IATI Consultations Archive

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New Notes element

We think it might be worth adding a new <notes type=""> element where absolutely any free text about an activity could be added. Also the @type attribute would be free string to allow people to make up what ever attributes they want.

There are already some places where free text is allowed, e.g. descriptions, legacy-data, titles, etc, but there is some ambition from people to included those extra bits of data that help make more sense about an activity that may be don't quite fit the standard as such.

This could result in lots of unstructured data that is hard to use, but might also be useful.

Maybe the attribute becomes too unwieldy over time? Maybe this could be dealt with using a namespace?

What do people think?

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9 Comments

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    Herman van Loon

    I am a bit doubtfull about this change. One of the great added values of the IATI standard is having a common ''language'' to exchange aid data in a structured way, thereby making the data more transparent and usable for automated processing. With a note element you run the risk of introducing a ''garbage bin'' for relevant aid data.

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    Tim Davies

    I'm also not sure that this would be appropriate for inclusion in the IATI files - as it could lead to substantial bloat of files as caveats and other boilerplate information is repeated for every activity.

    An alternative means by which publishers can provide this information is to publish it on their own websites and then provide a URL for each activity that links to these annotations (the linked data URI now available provides a means by which structured annotations could be provided if wanted). 

    Where publishers have structured notes to add to activities, then minting structured properties in a namespace for these annotations would be appropriate. 

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    Bill Anderson

    This is a bit late in the day, but ...

    I think the value of this is to provide a low-tech alternative to publishers who would like to add an extension (for structured data beyond the current scope of the standard) but do not have the technology to implement it.

    If I don't get positive support for this, I propose we drop it.

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    Bill Anderson

    Not included in 1.03 but I suggest we keep it as an issue for future discussion.

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    David Carpenter

    This is not appropriate for the 1.05 upgrade. It seems not to be in 2.01, so 2.02 would be the next opportunity to include this. However it seems as though there is still little support for it.

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    IATI Tech Team

    This item has been moved to the '2.02 Decimal Upgrade Proposals' forum for inclusion the upcoming decimal upgrade.

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    Bill Anderson

    I agree with Herman and Tim that we should not include this.

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    IATI Tech Team

    This proposal has been discussed amongst the IATI Technical Team following the end of the initial suggestion phase of the v2.02 upgrade.

    The IATI Technical Team does not support implementation of this proposal at this time.  We suggest additional notes can be added in a separate document with a <document-link> element linking the activity to the corresponding notes document.

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    IATI Tech Team

    This proposal has been archived as it is not being taken forward in the version 2.02 upgrade of the IATI Standard.

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