Thursday, June 16, 2011

Does anybody out there love the RIM?

From Grahame Grieve at Health Intersections:
The most remarkable aspect about the wide feedback I’ve received about the HL7 Fresh Look taskforce is the comments about the RIM. 
One person – just one solitary person – put it to me forcefully that the original direction of the RIM (+ design by constraint + the XML ITS) was the right direction, and that we should stay the course, becase in the end, the doubters will be overcome by the evidence. 
Just one person. It’s someone I respect greatly. And it troubles me to disagree with him, because this person is often proved right. But he’s the only one (so far) (And I’m not going to name who it is since our discussion was private). 
There was a long and at times passionate thread on the RIMBAA (RIM-based application architecture) email list defending the notion of the RIM, but even there the opinion there was pretty unanimous: the RIM should be reserved to specialists, and normal interoperability specifications should use simple forms where their innate RIM-ness is hidden from the normal population.
Generally, the feedback I got from my fresh look post told me loud and clear that HL7 is not reducing complexity, and that in particular, the RIM is not helping to tame complexity.
That should come as no surprise to anyone who’s read my piece on design by constraint: it simply externalises the complexity associated with achieving consistent semantics. But nevertheless, I was surprised at how  one-sided the feedback was in this area. 
Does anybody (else) out there love the RIM?
To keep track of the responses (if any) follow here.

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