[uf-discuss] species microformats & OpenSearch

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Thu Dec 7 14:10:16 PST 2006

In message <004e01c71a18$3afd8920$b0f89b60$@ca>, "Shorthouse, David"
<dps1 at ualberta.ca> writes

>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.

Other people using the same software that you use seem to manage; and
nobody has suggested you use a 3rd party plug in.

>        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
>        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.

I wrote the above, not you.

>[David Shorthouse wrote:]
>The key word here is "imagine". Please show me where a species
>microformat mark-up does this.

That's a ridiculous request - you've already been told, more than once,
that this is a proposal, not a finished product.

> uBio's LinkIT tool recognizes all the binomen on a
>submitted webpage

... a web page which must be *manually* submitted...

>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
>site they would like to be redirected to for more information. This,
>without any microformats.

...and again that's hypothetical. Or are there any active proposals to
do that?

>        Your software would automatically know to search site A if the
>        scientific name referred to a moth, site B for a bird, and
>        C for a plant

>[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
>share the same name, which is perfectly acceptable because they are in
>different Kingdoms).

*If* they did not do so, then the result could be, for instance:


        (aka <http://tinyurl.com/voofq> )

or, if the user so desires:


Why is that a problem?

The issue of the same name being used for two species, in different
kingdoms, has already been addressed, in previous discussion, to which
you have been referred, but which you appear not to have read.

>[David Shorthouse wrote:]
>Your copy & pasted post to the forum I maintain was no better than

That's a lie, and a libel (evidenced, not least by your previous
involvement in discussion in response to that post). Otherwise, feel
free to report me to my ISP.

> Had
>you took the time to read through the registration process, you would
>noticed that email replies are not provided.

Indeed - note that I said that your forum did not do so, not that I
didn't know that it did not do so.

>And I have already shown you how it does; nor is having binomen a bad
>[David Shorthouse wrote:]
>Sorry, you have not.

I was replying to your assertion, which you have not quoted, that :

        I argue that using such generic microformats as
        "species" or "taxon" provides no valuable
        information & is no better than having binomen.

and indeed I have, when I pointed out that your example:

        <h1><span class="species">Theridion agrifoliae</span> Levi,

conveys more, and more semantic, information than simply:

        <h1>Theridion agrifoliae Levi, 1957</h1>

>> Take for example a politically-charged scenario where a genus
>>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?

You appear to have a very poor grasp of what microformats are, and what
they are for. Once again, I refer you to the introductory material
recommended to you by Charles Roper.

>Are not microformats a step toward the semantic web?

Very much so.

>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

The option to do those things *is* already demonstrated on the pages to
which you have previously been referred; there is no intention to
mandate such links.

You have a very specific need (or, rather, wish) which the proposal
caters for completely; it does not cater for your apparent wish to
impose your methodology on others.

>There is no point in replying to me, I have unsubscribed
>from this listserv.

Ah, the Internet equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and
chanting "I-can't-hear-you-I-can't-hear-you-I-can't-hear-you...". All
the more bizarre, since you have asked four discrete questions in the
above e-mail.

Then again, I note that you have ignored most of the questions which I
have put to you.

Andy Mabbett
                Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards:  <http://www.no2id.net/>

                Free Our Data:  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>

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