What is a version?

Dear all,

One of the perma-discussions around datasets is when one should and 
should not declare that one is a new version of another. Things like 
annual sets of figures are easy, but when one figure in a file of 
millions is corrected, is that a new version or not? It all depends on 

This is a topic that comes up in my new role at GS1 where the discussion 
is not about datasets but products and their identifiers. If a product 
has new packaging but is still the same product, the same quantity etc. 
does it need a new GTIN (barcode)?

To tackle this, GS1 spent a lot of time on the topic and came up with 
some guidelines that I think might be translatable into useful advice in 
the context of the DXWG.

The page at https://www.gs1.org/1/gtinrules/en/decision-support sets it 
out most succinctly.

The first principle is:

Is a consumer or supply chain partner expected to distinguish new or 
changed products from previous/current products?

That might translate into:

Is an application developer or data consumer expected to distinguish new 
or changed datasets from previous/current versions of the data?

The second principle is:

Is there a regulatory/liability disclosure requirement to the consumer 
and/or trading partner?

That might translate into:

Is there a regulatory/liability aspect relevant to the data producer or 
consumer that is affected by the change in the data?

The third principle is:

Is there a material impact to the supply chain (i.e.: how the product is 
shipped, stored, received)

This is less readily translated into DXWG and is probably covered by the 
first one but in DXWG context might apply to APIs rather than datasets.

GS1 adds 10 rules on top of these principles but that's probably going 
too far into supply chain specifics. What struck me though was that the 
approach seemed helpful and may be something that DCAT 1.1 might want to 
include as (non-normative) guidance.



Phil Archer
+44 7887 767755

Received on Thursday, 17 August 2017 09:34:45 UTC