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Subject: Re: UNSPSC - and code lists in general

David RR Webber wrote "I'm chiefly looking for is a central location
that people can reference [to find applicable code lists].  Clearly the
xml.org site can act in this role - a clearing house."  David adds
"..what is CEN/ISSS doing on this, if anything?"

Dear David:

You had earlier slammed the UN/SPSC as been inadequate for categorizing
products and services, but you now say you were merely "using UN/SPSC
codes as a example" of the general problem of finding applicable code
lists in the first place.  One doesn't follow the other, but...well,
okay... now we'll work on your new problem du jour.

Locating every possible code list would be a formidable task.  They're
maintained by all sorts of different agencies, and there's no existing
secretariat which keeps track of them all.  As we've discussed before in
the context of code lists: you have your ISO standards, UN/ECE
recommendations, ITU recommendations, IATA airport codes, UN/LOCODE,
D-U-N-S, EAN, the NMFTA SCAC codes, the NRF size and color codes, etc.
etc, ad infinitum.  Then add on to those the more obscure lists such as
the IAIABC Worker Comp codes (U.S.), various Hazardous Material codes,
the Vertex Geocodes for taxing jurisdictions (U.S.), etc. etc., and you
see that compiling such a list would be an insurmountable task quick to
drive any sane person mad.  So I suggest you get on it right away; it's
clearly bothering you. You can start by retrieving the code lists
referred to in Appendix A: Code Sources of the ASC X12 manual (there
seem to be over 800 notations).

Knowledge of this arcana usually comes the hard way: from experience.  I
suppose your suggestion of a repository like xml.org keeping track of
all these lists isn't too bad - for the more common code lists (like
Unit of Measure, or country or currency codes) people are likely to
need, a first place to look them up would be nice. As new core
components are built, additional relevant code lists will be encountered
in the discovery process, and these too can be added to the "List o'

Finally, what does the CEN/ISSS have to do with this?

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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