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Parameters

To maximize the consistency between QC Items the values that can be used for Input and Output Values are managed in (versioned) Parameter lists for:

- Types
- Representations
- Units
- Ranges

When QC Items are created, editors are encouraged to choose from existing 'official' Parameter values (as these are the only ones that show in the dropdown lists for Types, Representations, Units, Ranges). They can however also suggest new Parameter values.

Newly proposed values do NOT appear in the dropdown lists, but will be added as 'unofficial' to Parameter Lists managed by Workflow Managers. These  'unofficial' values can subsequently (in case of wide agreement) be elevated to 'official'.

Feature currently being tested: Editors can see which QC Items (incl. versions) use specific Parameters, by clicking the 'Items' symbol (button with 4 squares) in the related list view (e.g. TYpes, Representations, Units, Ranges).

Currently work is ongoing to improve the lists of Parameters based on the data of the QC Items that were created before this managed approach was introduced.

Versioning

As with most information in QC.EBU.IO, the Parameters are versioned.

Auto-updating

When an Editor selects from the listboxes in the QC Item interface, these always refer to the latest versions of the Parameters, but stored information in existing QC Items does not necessarily. When Parameter definitions change, related QC Items may thus need to be updated.

The system automatically updates Types and Ranges to the latest versions and indicates this in blue text 'auto-updated'. Note that Representations and Units depend on the related Type, though.

Auto-selecting

If the system knows which Representation and Unit must be used (in the case only one of those is defined in the Type), it will auto-select those.

Note that the 'auto-updated' message does NOT appear for auto-selected Representations or Units, as their version depends on the one defined in the Type (which should be the latest, but may not be).

Validation

Upon saving, validation logic checks all Parameter entries against the latest versions of the official Parameters and it checks consistency of Type - Representation - Unit combinations. Invalid values are indicated with red text notifying the Editor what is wrong.

For QC Items with status 'tech review', 'group review', 'publication ready', or 'published', the validation logic will also check the Item is only using official parameters (which include Ranges not being empty).

Suggesting Type updates

When Workflow Managers update a Representation / Unit, but do not update the related Type, this may complicate the work of Editors, as they will not be able to save the inconsistent Parameter values (as the system will check the latest official version of Type, Representation, Unit and Range are used!). To prevent this situation, Workflow Managers see a list of Types to update when they update a Unit or Representation.

Auto-updating of Type definitions

When Workflow Managers open a Type for editing, the system will automatically auto-update the Representations and Units values, so they refer to the latest versions of those. So only opening & saving Types, will make sure they refer to the latest Representation and Unit versions.

(official) indicator

The list of Representations and Units shown in the Type definition listboxes postfix the Representation and Unit names with '(official)', to make sure official Types use official Representations and official Units.

Work is underway to automate/simplify some of this updating. It also should be noted that although parameters are versioned, often the changes between them are limited (e.g. updated remarks field) and not relevant for what is displayed in related QC Items (e.g. when a Type name stays the same).

Version by Frans De Jong - June 15, 2024, 4:07 p.m.