|From:||"Miller, Robert (GXS)" <Robert.Miller@xxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Mon, 28 Oct 2002 11:01:11 -0500|
As I've previously reported directly to the UBL team, I find fault with the definition given for code in the attached paper:
"A code is a representation of some thing, normally text, abbreviating it to a shortened, encoded form, and usually of the same consistent lenght within a code list. In essence it is an abbreviation."
The implication I have read from this definition is that the 'text' the code represents is the end of the line, from a semantic viewpoint. But the reality is that the code is a pointer to a collection of semantic information, at least some of which is likely to be of semantic significance to the application processing the information in which the code is imbedded. I've studied the existing X12 code lists at some length, and have yet to find a code list that does not identify semantic properties beyond that of the 'text' used to describe the code.
I have also observed instances where a given semantic identifier provided by a code list value in a specific code list is also provided by another code value in another code list, and is also provided in the definition of an entity. That is, I've found three ways in X12 syntax to represent the same semantic properties. But X12 does not provide a unique identifier for such properties such that the three ways to represent the properties are related one to another.
I observe that the work of UBL has likewise failed to recognize that codes stand in as identifiers of semantic properties, and so has likewise failed to provide a means to associate coded entries with unique semantic identifiers.
An example of the X12 deficiency in uniquely identifying semantic properties, I point you to the DMG Demographis Information segment, field 02 DE 1251 Date Time Period, and its associated semantic note:
"DMG02 is the date of birth. Presumably, this is the same semantic property of date identified by DE 374 Date/Time Qualifier code value '222' described as 'Birth'. One may also find date property qualifiers defined by semantic notes to elements, but not found in the DE374 code list.
If interoperability among varying syntactic representations of business information is to be realized, we must provide a means to at least express equivalence of semantic representations. It would be nice if we could also express near equivalences, such as the Great Britain / United Kingdom code list entries expressed in the comment below. Current practice has failed to recognize the problem, and so cannot begin to address the problem.
As far as distinguishing codes from identifiers, for the present we have
In terms of how we intend codesets to be implemented we have a technical
We are also establishing preferred codesets for many of the codes
I personally see the choice of codeset as secondary to the semantics of
Leo Obrst wrote:
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