This project will design and implement “Source KIDS” in order to represent VistA software in a source tree suitable for use with modern version control tools.

Once deployed, SKIDS will make it possible to exchange source code and globals between VistA instances and Git repositories.

As with any other OSEHRA project, best practices of Open Source software will be applied.

  • The design will be coordinated in an open Wiki.
  • The implementation will be hosted in a public Git repository: Here.
  • The project will be distributed under the Apache 2.0 License.
  • Documentation materials will be distributed under the Creative Commons by Attribution 3.0 License.

OSEHRA invites everyone to participate in this project, to contribute their expertise and to help in the implementation and testing of the functionalities.

Please start by reading the SKIDS White Paper and share your feedback.

Group Email:

Pictures from the OSEHRA Summit

In the spirit of "openness", I took a collection of pictures throughout the OSEHRA event, all of which are available for download at no cost.  (BTW, I have a lot of pictures of participants in addition to the speakers).

You will find them on my website at    Look at the "Featured" albums.

To download, select the images you like from the OSEHRA event and choose "Buy".  You will not be charged.

Comments welcomed and appreciated.

VA testing cash prizes to improve its health record system -


Please see and hear an interview released today by Federal News Radio on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative to use contests as an important strategy to reduce risk in acquiring open source compatible health information technology.  

In this interview, Roger Baker, CIO, VA, persuasively describes why this groundbreaking new way of doing business has important implications for the iEHR, VBMS and federal health IT acquisition strategy going forward ...

An open invitation to join the Fileman/Lab Agile Project (FLAP):

VA has recently funded a small project to be completed by T3 Tiger Tech, with sub-contracting provided by the VISTA Expertise Network. This project will use already-completed open-source improvements, and some new code, to create and distribute a new version of the VISTA File Manager (Fileman) package. This in turn will enable future development of VISTA Lab and Fileman.

Document Storage Systems, Inc. (DSS, Inc.) Will Donate the DSS Patient Search Tool Extension to OSEHRA as an OS Apache License

Juno Beach, FL, October 16, 2012 – As a major sponsor of the Open Source Electronic Health Record (EHR) Community, DSS, Inc. is pleased to release the DSS Patient Search Tool Extension and Launcher to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) via the Apache 2.0 Open Source license. This tool enables clinicians and researchers who use the VistA EHR to quickly search a patient’s entire electronic record for free text data that might otherwise be scattered throughout the chart. DSS, Inc.

Some background material for Semantic Web topics for Architecture Conference Call Feb 28

Peter Li has asked me to talk a bit about my proposal to use semantic web technologies within the OSEHRA efforts on the Architecture call Tues Feb 28.  This is a continuation of the comments at

The basic idea is to create a repository of all the elements required to define a VistA instance in a format that can be queried and manipulated with semantic web technology.  This consists of:

Progress on RDF/Sparql repository for VistA Foundation Schema

This is a follow up to my earlier proposal to use RDF and SPARQL to create a directed graph to map out all of the foundational elements in a VistA instance.   My goal is to create a SPARQL Endpoint through which we have common, universal access to all of the elements of the software "engine" that drives a VistA implementation.  I am calling this repository a Foundation, which is defined by a Foundation Schema (here is a

KIDS parser

I just posted a python script that extracts the routines out of a KIDS build (and multi-builds) and posted it here:

This may be useful in verifying that routines match the patch level that is listed in the 2nd line of the routine vs the KIDS build it came from.

Consider this very beta/alpha code.  Any additions/corrections appreciated.

Christopher Edwards

Code Convergence and higher level tools for large scale code management.

Let me congratulate Conor Dowling for his excellent work to date using his semantic vista technology.  I think that this is a good start on getting a handle on the complexity of the multiple versions, and also an interesting platform to look at future evolution of the technology.

Some reference information: Patterns, Refactoring, and Dynamic languages

I just thought I'd throw out some titles of the books I've been reading.  These are mostly to catch up on conversations I've been having with Ralph Johnson (who wrote the first paper on refactoring) and Ward Cunningham, another ubergeek.  There is a cluster of activity/thinking around the notions of refactoring, pattern languages, open systems, and dynamic languages (Smalltalk, in particular).

Roger Baker receiving VIP Underground Railroad card

Roger Baker, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology for the Department of Veterans Affairs receives his upgraded VIP Underground Railroad Card from Tom Munnecke. Peter L. Levin, Senior Advisor and Chief Technical Officer for the VA, looks on. The VIP card has a 1981-era Motorola 6800 CPU chip laminated over the engine of the railroad. The VIP card is in recognition of his efforts to build on the success of the VIstA tradition, towards the new generation of open source health Information technology.

No questions have been added to this group.

Proposal to use RDF/SPARQL to define Foundation Schema to map VistA elements

At the last Architecture phone call, I suggested using semantic web/ontology technology to describe the VistA architecture, which would give us a formal, common platform for discussing everything required to install and operate a VistA instance.  

Attached is the proposal, which points to the RDFS of the schema at



An RDF approach to managing the VistA software foundation


Tom Munnecke



During the earliest phases of VA MUMPS development, the software consisted solely of MUMPS routines and MUMPS globals. Simple routines were developed for exporting and importing routines, and for exporting and importing globals.

SKIDS Scope Definition

The purpose of this Wiki page is to define the scope of the SKIDS project.

This will be done by working in collaboration with the larger community.

Please start by reading the SKIDS White Paper and share your ideas about scope in this page.



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