XML, etc. [was Re: a grandiose but (hopefully) practical idea]
Nicolson.David at NMNH.SI.EDU
Thu Mar 15 15:59:24 CST 2001
On Fri, 16 Mar 2001 08:34:00 +1100, Jim Croft <jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU> wrote:
>>[TA]|80389|Brown, Gotwald & Levieux, 1971|5|
>Isn't this exactly what is giving Doug so much grief? You have to know
>the exact structure of the originating database before you can do anything
>Wouldn't be preferable to deliver something like:
> <taxonName> Bloggsia<taxonName>
> <taxonAuthor>Jones & Brown</taxonAuthor>
>and have a public standard so that every application that needs to knows
>what to do with a taxonName or a taxonAuthor.
I'm not disagreeing with that, in fact I am strongly in agreement, and would
support the further development & use of such standards; I'm not personally
a part of those development efforts, but I know that ITIS and other groups
are working on just those sorts of approaches (I think this was pointed out
by others, but you can see an implementation of that sort of thing on our
Canadian partners' site at <http://sis.agr.ca/itis/> if you use an XML-aware
browser like IE5 [Netscape 4.x does not display the XML unfortunately];
other efforts are going on on our US side). As I'm not part of those
discussions I can't speak to who's discussing what, or details like DTDs
covering various kinds of biological data. Just trying to note that what
looks mysterious and unintelligible can be dismissed or it can be analyzed.
I'm looking forward to broader & more "intuitive" standards, as it will make
my work easier (I'm often having to figure out how to deal with cooperators'
datasets), and should make a number of things involving basic data tranfer
>In this discussion we should not forget that although nomenclators,
>taxonomies and checklists all look like lists of names, they are different
>things constructed for different purposes, and each has different strengths
>There are a lot of data elements in common, and wonderful opportunities for
>collaboration and authority control, but the purposes to which the are put
>are quite different.
Good points to keep in mind!
p.s. - I doubt it needs saying, but I've been speaking for myself; I can't
speak for the project per se...
Data Development Coordinator, Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Nicolson.David at nmnh.si.edu
"Nihil sumas necesse est..."
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