Leonard Krishtalka kris at UKANS.EDU
Tue Sep 9 16:38:36 CDT 1997

IMPORTANT MEMORANDUM =96 Please excuse cross-postings

TO:  The MUSE community

FROM:  Leonard Krishtalka, Director, Natural History Museum & Biodiversity
Research Center, The University of Kansas

DATE:  September 5, 1997

SUBJECT:  MUSE/Zoe Project Announcement: Changes in administration and
management for current MUSE and future "Zoe" users

Internal and external evaluation during 1997 of the Zoe prototype collection
database management system, which was developed at Cornell University until
July, 1996 and since then at KUNHM, revealed systemically unstable and
inadequate performance that is beyond efficient correction within the
current Zoe framework.

Therefore, the University of Kansas Natural History Museum (KUNHM) has
formed a new management team to direct the OZ Project, the laboratory
working name for the new program that will replace Zoe.  Target date for
delivery of OZ is June, 1998.

The new OZ development team members are:=20
Laura Green, Project Manager
Tim Noble, Senior Programmer
Todd Kofford, Programmer
Magnus Thorne, Programmer =20

Principle oversight for this NSF-funded project is being provided by Dr.
Craig Freeman, Curator, Division of Botany.  The OZ Project KUNHM Advisory
Committee includes:=20

Dr. Steve Ashe, Curator, Division of Entomology;=20
Alice Hart, Geologist, Division of Invertebrate Paleontology;=20
Stacie Kawaguchi, Collection Manager, Division of Botany
Dr. Desui Miao, Collection Manager, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology;=20
Mark Robbins, Collection Manager, Division of Ornithology;
Dr. Kate Shaw, Collection Manager, Division of Ichthyology;=20
John Simmons, Collection Manager, Division of Herpetology;
Dr. Norm Slade, Curator, Division of Mammalogy; and=20
Dr. Jim Beach, Department of Biodiversity Informatics. =20

External advisors in the technology and collections arenas are being
consulted as needed.

Dr. Julian Humphries has resigned his position at the Museum effective
October 31, 1997.

OZ is being completely rewritten in Borland=92s C++ and Delphi for the=
95 or NT environment.  OZ will be based on the ASC data model and developed
initially for the following taxonomic collections: plants, insects,
arachnids, molluscs, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, fossil
vertebrates, fossil invertebrates, fossil plants. =20

An integral component of the development scheme is a data migration pathway
for current MUSE users and sites to OZ.  However, in anticipation of OZ, we
will not be distributing new versions of MUSE.  A follow-up message will
address MUSE support for current MUSE users, sites and versions.

The OZ project timetable is as follows (target dates are approximate):=20
=B7 Until October 1: Design phase, which is currently underway;
=B7 October 1, 1997-April 1, 1998: Implementation phase, which will include
high-level design, user interface, publications, coding and test plans;=20
=B7 April 1-May1, 1998: Testing phase; =20
=B7 June, 1998 =96 Product delivery

We welcome visitors to the OZ development laboratory at the Natural History
Museum.  Please contact the OZ development team at ozlab at or Laura
Green (redgreen at; phone: 785/864-3803; fax: 785/864-5010) to
schedule a visit.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please do
not hesitate to contact Laura.  We will be providing regular updates on the
progress of OZ development through email bulletins and via the OZ web site

We deeply regret the past delays in the timetable of the Zoe project and the
resulting community disappointment.  The new OZ development and management
team is committed to matching promised expectations to deliverables,
beginning with our re-engineering of OZ.  We appreciate your patience and
confidence during this period of transition and development of the OZ
collection data management system.


Leonard Krishtalka
Director                                   =20
Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center               =20
The University of Kansas      =09
Lawrence, KS 66045
phone:  785/864-4540
fax:       785/864-5335
e-mail:  krishtalka at

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