## Archive for the ‘Interoperability’ Category

### Turning the MS Battleship

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Improving interoperability with DOM L3 XPath by Thomas Moore.

From the post:

As part of our ongoing focus on interoperability with the modern Web, we’ve been working on addressing an interoperability gap by writing an implementation of DOM L3 XPath in the Windows 10 Web platform. Today we’d like to share how we are closing this gap in Project Spartan’s new rendering engine with data from the modern Web.

Some History

Prior to IE’s support for DOM L3 Core and native XML documents in IE9, MSXML provided any XML handling and functionality to the Web as an ActiveX object. In addition to XMLHttpRequest, MSXML supported the XPath language through its own APIs, selectSingleNode and selectNodes. For applications based on and XML documents originating from MSXML, this works just fine. However, this doesn’t follow the W3C standards for interacting with XML documents or exposing XPath.

To accommodate a diversity of browsers, sites and libraries wrap XPath calls to switch to the right implementation. If you search for XPath examples or tutorials, you’ll immediately find results that check for IE-specific code to use MSXML for evaluating the query in a non-interoperable way:

It seems like a long time ago that a relatively senior Microsoft staffer told me that turning a battleship like MS takes time. No change, however important, is going to happen quickly. Just the way things are in a large organization.

The important thing to remember is that once change starts, that too takes on a certain momentum and so is more likely to continue, even though it was hard to get started.

Yes, I am sure the present steps towards greater interoperability could have gone further, in another direction, etc. but they didn’t. Rather than complain about the present change for the better, why not use that as a wedge to push for greater support for more recent XML standards?

For my part, I guess I need to get a copy of Windows 10 on a VM so I can volunteer as a beta tester for full XPath (XQuery?/XSLT?) support in a future web browser. MS as a full XML competitor and possible source of open source software would generate some excitement in the XML community!

### …Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Case statement: Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group

From the post:

The draft case statement for the Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group has been released

The Wheat data interoperability WG is a working group of the RDA Agricultural data interest group. The working group will take advantage of other RDA’s working group’s production. In particular, the working group will be watchful of working groups concerned with metadata, data harmonization and data publishing.

The working group will also interact with the WheatIS experts and other plant projects such as TransPLANT, agINFRA which are built on standard technologies for data exchange and representation. The Wheat data interoperability group will exploit existing collaboration mechanisms like CIARD to get as much as possible stakeholder involvement in the work.

If you want to contribute with comments, do not hesitate to contact the Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group at Working group “Wheat data interoperability”.

References

Wheat initiative Information System:

GARNet report – Making data accessible to all:

Various relevant refs:

I know, agricultural interoperability doesn’t have the snap of universal suffrage, the crackle of a technological singularity or the pop of first contact.

On the other hand, with a world population estimated at 7.108 billion people, agriculture is an essential activity.

The specifics of wheat data interoperability should narrow down to meaningful requirements. Requirements with measures of success or failure.

Unlike measuring progress towards or away from less precise goals.

### Full Healthcare Interoperability “…may take some creative thinking.”

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

From the post:

The industry has made progress toward healthcare interoperability in the last couple years, but getting over the final hump may take some creative thinking. There are still no easy answers for how to build fully interoperable nationwide networks.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology CIO Symposium, held May 22 in Cambridge, Ma., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka, M.D., said significant progress has been made.

In particular, he pointed to the growing role of the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard. Under the 2014 Certification Standards, EHR software must be able to produce transition of care documents in this form.

But not every vendor has reached the point where it fully supports this standard, and it is not the universal default for clinician data entry. Additionally, Halamka pointed out that information in health records tends to be incomplete. Often the worker responsible for entering important demographic data and other information into the record is the least-trained person on the staff, which can increase the risk of errors and produce bad data.

There are ways around the lack of vendor support for healthcare data interoperability. Halamka said most states’ information exchanges can function as middleware. As an example, he talked about how Beth Israel is able to exchange information with Atrius Health, a group of community-based hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts, across the state’s HIE even though the two networks are on different systems.

“You can get around what the vendor is able to do with middleware,” Halamka said.

But while these incremental changes have improved data interoperability, supporting full interconnectedness across all vendor systems and provider networks could take some new solutions.

