ARGH! Electronic archives yet again

BjB bjburger at AMNH.ORG
Fri Aug 23 18:41:55 CDT 2002

        I believe, the future of taxonomic databases is in their distribution on
the internet.
        Each time a database is accessed the information is instantly copied to
the visiting computer. Just like a guy handing out flyers on the street,
each person passing by now has a copy. When millions of people have
copies of the database on all sorts of electronic devices  then it will
be that much more likely that the information will be preserved for the
future.(as any .txt, .html, .pdf, .php, .xml, .shtml, .gif, .jpeg,
.tiff, .mp3, .swf .java, .sql, plsql .c, .lib, binary or other type of
file yet to be invented).
        Locally any relational database allows input and export between database
software via the SQL'92 standardized language, or as delimitated text
file. They all still speak the same syntax of the first databases
developed by E. Codd in 1970.
        The real trouble with electronic records is that they are so darn dynamic
and always changing with the times, unlike a book which is only revised
every few years, if at all. You can't go back to a certain ten year old
edition of the database and look it up the information you need, unless
it was purposely archived along the way.

[:-> Benjamin John Burger                              <-:]
[:-> Division of Paleontology                          <-:]
[:-> American Museum of Natural History                <-:]
[:-> Central Park West at 79th Street NY, NY, USA      <-:]
[:-> bjburger at                                 <-:]
[:->                    <-:]
[:-> The AMNH fossil collection: <-:]

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