[uf-discuss] species microformats: a penultimate reprise
andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Fri Dec 8 12:18:01 PST 2006
In message <000001c71a76$1d1c5e50$57551af0$@ca>, "Shorthouse, David"
<dps1 at ualberta.ca> writes
>Andy et al.,
>I temporarily subscribed to this listserv once again to:
And have apparently unsubscribed, again. Nonetheless, I'll reply, for
the benefit of other readers.
>1) apologize for allowing my emotions get in the way of what can be a
>fantastic solution to a very difficult problem
Thank you for the apology. On the basis that you are apologising for
falsely accusing me of spamming, I am happy to accept.
>2) offer advice to take your proposed species microformats to the next
>level of resilience in the face of taxonomic uncertainties.
Thank you; but the proposal already has adequate resilience.
>I also expect GUIDs in the form of LSIDs to contribute in a
>dramatic fashion to the aggregation of taxonomic resources in a
>rigorous manner, but there is as yet little work done on the very
>problem of developing and maintaining name resolution functionality (i.e.
>synonymic to current nomenclatural mappings, though triple stores,
>RDF, and other similar schema have some promise).
That's future-gazing, again.
>I hope proponents of microformats can sit at these tables. The current
problem with the millions of
>species pages in existence is that there are very few schemes governing
>structure and yet there is an opportunity here to do something
>remarkable because all biological names naturally have structure.
A structure which can be marked up using the current proposal. Anyone
who disagrees is welcome to point out the incompatibilities, which, like
those raised previously, will be speedily addressed.
>But, there is a responsibility here to do it right.
Indeed. However, your opinion as to what is "right" is not the only one;
and your opinion does not sit with the methodologies used by
> Organizations like the Taxonomic
>Databases Working Group (TDWG) have participated in realizing the
>sorts of things biologists dream about. Is there a TDWG participant here
>to help species microformats be recognized and adopted?
They have been invited.
> So, I apologize for directing a line of questioning that in a
>number of instances stepped beyond the goals of species microformats. I
>you appreciate the fact that my goals are much the same as yours
I think it is apparent that they are not.
> I am well familiar with your proposal since it was first brought to my
>on the forum I maintain.
You may be "familiar" with it, but the evidence is that you have, sadly,
failed to grasp its intent or implications.
>However, I would have appreciated being
>contacted directly about it rather than seeing it in an arachnologists'
And what makes you so special that you should have been contacted
>Species microformats have nothing directly to do with spider research and
>identification in their present level of acceptance and adoption.
No, but they do apply to marking-up the names of spiders, when they're
published on the web.
>They are at this stage a web developer's tool with future client
No, microformats already have lots of practical uses.
>Andy, because our discussion had degraded to a level that would offend
>the school children and others who use the Nearctic Arachnologists'
>Forum, I did indeed wipe out the thread.
You censored something (a cut & paste of
which was not offensive, but which did contain criticism of your
actions and refutations of your spurious claims. I stand by what wrote
> However, if I receive a similar public apology
>from you, I will re-enable your account in the forum and will welcome
>your participation in arachnology research and appreciation.
I owe you no apology.
>First, I urge you to be patient and to recognize the fact that many
>especially those who are involved in developing biological resources
>on the web, just won't "get it". I am an exception.
On the contrary - you clearly don't "get" what has been proposed.
>I have read through your species microformat proposal and fully
>understand it. I was evidently out of line by playing devil's advocate
>and forcing you to think outside the box.
Why should we now take what you say at face value, if you are saying
that your previous comments were not sincere?
>In the face of the mess taxonomy can be at times, it would be worth
>thinking about GUIDs like LSIDs for use in microformats for species. uBio
>is but one provider of LSIDs. There are at least a half dozen other
>providers and many more are in the works.
The fact that you say the above, when GUIDs have already been taken into
account and are covered by the existing proposal; and when you have been
told that more than once, is clear evidence that you either do not
understand the proposal, or are again "playing devil's advocate".
>I have participated in the upcoming GBIF portal development, an
>initiative in the works called SpeciesBase, which if realized will be
>what GBIF is for primary collections data, but for species pages, and
>will be participating in the Entomological Collections Network where a
>lot of work is devoted to producing web-based resources for collections
Nonetheless, please fell free to point out what you think might be
published by that process, which could not be marked up using the
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