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Possible addition to use cases

From: James McKinney <james@opennorth.ca>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:41:38 -0400
Message-Id: <9BF1EC3C-A001-446D-ABB6-A7A0812A4980@opennorth.ca>
To: public-csv-wg-comments@w3.org
Is the WG familiar with Health Level Seven (HL7) [3]? HL7 develops international healthcare informatics interoperability standards, which are widely used.

HL7 messages follow a format [1] that is very similar to CSV (and may very well be CSV, depending on how you define it). Briefly, a “message” is a CSV file. A “segment” is a CSV line, with carriage returns separating segments. A segment is composed of one or more “composites” (CSV fields). Composites are delimited by pipe characters, instead of the CSV comma. A composite is composed of one or more subcomposites, delimited by “^” characters. “&” is for sub-sub-composites. This system gets around some of the limitations of the CSV file format. A HL7 message (CSV file) can indicate that it is using different delimiters [2].

HL7 has ways of describing the structure of CSV files [4]. I have not done a thorough investigation, so there may be more methods and documentation.

However, since it is health data, I don’t know if any of these CSV files are “on the web”, so this may not fit within the scope of the WG. 

Nonetheless, there may be something to learn from how they express metadata about CSV files and the toolchain they’ve built around that.

1. http://www.interfaceware.com/example_hl7_message.html
2. http://www.interfaceware.com/hl7_delimiter_redefinition.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Level_7
4. https://wiki.nci.nih.gov/display/caCORE/CSV+Specification+v4.0

James
Received on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 20:42:08 UTC

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