"Happy-hour" browser

Chris Garvie CGarvie at XETEL.COM
Fri Oct 27 10:24:09 CDT 1995

     James H. Beach's classification browser is not such a happy-hour item
     as many no doubt might think. Most of the parts to store the
     information already exists with present technology. After all, we
     store and retrieve text, video and sound with no problems now. At my
     company (an electronic board manufacturer) we already have an allied
     system which stores schematics as video.  Under Windows, various
     points of this picture can be clicked on to bring up an expanded view,
     text documents (construction instructions), or sound (soon to be
     implemented for special warning points on the manufacturing floor).
     One can navigate from the board level, down a tree structure to
     sub-boards, and then to the individual items with full manufacturing
     requirements and instructions. This is implemented with the FoxPro
     language and database system.
     So, - I would imagine that part of the browser could be implemented
     today with modest effort, and could be accessible and useful for human
     What would need developing though, is a search/retrieval/reporting
     capability which could handle the various forms your taxonomic data is
     stored in. To be useful one would like to be able to make a request
     that for example might say: list me all grasses with serrated leaves,
     pink flowers and living in latitudes < 80 deg. Somehow your "reporter"
     would have to map the pink of the flowers, and the serrations of the
     leaves to the text in your request, and that at the very least that
     would involve a constructing a very large mapping thesaurus database.
     Chris Garvie

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