Text Display Formats

One of the hardest problems to solve in HL7 Version 2 and CDA is the issues associated with display formats:

  • Plain Text
  • FT data type
  • CDA Structured Narrative
  • RTF
  • HTML
  • PDF

They matter a lot: this is where the real people-people interoperability happens, and experience shows that the formats are hard to support in an engineering sense, and unreliable for interoperability.

One way or another, I’ve got a bit of experience with these text formats (I wrote an entire word processor from scratch, for instance), so in these pages I’m going to document what I know about the text formats.

For now, this page is a work in progress. As the page grows, it will become more organised.



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