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Handling redundancy in Activity data


I am  puzzled by the redundancy in the schema. Take the simple example

<activity-status code="2">Implementation</activity-status>

where ActivityStatus code 2 is indeed "Implementation"

so is the text redundant or not?  should an application always get the text to display from the codelist or use the supplied text?  In the tabular schema, activity-status/text() has the description "Text describing the status" and is required.  But which text should a renderer use?  I see some discussion of multilingual codelists and thats surely the way to implement a mulilingual interface. This implies that  the activity-status/text() is redundant - but necessary according to the schema. It may be intended to avoid the lookup, or to make the XML more readable  but it surely can't  be used in an application.  Indeed what would it mean if it was different from the text associated with the code?

Another example :

<participating-org role="Implementing" ref="21000" type="INTERNATIONAL NGOs" xml:lang="en">Farm Africa</participating-org>

where the text "Farm Africa" is non-redundant since 21000 is just "INTERNATIONAL NGO" However in this case there is confusion with the organisationalType - I guess a better way to code this is to omit the ref (ref is optional) and code the type appropriately "21" - then a user knows that the text is significant.

 

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2 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Tim Davies

    Redundancy in the IATI Schema helps ensure the data is easy to use in different use-cases.

    The code values should always be treated as authoritative - and authoritative titles for these can be accessed from the code list and Code List APIs: http://www.iatistandard.org/codelists/  All applications which run detailed analysis of the data should be using the codes. 

    Some applications will not want to go to the trouble of looking up code-lists from the API, but will want access to a simple human readable summary of what a field contains: for example, simple XSLT transformations of IATI data into a spreadsheet format, or basic applications that want to explore the data, but can tolerate occasional quirks in the data.

    The redundancy increase the comprehensibility of the data for non experts, and decreases the cost of entry and complexity of getting basic tools set up to use IATI data. 

  • 0
    Avatar
    Tim Davies

    Redundancy in the IATI Schema helps ensure the data is easy to use in different use-cases.

    The code values should always be treated as authoritative - and authoritative titles for these can be accessed from the code list and Code List APIs: http://www.iatistandard.org/codelists/  All applications which run detailed analysis of the data should be using the codes. 

    Some applications will not want to go to the trouble of looking up code-lists from the API, but will want access to a simple human readable summary of what a field contains: for example, simple XSLT transformations of IATI data into a spreadsheet format, or basic applications that want to explore the data, but can tolerate occasional quirks in the data.

    The redundancy increase the comprehensibility of the data for non experts, and decreases the cost of entry and complexity of getting basic tools set up to use IATI data. This is particularly important as we want IATI data to be used by a wide range of infomediaries, from expert developers in capital cities, to beginners engaging with open data for the first time.

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