data element within a registration authority....  An
unambiguous name for an object within a given context."

One of the terms that I'd like to give the boot to is "Indicator."  Do
we really need Booleans in core components?  - esp. considering that one
of the more misused segments in X12 is the YNQ (Yes/No Question)

But in the end, I guess I'd have to agree with Stuart Campbell that the
Core Components team has a lot more important issues on its plate than
defining terms -  which is all the more reason definitions should just
be copied from somewhere else.

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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