[uf-discuss] species microformats & OpenSearch

Shorthouse, David dps1 at ualberta.ca
Wed Dec 6 17:21:48 PST 2006

>The advantage of the LSIDs is that they may act as a mapping catalog
>that is capable of drawing the lines from old names (or even current
>names that have not been fully accepted) to current nomenclature.
>Merely using "Theridion agrifoliae" I would argue is not even enough
>for humans.

You wrote (START):
What proportion of species references *currently on the web* [1] use an
LSID, and what proportion use a binominal or suchlike?


        Google finds 105 for "Theridion agrifoliae"; and *zero* for
        "3561403" + "Theridion agrifoliae"

        Google finds about 504,000 for "parus major"; and *zero" for
        "384 8440" + "parus major"

Note also that a search for the above boinominals on the uBio website:


returns the relevant LSIDs' one use-case for the microformat would be to
find the binominal on a web page, and pass it to uBio, in order to
return the LSID.

[1] e.g. those at <http://microformats.org/wiki/species-examples>

You wrote (END)
[David Shorthouse wrote:] 

And this is exactly what uBio already provides with their LinkIT tool
(http://names.mbl.edu/tools/linkit.php) and essentially nullifies the need
for microformat mark-up. I previously argued with you on my forum
(http://canadianarachnology.dyndns.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=118) this point
and you provided no compelling argument for me to spend effort marking up my
pages with microformat. A glib reply was not convincing. If you want to sell
this initiative, I'd suggest more constructive arguments. There must be a
reason why I am one of the first GBIF-providing resources to consider
marking-up the pages I serve.

I argue that using such generic microformats as "species" or "taxon"
provides no valuable information & is no better than having binomen. In
fact, I would argue that using such mark-up may dangerously provide
mis-information if not intelligently implemented. Take for example a
politically-charged scenario where a genus receives revision, species
renamed, and consequently erroneously struck from a red-list merely because
the name cannot then be found via a hypothetical web page aggregator that
uses microformats. I have no fundamental problem with microformats; I
believe there is a responsibility here to do it right and not simply provide
"something" because "something" is better than nothing.


More information about the microformats-discuss mailing list