[uf-discuss] species microformats & OpenSearch

Shorthouse, David dps1 at ualberta.ca
Thu Dec 7 07:56:16 PST 2006

Please note my earlier comment on quoting formats.
[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
Sorry, you'll just have to tolerate it. Until Microsoft updates Office 2007
to deal with this possible bug with text email, I refuse to install 3rd
party plug-ins.

        Imagine viewing a web page with a reference to a species - and
        being able to use an add-on to you browser to be taken directly
        to information about that species, on, say, Wikipedia, or
        Wikispecies, or Google Images, or another site, such as in an
        academic database, of your choosing.

[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
The key word here is "imagine". Please show me where a species microformat
mark-up does this. uBio's LinkIT tool recognizes all the binomen on a
submitted webpage and creates "links" to recognized scientific bodies of
work where one can be assured that the name is valid, or to receive the
species' current nomenclature. It would be trivial for them to also produce
a species list from such outputs or to permit a user to select what site
they would like to be redirected to for more information. This, without any

        Your software would automatically know to search site A if the
        scientific name referred to a moth, site B for a bird, and site
        C for a plant - and you could set your preferences as to which
        sites those were to be, and in which order two or more were to
        be searched (e.g. for moths, try UK Moths
        (http://ukmoths.org.uk/) first, if not found try The Global
        Lepidoptera Names Index

[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
And what does a microformat browser plug-in do when it comes across a
species name, _Agathis montana_ if the individual who created the mark-up
did not indicate that this species is a wasp and not a conifer (they share
the same name, which is perfectly acceptable because they are in different

I wasn't aware that you were the person with whom I'd had that
discussion, some months ago. Nor was I aware that the discussion had
continued, since your forum does not appear to send e-mail notices of
further replies (leastways , I received none). I note also that Charles
Roper, my co-proponent of this proposal, subsequently gave you a lengthy

[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
Your copy & pasted post to the forum I maintain was no better than spam. Had
you took the time to read through the registration process, you would have
noticed that email replies are not provided.

And I have already shown you how it does; nor is having binomen a bad

[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
Sorry, you have not.

> In fact, I would argue that using such mark-up may dangerously provide
>mis-information if not intelligently implemented.

Unfounded scare-mongering.

> 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.

Such bizarrely hypothetical speculation - not to mention the political
slant - is way outside the scope of microformats.

[David Shorthouse wrote:] 
And why should it be? Are not microformats a step toward the semantic web?

As it stands now, I am no more convinced that a species or taxon microformat
is of any use to me or someone visiting the pages I produce. I receive no
value because nothing is linked to current taxonomies and those visiting the
pages receive no demonstrable value. I can see how microformats might be
useful in some situations, but for taxonomic productions like species pages,
you have lost a potential supporter. Until you can demonstrate how
microformats for taxa are linked to works like Species2000 & there is an
obvious attempt to accommodate the very dynamic and often problematic nature
of binomen (e.g. with ties to LSIDs), I won't mark-up any of the species
pages I host. There is no point in replying to me, I have unsubscribed from
this listserv.

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