Actually “full” healthcare interoperability isn’t even a possibility.

What we can do is decide how much interoperability is worth in particular situations and do the amount required.

Everyone in the healthcare industry has one or more reasons for the formats and semantics they use now.

Changing those formats and semantics requires not only changing the software but training the people who use the software and the data it produces.

Not to mention the small task of deciding on what basis interoperability will be built.

As you would expect, I think a topic map as middleware solution, one that ties diverse systems together in a re-usable way, is the best option.

Convincing the IT system innocents that write healthcare policy that demanding interoperability isn’t an effective strategy would be a first step.

What would you suggest as a second step?

### Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability Edited by Laura DeNardis.

Overview:

Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards–the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers–increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization–an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.

Contributors discuss such topics as how to reflect the public interest in the private standards-setting process; why open standards have a beneficial effect on competition and Internet freedom; the effects of intellectual property rights on standards openness; and how to define standard, open standard, and software interoperability.

If you think “open standards” have impact, what would you say about “open data?”

At a macro level, “open data” has many of the same issues as “open standards.”

At a micro level, “open data” has unique social issues that drive the creation of silos for data.

So far as I know, a serious investigation of the social dynamics of data silos has yet to be written.

Understanding the dynamics of data silos might, no guarantees, lead to better strategies for dismantling them.

Suggestions for research/reading on the social dynamics of data silos?

### Increasing Interoperability of Data for Social Good [$100K] Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 Increasing Interoperability of Data for Social Good March 4, 2013 through May 7, 2013 11:30 AM PST Each Winner to Receive$100,000 Grant

From the notice:

The social sector is full of passion, intuition, deep experience, and unwavering commitment. Increasingly, social change agents from funders to activists, are adding data and information as yet one more tool for decision-making and increasing impact.

But data sets are often isolated, fragmented and hard to use. Many organizations manage data with multiple systems, often due to various requirements from government agencies and private funders. The lack of interoperability between systems leads to wasted time and frustration. Even those who are motivated to use data end up spending more time and effort on gathering, combining, and analyzing data, and less time on applying it to ongoing learning, performance improvement, and smarter decision-making.

### Putting Data in the Middle

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Putting Data in the Middle

Jill Dyche uses a photo of Paul Allen and Bill Gates as a jumping off point to talk about a data-centric view of the world.

Remarking:

IT departments furtively investing in successive integration efforts, hoping for the latest and greatest “single version of the truth” watch their budgets erode and their stakeholders flee. CIOs praying that their latest packaged application gets traction realize that they’ve just installed yet another legacy system. Executives wake up and admit that the idea of a huge, centralized, behemoth database accessible by all and serving a range of business needs was simply a dream. Rubbing their eyes they gradually see that data is decoupled from the systems that generate and use it, and past infrastructure plays have merely sedated them.

I really like the successive integration efforts line.

Jill offers an alternative to that sad scenario, but you will have to read her post to find out!

### ISO initiative OntoIOp (Ontology interoperability)

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

ISO initiative OntoIOp (Ontology interoperability)

Prof. Dr. Till Mossakowsk post the following note to the ontolog-forum today:

Dear all,

we are currently involved in a new ISO standardisation initiative concerned with ontology interoperability.

This initiative is somehow orthogonal and complementary to Common Logic, because the topic is interoperability. This means interoperability both among ontologies (i.e. concering matching, alignment, and suitable means to write these down) as well as among ontology languages (e.g. OWL, UML, Common Logic, or F-logic, and translations among these). The idea is to have all these languages as part of a meta-standard, such that ontology designers can bring in their ontologies verbatim as they are, and yet relate them to other ontologies (e.g. check that an OWL version of some ontology is entailed by its first-order formulation).

The first official meeting for this is already mid next month in Seoul, and we now quickly have to move forward getting some countries into the boat. It will be essential to have experts from all relevant communities involved in this effort.

If you are interested in this initiative, the rough draft [1] for the standard and a related paper [2] will give you some more info. Please have a look and let me know what you think. We also look for people who want to officially take part in the development of the standard, either actively or just by voting on behalf of your national standardisation body.

All the best,
Till

I haven’t had time to review the documents but given the time frame wanted to bring this to your attention sooner rather than later.

When you have reviewed the documents, comments welcome.