A RDDL repository of core datatypes
16:08, 26 Mar 2004 UTC | Eric van der Vlist

The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) has published a first release (in French) of their identification and classification XML datatypes as a RDDL repository.

INSEE is in charge of several national repositories and this set of documentations and W3C XML Schema schemas provides normative references for the XML serialization of identification and classification information involved in these repositories.

These schemas and documentation do not define the format of complete XML documents, but sets of elements, attributes and datatypes to be used by any application manipulating these information. The documentation is currently available only in French but INSEE should provide English versions of next releases.

This first release includes the following modules:

  • A common module used by the functional modules.
  • SIRET defining an identification system for French enterprises.
  • NIR defining an identification system for French citizens and residents.
  • ISO defining the identification of countries (based on ISO 3166-1 A2 and A3)
  • COG defining the identification of French geographical entities (from regions and departments to cities).
  • NAF defining the nomenclature of activities used to classify French companies.

The last three modules are also available with enumerations (ISO-enumeration, COG-enumeration and NAF-enumeration). The enumerations include the title of each value as a W3C XML Schema foreign attribute and they can be used as lookup tables. They are generated through XSLT transformation of Excel spreadsheets saved as XML.

These variants provide a better control on the values, but being based on the latest versions of these nomenclatures, they will not validate document using values that have been deleted. Each application is thus able to choose between a basic control of the lexical space and a control against full list of values.

A frame version (ala JavaDoc) is also available.

These documentations and the associated schemas are published as RDDL documents (called RDDL repositories in the RDDL jargon) and have been authored using the principle of Literate Programming and the DocBook "litprog" library.

The stylesheets of the litprog library have been customized to support shortcuts removing some of the verbosity of RDDL and implementing extra features such as the generation of tables of contents and indexes of RDDL resources.

The goal of the documentations is to be both exhaustive and easy to read. They include the definition of each concept manipulated in the schemas, examples, links to a wide range of references and any relevant information (such as the legal consequences of a misusage of the NIR module which is submitted to heavy restrictions).

These documents have been authored by Dyomedea for Jean-Pierre Grandjean, chief of the department "Système statistique d'entreprises" and Franck Cotton, chief of the team "Technologies de la sécurité et de la communication" with the help from many INSEE experts.

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