Orienteering Interface Standards Project
News 1998

24th October 1998

Nine persons were present at the seminar in Oslo under weekend 17-18 October 1998. Both vendors, representative of federations and others, all experts in different areas, and interested to participate the work of interface standards for data exchange between different subsystem used in an orienteering event.

The IOF TDC group has a coincident meeting and gave the group the task to formalise a project with aim, activities, time schedule and responsibilities.

A team of three persons will manage the project. Stefan Nordmark, SWE, is project manager. The two other members are not selected yet. The work with the standards will be done in the two different working groups, messages&attributes and syntax.

The messages&attributes group has already made a draft version of attribute catalogue.

Many solutions and details were discussed under the weekend. Some of them are interesting to point out because they will maybe control the direction of future work.

Messages and attributes

A catalogue with attributes will be created. These attributes will be used in different messages.

A message can contain several nested message types. E.g. the message type "Competitor" is nestled in message type "Club". The competitor belongs then to the club.

Date and time is represented in ISO-standard format. E.g. 1998-10-26 14:27:12.123.

Communication in real-time, e.g. between electronic punching equipment and punching control system will be done over an Application Program Interface (API). The different vendors will offer an API for their equipment. It is recommended that all critical transmissions will be logged for the possibility to recreate the information in case of failure.


It should be possible to use a text editor for reading and writing messages.

All attributes will be identified with a unique tag. The tag will explain what is in the attribute. Exception is when same message type is repeated. Then it is possible to omit tags.

A tag should never contain coded information.

The message syntax will, if it is possible, be based on SGML-standard.


Character set and encoding will follow the same standard as Internet.

IOF Technology Development Committee
Orienteering Interface Standards Project
Stefan Nordmark

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