Missing Bits

Over the years the S1000D Specification has gained quite a few additional features which have in the main been useful. Granted some of the features have been questionable and some in the community have wondered where the ideas have come from or even why they have been added.

Level Attribute

Some of you may remember that I have mentioned that the very useful attributes Level was removed when Issue 4 of the Spec was released. The fact that this attribute was removed tended to indicate that those on the steering committee had never worked in a small company where very few had a CSDB to manage their Data Modules.

To recap: The Level attribute was provided to indicate the Issue Number that a Data Module was changed. This was extremely important as the original intention was that the Data Module should contain a complete record of changes. This deemed necessary in the event of any investigations which may have been needed if there had been an incident. By metaphorically picking up a Data Module and looking at it an investigator would be able to see what changes had been made and when.

With the steering committee comprising more management types the link between the ‘small’ maintainer and the big companies was lost. In addition, the skills of those who were involved in implementing the specification were not up to the more professional programmer.

I do know that from an early time an influential member of the steering team decided to strip out all historical information. I know that there were repeated attempts to get the Level attribute returned to the specification, to no avail.

The level attribute was very useful in the publication of books using systems which kept track of changes to the data modules. Pity that that facility has now gone.

Source: S1000D Blog