Lists: Is the "system" attribute obsolete?

The documentation says that there are 33 system lists that must be defined. It also says that the attribute system (= intrinsic is_system_list) must have the value "1" if it is a system list.

However, base.xml does not mark a single one of the 43 lists defined here as a system list. Why?


  • is_system_list was intended as a flag indicating a list is required for system function, as opposed to content lists that are solely part of the catalogue schema. The object_types list, which defines types of objects in the schema, would be an example of a "system list" as CA relies upon it to generate the user interface. The idea was to distinguish these lists visually, so users would understand that changes to them had the potential to alter system functionality. But all it is is a flag –is_system_list doesn't have any functional effect. Lists work exactly the same whether it's checked or not.

    I suppose the absence of practical impact has resulted in it being inconsistently applied or ignored. We should fix that in base.xml, and perhaps make it impossible to delete system lists. Right now you can delete lists like object_types even though it would never make sense to do so.

    Thanks for raising this issue!


  • Thanks for the new Jira issue, we welcome the suggestions in it. Especially suggestion #3 that users can hide the system lists and see only their self-created lists and vocabularies.

    By the way, we found some more outdated code in base.xml: <subTypeLeft> and <subTypeRight> in the <relationshipTypes> section:

             <subTypeLeft> </subTypeLeft>

    The documentation says about these two elements:

    Note that as of version 1.7 subTypeLeft and subTypeRight elements are deprecated and has been renamed typeRestrictionLeft and typeRestrictionRight. These new elements are functionally identical to their predecessors.

    But this information seems to be outdated as well, because typeRestrictionLeft and typeRestrictionRight are obviously no longer elements, but attributes to the <type> element. In addition, there seem to be two new attributes includeSubtypesLeft and includeSubtypesRight, which are not documented anywhere yet.

  • BTW: We've been working through base.xml very thoroughly over the last few weeks to get a clean and solid base for our CA projects. We have also added a German translation to the base.xml, which was completely missing until now.

    We are happy to offer our base.xml for use to others if there is interest. However, we have also made numerous changes to the values, so that, for example, our German translation cannot simply be transferred to the existing base.xml. After completion of our current projects, however, we are happy to offer to add German translations to the "official" base.xml as well. This should be possible with manageable additional effort.

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