Subject: Re: Bizcodes - was (Re: SubmissionPackage DTD)
Message text written by Jon Bosak >But why can't we just register "persona" or something like that? What is it about a nonsense string that makes it easier to register? Consider: price ebxml:pretium ebxml:109384 date ebxml:dies ebxml:799421 size ebxml:mensura ebxml:796593 weight ebxml:pondus ebxml:996324 address ebxml:locus ebxml:582010 What makes the codes in the third column easier to register than the ones in the second column? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< OK John, this is at the heart of EDI over the years. I've been calling this 'folding'. EDI spent a great deal of time creating folding. What we need to do is balance the right mix of folding, with open usability. Folding means taking lots of different industry use and folding their separate definitions into one coherent model. 850 Purchase Order is the classic case. We really need selective 'unfolding', as folding is too restrictive. Now - if you call something 'price' it invokes all kinds of knee-jerk stuff from people - is it tax paid, invoice, net, dealer, and so on!? Is my price the same as your price? It's better to go with a neutral code, that avoids all these issues - and then people look at the exact detailed description in the repository to determine if this 'price' really is the one they want to associate and use. Now the third column codes are easier to assign as they are simple sequences, and also they can indicate groups. 0003, 0004, 0005, gives me a hint that these normally travel around together (say as the fields in an address). Hybrids of course are possible - but my experience is that it is best to avoid meaningful names - becuase CONTEXT is everything. Obviously Address is a classic example - is it Billing, or Shipping address? I'm not saying this is a perfect world - experience has shown however that this is an excellent functional compromise - to use exact neutral codes to determine semantic definition, and then use human readable terms for the context of the use. I hope this is clearer! I'm also planning to show specific examples next week using the Bizcode DTD, that I have in draft right now. Always easier to see specifics. During the EDI/XML working group we did two years ago with DISA X12, we reviewed the EDI code and element tables - when you look at how these are organized the 'fit' becomes obvious. Also UDEF has studied the USGov information dictionaries, and again concluded that the best approach is neutral codes. Thanks for persisting with the obvious questions, all us EDI'rs have this internalized! Thanks, DW.
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