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Subject: RE: EDXL-DE 2.0 for the F2F - Objectivity, Subjectivity andInterpretation.


I wholeheartedly agree! 

I did bring this up for discussion earlier and we agreed that a circle should be


Which makes comment 1 and the example wrong (extra space in both between the lat and lon).

This is on the issues list for 2.0.  I will add the point about the radius, because as stated it should be an unsigned integer with a maximum value less than that of a normal signed or unsigned int.


Are you suggesting that we use different wording for the OPTIONAL, MAY use multiple?  That was a little confusing to me at first, so input would be appreciated.


I have added these topics to the issues list



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From: Gilmore, Timothy [mailto:TIMOTHY.D.GILMORE@saic.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:24 AM
To: emergency@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [emergency] EDXL-DE 2.0 for the F2F - Objectivity, Subjectivity and Interpretation.




Some of the things we look at are objectivity and subjectivity due to our accreditation under the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for NIMS STEP and IPAWS Conformity Assessment (CA) testing. Many elements under the OASIS EDXL suite of standards including CAP use words such as “SHOULD” and “MAY” which are clearly subjective in nature. One of our engineers pointed out some issues that we should keep in mind when going over the EDXL-DE 2.0 document during the F2F.


For CAP:


What we're looking for are rules or constraints that are open to interpretation, or not fully specified, rather than being completely "nailed down."


For example, consider the <circle> element.  Is the following a "correct" <circle> element?


  <circle> 0, 0, 150000000 </circle>


It certainly fits the descriptions in that element's comments:  (1) it's in the form "latitude, longitude, radius"; (2) the central point conforms to WSG84; (3) the radius value is expressed in kilometers; and

(4) it is a properly escaped XML string.


Then again, the radius of the circle is approximately the distance between the Earth and the Sun.  Note that the given definition includes the word "geographic" (twice!) and that the center of the circle is specified as longitude and latitude, all of which indicates to me that the circle ought be to Earth-bound.  Someone else may interpret the standard differently, and the standard doesn't put a real limit on the radius of the circle.


The point is that the standard doesn't really specify enough for a tester to determine whether or not a <circle> element is conforming.

The tester has to make up his (or her!) own rules to complete the test.

Multiple testers will certainly come to different conclusions, and all will be correct to within the subjectivity allowed by the standard.


(And that all said, note that the given example doesn't match the form given in comment 1; the comma between the longitude and the radius is missing.  Since all of section 3 of this standard is normative, this is a bug in this standard.)


For another example, consider the <senderRole> element.  The standard says "OPTIONAL, MAY use multiple."  Despite the words "OPTIONAL" and "MAY," an individual tester can determine without a doubt whether a given message contains zero or more <senderRole> elements, and an infinite number of testers (all else being equal) will come to exactly the same conclusion.


Perhaps something to think about at the F2F.




Timothy D. Gilmore | SAIC

Sr. Test Engineer | ILPSG | NIMS Support Center |


phone: 606.274.2063 | fax: 606.274.2025

mobile: 606.219.7882 | email: gilmoret@us.saic.com  

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