So, do we have a conclusion that toolmakers can reference? Can we document this 
somewhere in the specs or elsewhere?


From: openEHR-technical <> On Behalf 
Of Heather Leslie
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:22 AM
To: For openEHR technical discussions <>
Subject: RE: Syntax for including archetypes in SLOTs, regardless of version

Hi everyone,

In our modelling, it is safe to assume that the latest version of an archetype 
is the best candidate on offer for anyone using an archetype and filling a SLOT 
for the first time. Options for use of previous versions may be useful for 
implementers who have older versions in their current systems and don’t want 
two different versions or to update all their systems to the latest version.

I totally agree that from a governance point of view SLOT inclusions won’t need 
to specify a version in 99% of cases. However in some situations it 
theoretically may be appropriate to fix a version in place in a specific SLOT. 
In fact I can’t think of a use case YET where we need to specify a certain 
version, but no doubt this will occur at some time in the near future.

In all our modelling it seems that as soon as we limit our options one way or 
another we discover a use case that breaks our most recently made rule! 
Murphy’s law?

So we want to have our cake and eat it too – default to any or all versions of 
an archetype, with the option to specify one (or maybe even multiple) if needs 
be. Same theory applies to exclusions in a SLOT as well.

The governance overheads of currently specifying v0 and/or v1 and/or v2  will 
only increase as time goes on and at present as CKAs we have people upset that 
v0 is specifically included but that archetype has subsequently been published 
as v1. They want to see v1 specifically included. They don’t understand the 
theory behind it, not unreasonably, that as long as no archetypes (and 
versions) are excluded in a specific way, even if the SLOT suggests a v0 as an 
inclusion, it technically doesn’t stop a v1 being inserted in there. So the 
inclusion of all versions also has an important design guidance function as 
well. Newbies may not understand that if an archetype of the appropriate class 
is no actively excluded, then any or all of the archetypes of that class are 
technically valid for adding into a template.



From: openEHR-technical 
 On Behalf Of Bakke, Silje Ljosland
Sent: Wednesday, 19 December 2018 1:15 AM
To: For openEHR technical discussions 
Subject: RE: Syntax for including archetypes in SLOTs, regardless of version

Thanks Thomas,

The idea here is that we (likely in 99% of the cases) do want to include any 
version of the archetype, so the .v[0-2] variant isn’t relevant. The reason for 
this is that even though an archetype will have breaking changes from one major 
version to the next, the clinical concept will stay the same (or it should have 
a completely new ID). We don’t generally include archetypes based on their 
specific content at the time of inclusion, but on the clinical concept they 

If leaving the version part out completely is the correct way to leave 
versioning open when including archetypes, the CKM will need to change 
behaviours regarding this, since it currently rejects any archetype that does 


From: openEHR-technical 
 On Behalf Of Thomas Beale
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: Syntax for including archetypes in SLOTs, regardless of version


just as a technical note, the proper regex for including

openEHR-EHR-OBSERVATION\.body_mass_index(-[a-zA-Z0-9_]+)*\.v1 and 




to allow any version, just leave the version id part off entirely.

Note that different major versions of an archetype are technically different 
archetypes - i.e. they contain some breaking change. So whether allowing any 
major version of an archetype in a slot is a good default probably needs to be 
thought about carefully.

- thomas
On 18/12/2018 11:56, Bakke, Silje Ljosland wrote:

Sebastian Garde and I had a brainstorm a while ago about how to handle 
inclusion of archetypes in SLOTs (either CLUSTERs within ENTRY archetypes, or 
ENTRY archetypes within COMPOSITIONs or SECTIONs). At the moment this has to be 
noted explicitly (whether because of tooling or the specifications, I don’t 
know), so that in order to include for example all historical versions and 
specialisations of the Body Mass Index archetype in a COMPOSITION or SECTION, I 
have to include both 
openEHR-EHR-OBSERVATION\.body_mass_index(-[a-zA-Z0-9_]+)*\.v1 and 
openEHR-EHR-OBSERVATION\.body_mass_index(-[a-zA-Z0-9_]+)*\.v2. If we ever make 
a v3 BMI archetype, this will then need to be added. This is a hassle when 
modelling archetypes in the first place, and it’s an even worse problem for 
governing them over time.

Based on the discussion I had with Sebastian, and with the kind help of some 
regex geeks on Twitter (you know who you are 😉), I propose one of the following 
as the default syntax for including any version of a given archetype in a SLOT:

  1.  An explicit regex for the version number, for example 
  2.  Leaving out entirely the version part of the expression, for example 

I think it should still be possible to include a specific version of the 
archetype, but that this should not be the default behaviour of the tools.

I don’t particularly care if one of these two suggestions, or an entirely 
different solution, is adopted, but this issue has to be decided and 
implemented soon.

Kind regards,
Silje Ljosland Bakke

Information Architect, RN
Coordinator, National Editorial Board for Archetypes
Nasjonal IKT HF, Norway
Tel. +47 40203298
Web:<> / Twitter: 


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Thomas Beale
Principal, Ars Semantica<>
Consultant, ABD Project, Intermountain 
Management Board, Specifications Program Lead, openEHR 
Chartered IT Professional Fellow, BCS, British Computer 
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