Light HL7 Library update

There’s a new version of the light HL7 library right here. It fixes an issue that caused new empty fields to be appended to a segment if they were queried for but did not exist. Originally I didn’t think this was an issue, but I can see why people would not want it to do this.

My next goal is to enhance the library to make working with nested segments a bit easier. Right now you need to know the index of a particular segment to address it (the 12th NTE for example), but it really matters a lot more to know which segments are associated with which groups. For example that an OBX is associated with a particular OBR. To do this I need both an API that can address segment groups in a consistent and user-defined manner, but also a way to develop a lexical method of describing segment groups. For the latter I’m looking at something like () defines a group. Prefixing it with * means 0 or more, + means 1 or more {#,#} means a range. No prefix would indicate {1,1} or one and only one repetition. An example for a result style message might be +(OBR*(NTE)+(OBX*(NTE))), where we can have one or more result groups, led by an OBR segment. That OBR may have zero or more NTEs. Then each OBR has one or more OBXs, each of which may have zero or more NTEs of its own. Confusing? Probably.

Lastly, I’ve actually been asked to put a donate button on this page. I haven’t wanted to do that because I make a good salary, but I can see why users of the tools here would want to feel they contribute to its development and upkeep. I do pay several hundred dollars a year to upkeep this server, and more to maintain and backup servers and development laptops at home. It’s stuff I would have anyway, I suppose, but I guess you could measure that as a monetary impact this development has on my own income. So, if you feel so inclined, click the donate button to the right. If you wish your donation to be publicly acknowledged, make sure to tell me so in the paypal notes. Tell me what to show, including your name, organization, email and/or amount. If you don’t I won’t show anything to protect your privacy. I’ll create a page if it becomes necessary to list donors. I don’t have a non-profit organization to support this development, so don’t try to write the donation off. Whether your support comes in the form of emails to tell me that you use the software, bug reports, unit tests or whatever – I appreciate that. So you have my thanks.