At a recent DMSC Board (BoD) meeting, QIF 4.0 Development Manager, Tom Kramer, provided a status report on the ongoing QIF 4.0 upgrade project. Back in October 2022, a DMSC Working Group (WG) was formed for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing a list of upgrades to the existing QIF 3.0 standard (aka ISO 23952:2020).
The October 2022 WG meeting formalized a list of 118 items that we identified as desired improvements to the existing QIF 3.0 features. Another outcome of the meeting was to set expectations as to when and how a QIF 4.0 upgrade could be completed.
Now, 11 months from that initial meeting, Tom has summarized a status and plan that will help fine-tune expectations for a QIF 4.0 target completion schedule.
Here is the abbreviated plan and schedule, as of September 2023:
- QIF 4.0 git project: A git project was set up to keep track of progress on issues. For each issue, there is a link from the project to the issue, the issue status (open or closed), the name of the WG team member to whom the issue is assigned (if any), and start, expected completion, and completion dates.
- Issues: QIF 4.0 development has had 118 issues so far. Of these, 50 have been dealt with and are closed, while 68 are open. New issues may be registered at any time (see note #3 below). 24 of the issues were raised after October 15, 2022, the date when issues from the planning project were added to the git project. In most cases, resolving an issue involves modifying an XML schema file.
- Schema file changes: Putting a modified file into the git repository requires entering a message about the changes as either text in quotes or in a file. Since the beginning of the project, Tom Kramer has entered 50 change messages in files, covering an itemized 359 changes (plus a few text messages). Other DMSC SMEs (subject matter experts) have contributed additional changes and messages.
- QIF 4.0 challenges and problems:
→Access to standards of other organizations has not been available, particularly ISO and ASME;
→Chairmen of subordinate committees have not been proactive. Only Functional Testing has been meeting regularly, and attendance at those meetings has been light;
→Individual issues are discussed at length in the QIF 4.0 WG meetings but are resolved only very slowly;
→There are not enough volunteer XML schema experts – please consider helping!
- QIF 4.0 model browser: The model browser is built automatically in the Oxygen XML Editor app from the QIF 4.0 schema files. The app is run by Tom Kramer, who builds a new browser periodically and uploads it to the qif-dev repository. Most development team members seem to prefer working with the browser to working with schema files.
- QIF 3.0 to 4.0 translation: A system for automatically translating a QIF 3.0 instance file into QIF 4.0 would be very useful; at least one member of the development team believes it is required. Tom Kramer thinks this can be done using XSLT. He has spent many hours building an initial version of such a translator. He has used it to translate several QIF 3.0 instance files into instance files that are valid against the current QIF 4.0 model. Developing the translator to be capable of handling an arbitrary QIF 3.0 instance file, however, will clearly take a huge amount of time, so further development has been postponed, probably until QIF 4.0 has been submitted to ANSI. Specific guidance from the DMSC BoD regarding development of a translator is pending discussion as a possible future project.
Tom has made the following recommendations for a re-set of project expectations and a revised target date for completion: (action is pending DMSC BoD approval)
1. Continue biweekly QIF 4.0 WG meetings
2. Push for more activity in the subordinate working groups
3. Cut off all new development and consideration of issues by the end of July 2024 so that QIF 4.0 can be submitted for approval by ANSI by September 30, 2024. The version 4.0 sent to ANSI for approval will contain resolutions for however many issues have been resolved by the end of July 2024
Proceedings are documented on the DMSC SharePoint drive, including meeting recordings, attendance list and the PPT from each meeting, courtesy of Daniel Campbell, QIF 4.0 WG Chair.
If you or a member of your team are available to provide expertise and support in the areas mentioned above, please get in touch with DMSC Executive Director Mark Thomas.