[Taxacom] Proposed ICZN amendments on electronic publishing
deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Dec 5 21:37:41 CST 2008
> >... If I had to guess, I suspect that PDF file resoution software
> >will be with us for a long time.
> Agree. But that does not make the practice, even between
> consenting adults, excusable.
Yes -- that was, in fact, my point (more or less).
> This issue is not whether it is binary or not but how much
> and how complex is the technology required to get it from the
> stored form to the human form, which in this case is the
> alphanumerpunctobet. This is something we can probably keep
> in our sights with textual information, but when it comes to
> digital images and other multimedia there is no equivalent of
> ASCII and we are already in *deep* trouble.
BMP comes pretty close to ASCII for images; perhaps followed by TIFF. Of
course, we all like to use JPEG; but like PDF, that requires an extra layer
or interpretation to get it rendered properly.
> > when we move beyond binary computers, there is no doubt in my mind
> > that there will be ample opportunity to translate the
> > information into whatever the next fundamental computer information
> > system is.
> You are quite right... sort of... with any new technology
> there will be a mechanism to migrate from the existing to the
> new - to do
> otherwise would be a suicidal business decision. The problem is,
> because it is a business model, they will offer the the
> minimum migration they can get away with. Thus your solution
> will only work if you migrate (and test) *everything* - every
> time. The reality is (or has been) that in every migration
> process some things get overlooked and forgotten surviving in
> the old format until one fine day, 'sorry this format is no
> longer supported'. There is a strong analogy in the
> evolutionary process here that will probably not be lost on
> Taxacom. And the more taxonomy we do the more we will have
> to migrate and test each time.
Not sure I agree -- especially at the ASCII/UTF/XML/BMP level of
> This is happening with us now and I assume it is happening everywhere
> - make a migration to a new system, test a few random (or
> targetted) instances and assume (and hope) the rest are going
> to be ok.
Methinks you are probably talking about migrating platforms, programming
languages, DBMS, complex & robust apps, etc., etc. -- to which everything
you said in the preceeding paragraph applies. If all you're doing is
migrating UTF-8 in XML, then you'll probably be OK.
> With millions of items we can not do otherwise,
> and if something did not go right it may be years before we
> stumble on the records in question.
> And as the asset grows, with every iteration the possible QA
> percentage of the entire data set gets less and less.
Still a whole lot easier/better/more reliable than migrating printed
documents from, say, Cyrillic to English -- which is the paper-based
equivalent to what you are describing.
> > "...let us save what remains: not by vaults and locks which
> fence them
> > from the public eye and use in consigning them to the waste
> of time,
> > but by such a multiplication of copies, as shall place them
> beyond the
> > reach of accident."
> This is a very valid sentiment to quote and we use this
> strategic principle ourselves. But it has to be asked, how
> valuable will be a million copies of something that can not be read?
And this is exactly thr trade-off that is exercising us at the moment. Oh,
> And this is exactly the trade off that is exercising us at the moment.
Hmmmmm....it almost seems as though my point, and your point are, in fact,
the same point?
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