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Subject: Implicit conversion and medical data


Your mentioning of implicit conversion reminded me of a use case where 
conversions resulted in *unrecoverable* changes to gene names.

Or, in the summary by the authors:

> A little detective work traced the problem to default date format 
> conversions and floating-point format conversions in the very useful 
> Excel program package. The date conversions affect at least 30 gene 
> names; the floating-point conversions affect at least 2,000 if Riken 
> identifiers are included. These conversions are irreversible; the 
> original gene names cannot be recovered.
You can see the whole article at: 

Is this an application level issue, i.e., should come with default 
conversions disabled, or something that the standard should address?

Hope you are having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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