Scientific software 106

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{As an aside, searching for mathematics may end up using the ad-hoc techniques used for searching in technical chemical databases. I initially thought that chemistry had its act together, but have been advised that it isn't so; for example there are over 20 chemical MIME types. For information on some of what the chemists have done one can look at Scientific software the scientific and technical attribute and element set (STAS) maintained by CNDIR, the Clearinghouse for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval. This working document does not (yet) deal with mathematics, but shows one direction for introducing a search standard. It is in fact oriented toward denotating chemicals as is needed for standardized library queries using the Z39.50 network standard protocol. Field indexes are available for denoting abstract (62) to zipcode 2794). Also included are the prespecified index numbers for things like OSHA (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration) mathlab permissable exposure levels (3910) or vapor pressure (2973), or the somewhat mysterious Uniterm (2790) "Code and text which represent general concepts, chemical fragments and chemical substances in the IFI files". Not everything in Z39.50 is chemically related. Though the breadth of its coverage appears huge, it seems it is still growing. If you look at some details in the Library of Congress promotion of this standard you will see that there are registered record syntaxes for forms like postscript, html, gif and sgml. For example, the initial assignment to sgml is 1.2.840.10003.5.109.9. It helps put your standards into perspective.

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