This release marks a major change in the way the MIxS standards are managed and released. With this release, machine readable versions MIxS terms, checklists, and packages are now hosted on GitHub. This change was spearheaded by the MIxS as RDF Task Group and allows the Compliance and Interoperability Group (CIG) to manage the standard more efficiently and reproducibly. MIxS artifacts are now created using LinkML, a general purpose modeling language for creating and validating schemas. LinkML automatically generates MIxS as graphql, JSON-LD, JSON Schema, OWL, protobuf, SCHACL, SHEX, and SQL Schema. An Excel version of MIxS, following the same format as previous releases, is generated manually and also available in the release directory, but we encourage implementers to move to using one of the machine readable formats.
A key technical change for MIxS 6 is the creation of permanent, globally unique, resolvable identifiers for each term, checklist, and package. This addition dramatically improves the FAIRness of MIxS standards. Unfortunately, a few bugs still exsist in our system, so term URIs do not yet resolved, but that issue should be fixed within a few weeks, and will send a follow to this email announcing the change. For the meantime, if you are implementing MIxS 6, please pull the URIs (e.g.,, https://w3id.org/mixs/terms/0000113 for “temperature”) from one of the machine readable sources on GitHub.
MIxS 6 includes over 100 new or updated terms and six new community-contributed environmental packages (Agriculture, food-human foods, food-farm environment, food-food production facility, food-animal and animal feed, symbiont-associated), detailed in the change log. Many of the changes to existing terms were the result of a major effort by CIG to harmonize terms across checklists and packages, ensuring, for example, that ‘temperature’ is defined the same way wherever it is used.
Please use our GitHub issue tracker to request any changes to existing terms, new terms, new checklists, or new packages. We use GitHub projects to track progress toward new checklists and packages.
Our first priority is to fix the URI issue and get the MIxS documentation pages up and running, so that MIxS IDs will resolve. The MIxS a RDF Task Group has morphed into the MIxS Technical Working Group (TWG), which will continue to meet monthly on the second Tuesday at UTC-09:00 (8AM PT, 4PM GMT). If you are interested in joining the CIG or TWG, please let me know and request to join our google group.
With the move to GitHub, we can now more easily make minor releases that include bug fixes or non-breaking changes. Any changes to backward compatibility will require a major release, and we expect to continue with the traditional schedule of one release approximately each year.
The CIG will continue to meet monthly, but now on the fourth TUESDAY of each month at UTC-09:00 (8AM PT, 4PM GMT). We are currently reviewing development priorities for the coming year. If you would like to suggest a priority, please add it to this issue.