TDWG - more ITF notes from the ASBS newsletter...

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Tue Jan 26 22:40:35 CST 1993

    Scanned in from the:
    Austral. Syst. Bot. Soc. Newsletter 73 (December 1992) 15

    International Transfer Format-- further news

    A computer workshop on "Plant documentation and records in botanic
    gardens" was held on 23 October 1993, at the Third Intemational
    Botanic Gardens Conservation Congress, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Diane Wyse Jackson (Information Systems Officer, Botanic Gardens
    Conservation Intemational) stated (in a letter to me) that the
    Workshop turned out to be more of a training and information workshop
    than a problem solving one.

    However, it was decided that variable length fields would be
    acceptable in ITF as long as the fields were appropriately defined.
    Note that the same 32 fields in record type 2 would remain unchanged.
    This could be done by making the first record compulsory, and in
    position 73 record type I entering the extended ASCII character that
    was being used to denote the end of a field, and in position 74
    record type I the extended ASCII character used to denote the end of
    a record.

    The free text contents would then begin at position 75, and
    would be 288 characters long only. This record (record type 1) would
    be the only fixed length record, and even that is not necessary with
    the right program--only the first 8 fields would have to be the fixed
    length. Alternatively, the first character (position 1) would be the
    Record type (as already defined), followed by the end-of-field
    character (position 2) and then the end of record character (position
    3). I assume that all fields after these could be of variable length.
    Agreement as to where these two extra characters are to be situated
    is necessary in the first record.

    Record type 2 would obviously not have a fixed number of characters,
    but one could read in a string of text and denot the end of each
    record. Those sending data should make sure that record type 2
    contains 32 field characters for each record.  These fields are to
    coincide with the original ITF.

    This modification of ITF, after agreement, could be formalized by
    publication of the variable length ITF version as an addendum to the
    ITF 01.00, available from the Hunt Institute.

    Barry Conn
    TDWG Regional Secretary (Australia)

Jim Croft                  [Herbarium CBG]           internet: jrc at
Australian National Botanic Gardens                     voice:  +61-6-2509 490
GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA               fax:  +61-6-2509 599
____Biodiversity Directorate, Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service____

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