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Subject: SV: Comments to Version 0.8-Reqts Specs OR A Country by any other name....


An interesting aspect with the CIA alignment page you pointed us to is that
though there are corresponding multiple codes for an area, with the
exception of inclusions defined in the comments column, there are no
divergent areas for the codes in the same row.

If a list of this sort is to be machine readable, then the inclusions
defined in the comments must be typed and constrained in some manner, but my
question is:  Are the relationships between the different coding systems
really as simple as the CIA page portrays them to be?


> Steve Klynsma, representing the US Army, comments that the Version 0.8
> Requirements Specs Paragraph 2.3 "requires ISO 3166 for country name
> codes.  There is current debate within DoD over acceptance of ISO 3166.
> DoD currently is standardized on FIPS 10-4 which is not compatible with
> ISO 3166. Army recognizes, that in a document designed to implement
> global commerce, ISO 3166 is appropriate, but conversion to ISO 3166 for
> the Army is likely to be economically impractical at this time."
> Whereupon, Bob Miller lights into Steve with all the new XML-talk about
> "unique semantic identifiers," "RDF Specifications" and "metadata."
> Well, that went over my head, but I think Bob might be saying it's okay
> with him if ebXML allows you to specify a country using whatever coded
> specification you desire - just be forewarned that the "application,
> military or otherwise, [has to] then find the metadata of interest to
> it."  I think I know what that means -ebXML will tell you that you've
> received a FIPS 10-4 country code, but you gotta figure out what country
> it represents on your own.  Or something like that.
> Well, I certainly think that as long as a code is unambiguously
> identified as one promulgated by recognized standards body (e.g., ISO,
> IEC, ANSI, IETF, EAN), industry group (e.g., TCIF, NRF), or even a
> proprietary standards setter (like D&B DUNS), ebXML should have some
> means of using which ever code list you want.  Thus, Paragraph 2.3 might
> be softened to encourage the use of certain ISO standards.   For
> example, ISO 3166 Country Codes may be preferred, defaulted, and maybe
> even required in ebXML packaging (as opposed to the business messages
> themselves), but Steve should be able to use FIPS 10-4 country codes as
> much as he likes.
> Steve can certainly do that now with EDIFACT.  The 1131/3055 qualifier
> pair were designed for this express purpose, to allow you to describe
> the code list at hand by naming the Responsible Agency in D.E. 3055, and
> optionally (if not clear from the context provided by other segment
> qualifiers) the specific code list.  So, with never having seen a FIPS
> 10-4 country code used in EDI, I still would understand:
>     LOC+25+UK::168'
> The LOC (PLACE/LOCATION IDENTIFICATION) segment here is used to further
> identify a place or a location specified in a parent NAD (NAME AND
> ADDRESS) or ADR (ADDRESS) segment group, for example.  The
> Place/location qualifier (LOC-01 D.E. 3227) says we have a Country code
> ("UK") here in LOC-02-01 D.E. 3225, which was defined by FIPS (LOC-02-03
> D.E. 3055  responsible agency) - in this case the "168" means the "US,
> FIPS (Federal Information Publishing Standard)".  Simply because ISO
> 3166 is the preferred code set in EDIFACT there is a more convenient way
> to specify the ISO country code directly in the NAD or ADR segment.  But
> the LOC segment can also identify the equivalent ISO country code for
> the United Kingdom - "GB":
>     LOC+25+GB::5'
> here, the 5 qualifier in D.E. 3055 simply means "ISO (International
> Organization for Standardization)."
> I don't know too much about semantic entities, but I guess it would be
> the application's problem to go figure that the FIPS 10-4 "UK" code is
> semantically nearly identical to ISO 3166 code "GB".   I say "nearly
> identical" because the ISO "GB" code includes Guernsey, Isle of Man, and
> Jersey, where presumably the FIPS code doesn't.  See the CIA's
> Cross-Reference List of FIPS 10-4 and ISO 3166 codes at
> http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/appf.html.  You can see
> the EDIFACT definitions for the LOC and its constituent elements at
> http://www.unece.org/trade/untdid/.  The same kind of building-block
> approach is taken in X12, though not nearly as elegant as in EDIFACT
> with its LOC segment.
> If the EDIFACT specification of country codes scares any of you XML
> hackers, just imagine:
>     <Country Authority="FIPS 10-4">UK</Country>
> or
>     <Country>GB</Country>
> where Authority="ISO" is the preferred, and the default, authority for
> Country codes.
> What with all this talk of ISO 3166 and FIPS 10-4 to define country
> codes, are we just reinventing EDIFACT?  All this stuff was figured out
> long ago with EDI.  Unless ebXML can come up with something
> significantly better, are we just spinning our wheels in order to be
> "hip" and "cool"?
> William J. Kammerer
> 4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
> Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
> (614) 791-1600
> Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
> "Commerce for a New World"

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