[Taxacom] Terminology of trinomials

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Tue Jan 1 10:12:34 CST 2008


In message <003f01c84bc5$c2daaa50$2b4c4451 at magnifica2>, Paul van
Rijckevorsel <dipteryx at freeler.nl> writes

>From: "Andy Mabbett" <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk>
>> Specific details would be helpful, please.

>That is pretty hard. The Codes differ not only in their terminology,
>but also in their concepts and organization. A common characteristic of
>all the Codes is they are terribly precise in their terminology.
>Anybody who knows enough about one Code to say something meaningful
>about it is thereby conditioned against making an accurate statement on
>a detail in another Code. The safe course is to deal with only one Code
>at the time.

Thank you for the explanation.

I don't think it practical to have separate microformats for each Code
(though I'm open to persuasion), so the thing to do is tease out the
common ground and find, by looking at examples of what is already
published (preferably on the web, as required by the microformats
"process"), ways of dealing with any exceptions.

That /might/ necessitate a generic property for the more obscure ranks,
with a name/ value pair; like:

        <foo class="biota">

          <foo class="binomen">
              Homo sapien
          </foo>

          <foo class="rank">

            <foo class="name">
              subvarietas
            </foo>:

            <foo class="value">
              idaltu
            </foo>

          </foo>

        </foo>

but that would require the name of the rank (in this example,
"subvarietas") to be published on the page.

It might also be possible that class="rank" could be replaced with
class="infraspecies" for ranks below species (or subspecies?) level,
with the name of the infraspecies-rank being optional, so that either:

        <foo class="biota">

          <foo class="binomen">
              Homo sapien
          </foo>

          <foo class="infraspecies">

            <foo class="name">
              subvarietas
            </foo>:

            <foo class="value">
              idaltu
            </foo>

          </foo>

        </foo>

or:

        <foo class="biota">

          <foo class="binomen">
              Homo sapien
          </foo>

          <foo class="infraspecies">
              idaltu
          </foo>

        </foo>

would be valid. The former obviously has more semantic richness.


Are there websites, or other references, which compare and contrast the
Codes' terminology? How many Codes are there?

>There is a feeling "out there" that it would be nice to have a single
>Code that would deal with all living organismes.

Speaking as a taxonomy lay-person; that seems very sensible, if not
overdue!


We currently have a "straw-man" proposal:

  <http://microformats.org/wiki/species-brainstorming#Straw_man_proposal>

on which your comments, here or there, will be welcome (but be aware
that the class names will change). It's currently implemented on
Wikipedia; see also:

  <http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikispecies:Microformat>

for details of how to install a parser.

I'm hoping to solidify that into a draft standard, over the next few
weeks, but will need help from taxonomists.


Happy New Year, everyone!

-- 
Andy Mabbett

            *  Are you using Microformats, yet: <http://microformats.org/> ?




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