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Subject: taxonomy discussion at OASIS

I've been noticing lately a bit of discussion related to taxonomies in the
XML e-business space. In particular, most e-business efforts require some
sort of registry/repository to store information about companies with whom
an organization may do business with, and the registry needs some way to
classify the businesses for simple searching. For instance,

* The XML.org Registry stores schemas based on keywords, but needs a
taxonomy for better retrieval, as does the XML.org Portal which is seeking
to provide XML information sorted by vertical industry.

* The ebXML registry/repository will store information about businesses, but
I'm not sure if a taxonomy has yet been defined.

* UDDI will register businesses for the purpose of discovery, and has
selected for taxonomies NAICS, UNSPSC, an unnamed geographic taxonomy, and a
general purpose keyword classification (see
http://uddi.org/pubs/UDDI_XML_Structure_Reference.pdf page 25).

There's a real need to select a good taxonomy (or taxonomies) to classify
businesses and industries for the work that we're doing in creating
e-business registries. Notice that I say "select" and not "create" -- I
don't believe that XML experts should try to reinvent the wheel by creating
new taxonomies when there are better trained and more experienced people in
this field who do this stuff for a living. Robin Cover has done a bit of
research into the subject and has written a background on some of the many
taxonomies now available; see
http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/classification.html. Perhaps one or more of
these taxonomies would work for what we need.

I've set up an email list where we can discuss the use of taxonomies in the
XML e-business space. I'd like to discussed whether it's possible to select
an existing taxonomy that would meet the needs of ebXML, UDDI, XML.org,
etc., what the pros and cons of various taxonomies are, and what criteria we
should use to select them. The ultimate goal of this list would be the
creation of an OASIS technical committee, which would select taxonomies for
use at OASIS and XML.org as well as make recommendations to other standards

This is an opt-in discussion list: to participate you must subscribe to the
discussion list by sending a message to
taxonomy-discuss-request@lists.oasis-open.org with the word "subscribe" as
the body of the message. After you are subscribed, you may send messages for
the list to taxonomy-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org.

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
978.667.5115 x206
karl.best@oasis-open.org  http://www.oasis-open.org

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