String Attribute Value

Issue raised by: Terry Bayne Tue, 22 Jul 1997 14:37:12 -0400

In the APDU for AttributeElement (of AttributeList::RPNStructure::RPNQuery) AttributeValue is describe as being a CHOICE of numeric or complex when version 3 is in force. The choice complex allows for a list of StringOrNumeric values. What would a string represent? The name (say "personal name" in the case of the Bib1 attribute set) of a attribute value? Or is it supposed to be a string representation of the attribute value such as "1" or "1002"? Or is it intended to represent something else?

For bib-1, the string option is not applicable. So, no, it is not valid to use the attribute name, nor a string representation of its numeric value, for bib-1. However, there is no rule that would preclude defining an attribute set such that the Use attributes are specified as in either of these two suggestions, though neither was envisioned as the primary purpose of a string attribute.

Note that the principal point of the "complex" choice is the ability to specify a semantic indicator; the "string" option was almost an afterthought. There were two possible uses suggested: (1) for locally defined attributes, analogous to string tags used by GRS, and (2) for field names, for example, for sql, or for SGML tags. Nobody suggested "string representation of a numeric tag" as a potential use.

Status: Approved (8/97)
Library of Congress