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EDIFACTORY


By thomas - Posted on 21 Dezember 2009

(Tja, ist halt noch in Englisch - habs noch nicht geschafft es zu übersetzen aber vielleicht wirds ja noch irgendwann...)

This is where the EDIFACTORY came from:

Back, somewhere in 1999 (I think it was there), I was faced with EDIFACT at the company I work for. I didn't understand anything of what the people were talking about. They talked about qualifier, segments, fields, messages and that all based on a (optical) cryptic syntax.

As writing a compiler (at least a scanner) is a quite good exercise for learning a programming language, I started to write a reader for EDIFACT messages. A compiler is used to read the input text (the source code) and translate it into another format like assembler code or directly executable binaries. As you can see, the job for an EDIFACT reader is quite the same (input is EDIFACT, output somewhat else). When making more progress on writing such a reader, it becomes more and more clear how that all depends on each other. And, the syntax isn't as cryptic as it seemed to be. One of the result of those studies is a tiny EDIFACT converter which is able to read EDIFACT messages of any syntax version and pass the data to a backend module which than may write the data to a database or something like that. You may want to have a look to its sources here.

Understanding more of the mechanisms of EDIFACT I became more enthusiastic and I learned these days that much more people had trouble with it. The problems were all the same. So I began to use EDIFACT to enter a new area of interest: The internet. Even it was not that new, it was new to me. It was a quite nice experience to see own stuff in the world wide web. This was the hour of birth of the EDIFACTORY, because I named my domain www.edifactory.de.

I was amused by my name creation because there is edifactory as well as edifactory and edifactory in it. Only with the remaining ory I do not know what to do with it, but, at least it holds the balance against the leading edi around the fact because its three letters too.

I began to build the pages using a famous webeditor of a famous software company somewhere in the northern US. But the site grows too much that static pages were impossible to handle any longer. I restructured the site to be based on Docbook XML. This provides the option that the content of the site can be generated and than uploaded and the XSLT processors will show the content in the common design. In the meanwhile, I unfortunately lost the old pages - a museum is impossible. ...but - wait a minute... have you ever heard about the Wayback Machine? It's fascinating what they recorded of the history of EDIFACTORY.

Currently, the EDIFACTORY is in maintenance mode. I simply do not have the time to do much updates. The programs are working and it's only once a year when I really need to do something: This is when the UN releases a new standard. Than, I need to start the importer (you may want to have a look at it's sources) which builds the XML files. I upload them to the site and integrate them to the menue.
Ah, by the way, you are interested in such XML files? Take a look here.

In the early 2017, I sold the domain. My spare time is somehow disappearing so I cannot anylonger maintain the site. Farewell EDIFACTORY!