Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Self-Displaying CDA Opens for Ballot

Even after an almost major screwup on my part, HL7 did open the ballot for the Implementation Guide for Self-Displaying CDA. It's a short read, about 22 pages of text overall, a little less than half of which is boilerplate.  If you've been following my progress here, you know I've run into some problems with tables in IE 8.  I was able to work around IE Bugs by limiting how tables could be used in Self-Displaying CDA, but I'm NOT happy with it.

So, if you are an HL7 member and a reader of this blog, I hope you sign up for this ballot pool.

Here's what I'd like from you if you do sign up:

  1. Try it out.  Add the embedded style sheet to the CDA documents your system produces and see if it interferes with other processing you perform.
  2. Generate a CDA document using the style sheet from your system.  Then try to load it in one of the supported browsers.  Let me know how it turns out.
  3. If you have HTML and/or CSS foo, see what you can do to improve compatibility.  Don't worry about making it nicely designed, that's not the point.
  4. If you have versions of IE installed other that IE 8, please see if the sample document displays on your system.  Regardless of whether it does or doesn't, send me a screen shot to show it working.
  5. If you are running a MacIntosh or iPad try it out, especially with Safari, IE and FireFox.  I don't have a Mac available to me.
  6. If you are running some version of Unix, try it out, especially with FireFox and other broswers supported on Linux.  I didn't happen to have a spare Linux box to test with at the time (I will soon). 
  7. If you have foo in any of the Web Display engines that don't presently support embedded CSS, see what you can do to make them to support an embedded style sheet.  I suspect the biggest problem is getting them to resolve the embedded content. 
  8. If you work for a company that makes a web browser, see if your company's web browser supports the sample document.  If it doesn't, point it out to the product manager (big hint to readers from Google and Microsoft). IE9 should support this, Chrome should support this.  All I'm asking you to do is implement standards.
As the browser market stands today, I believe Self-Displaying CDA would be supported by about 75% of end-users.  That's actually very good penetration, but I'd like it to be closer to 90%.  Adding Chrome, Safari would push it to 85% which would be darn good. 

Here are some of the improvements I'd like to see in this guide (and will be part of my comments):
  1. Mac and Linux browser test results reported.
  2. Additional browser testing.
  3. A Schematron that checks conformance (for those rules that can support it).
I didn't make any attempt to address mobile devices in this guide.  Getting the desktop/laptop segment covered it my first goal.  Perfection is the enemy of the good in this case.

P.S. I posted bug reports or discussion questions on the Google, Apple Safari, Opera, and Microsoft web sites referencing the HL7 Ballot document.  Click on the links above if you have any information or support for fixing this to add to the report.  Unfortunately, I don't have a link for the Opera report, but you can log your own issue and reference DSK-320767 as a related bug in the text.  Let's get these guys to comply with the standards!

P.P.S  Thanks to some quick responses on the Apple discussion list, I've also posted a bug to WebKit and Apple (Apple ID and Developer registration required to view)

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