IOF Data Standards update project

Posted on | September 28, 2010 | Category: News

The IOF Data Standards is a collection of specifications for exchange of information among the various IT systems involved in the processing of an orienteering event. The standards specify the formats for such exchange, based on the XML standard. The formats are in widespread application, used by a multitude of software packages, ensuring smooth interworking of these packages.

The standards were developed by software developers from interested parties, supervised by the then IOF Technology Development Commission, and published in 2002. The current standards are available on the IOF web site in IT Commission documents.

Need for an update

Over the last few years it has become evident that there is a need to update and enhance these Standards. Firstly, there are orienteering software providers who have been extending the Standards already and it is important that these enhancements are incorporated in new standards. Secondly, the orienteering sport has evolved over the last few years, especially with a focus on Arena Production for major IOF sanctioned orienteering events.

Therefore, the IOF IT Commission (ITC) has set up a project to revise the standard. Such a revision cannot be done by a committee only – it needs the active participation of the involved parties that will use the standard. Therefore, the ITC invites all interested parties to participate in the work with reviewing and enhancing the existing standard, the result of which will be a new IOF Data Standard. The contact person from the IT Commission is Finn Arildsen, finn( at )arildsen.com. Mats Troeng, Sweden, will coordinate the technical part.

Initially, the existing standard has been converted to XSD, and comments and ideas already received have been incorporated. A Google Code site has been set up at http://code.google.com/p/iofdatastandard. The process will take place in two steps: the first step is a “creative” one, where ideas and comments are incorporated, and discussions will take place, resulting in a draft proposal; the second step is meant for “consolidation”, where the draft proposal is circulated to a wider audience for review.

The goal is to be able to publish a revised standard by mid-2011.

Interested in helping?

If you are a software developer who is already using or will be using the IOF data standard, or anyone otherwise interested in the issue, please have a look at the code site, and send the contact person a brief e-mail to express your interest in following or contributing to the work.

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