What is in a name ?

With a multi-cultural gathering in Paris last week, it was interesting to note the subtle differences in sayings and cultures.

Even though they were a few English people in attendance, the discussion was about how to make technology and technology forums inclusive and the requirement to make terms etc in an English terminology which is understood by “newcomers”

Here the conversation turned to place names and how the local areas pronounced them, and although there were a few examples given such as Alnwick being pronounced nnick, there are other examples such as Auchinleck pronounced aflek and this is generally reinforced within smaller communities.

Then on to the problem at hand. How do we spread the 15926 message to the millions of potential users rather than the handful of contributors.  Readers may have noted the thread on LinkedIN where there was a request for what the different parts are in plain terms.  However, that does not address what we need.

The question is how to actually remove the requirement for a newcomer, but a domain expert, to not care about the Part 2, Part 4, Part 7 knowledge and give them access to what is there so they can use the standard.

However, if we consider 15926 as the semantic web for engineering, how many of us today use the web, and how many of us know HTML tags.  Do any of us use the capability to view source ?  Try it …view source … Is it helpful to know that this page is presented in a format which you can understand together with hyperlinks or do you want to see the <a> hyperlink tags.  I know I don’t …

So then we come to the next problem … How do you use the web ?  Favourites, bookmarks, typing in url’s.  Well I have to admit I probably use google as my entry point more than I should.

The key is not about knowing how it works, it is about using and navigating the information that is there.  As JORD start to gear up with providing a platform that we can all start to use and deliver a blueprint for the federation of the RDL so we can start to classify the information with our requirements.  15926 is unique in being able to share our thoughts with our global peers in a method that means they can see our requirements the minute we publish them.

Just as email is a point to point tool, so word documents are not the correct tool for recording our data requirements.  Sharepoint is enabling a sharing attitude to work, but we need to move beyond the distribution of data in documents.  That was useful, but how many of us want to wade through hundreds of documents to find out the information we need.  Even with an indexing tool which helps us find the document quickly, we may still need to read the document completely to understand the context.

The 15926 Reference Data Libraries enable us to work collaboratively, with domain experts being able to review our requirements.  We can quickly classify, existing classes as a requirement for our needs, projects, industries etc.

So if you hear someone asking about Part 4 or, Part 7, perhaps, we should wonder why.   Ask them, what does it matter, currently we can only share data when we can create an ISO 15926 file and the only way to do that today is Part 8.

So while we might hear lots of words which sound close, lots of phrases which may make us think we are close to where we want to be … We better make sure that we are on the plane to Kristiansund when we want to visit the north of Norway and not Kristiansand, regardless of how it is pronounced.

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