OT: digital identifiers (Was: Pinyin

Stephane Bortzmeyer bortzmeyer at nic.fr
Thu Sep 25 14:29:19 CEST 2008

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 08:31:53AM +0200,
 Lang Gérard <gerard.lang at insee.fr> wrote 
 a message of 42 lines which said:

> For example, the social security identifier in France is a
> numeric-13 number, the fisrt one being 1 for men and 2 for wemen.

Do note it is not a French idiosyncrasy, but simply an ISO standard,
5218 "Codes for the representation of human sexes".


> Andd wemen organizations have protested because 1 is before 2.

ISO leaves no stone unturned. The above standard says:

   No significance is to be placed upon the fact that "Male" is coded
   "1" and "Female" is coded "2". This standard was developed based 
   upon predominant practices of the countries involved and does not
   convey any meaning of importance, ranking or any other basis that
   could imply discrimination.

> So, I proposed to choose a digitalization only using bits (0/1), so
> that the fist digit could be 0 for wemen and 1 for men,

The great thing is that this schema is self-documenting :-)

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