[Taxacom] globalnames?

Jim Croft jim.croft at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 07:13:00 CDT 2009

What does 'a biology integrated through semantic names-based
infrastructure' actually mean, if we were to try and explain it to,
say, your average public service bureaucrat?  Can it be done in simple
language that someone like my mother might understand?  I do not think
I understand it well enough yet to have a go...


On Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 9:49 PM, David Patterson <paddy at eol.org> wrote:
> Before you can fix problems, you need to know what they are.
> This listing serves minimally two masters, the taxonomist and the informatician.  The informatician must be aware of every 'string' that has been used as a name and therefore points to some potentially useful piece of information.  Within the totality of all strings lies a subset of interest to the taxonomist. Team taxonomy (the sum of all active taxonomists past and present) has a suite of rules to follow, but within them there remains considerable latitude.  The GN thing is intended to develop into an infrastructure that will serve all users equally well, and because of this, it has to be inclusive of different points of view and solutions.  It can achieve that through modularity.  At the core lies the GNI module - the list of all names.  Additional modules (in the form mostly of web services that call upon more specialist listings and projects) can be used to (for example) use validated taxonomic lists to show only the names that taxonomists like, or provide editing environments to improve the quality of the data, or perhaps offer parsing algorithms that will break names into their component parts and reassemble them into different forms to suit different users.  Both through modularity and through federation, a names infrastructure can be designed to pick out only those subsets of information that are needed by particular classes of users, and then to present that information in a form that suits individual users.
> The progress from raw material to a structure that meets all our needs will be a long haul, will take much time, good will, and participation.  But, the benefits of a biology integrated through a semantic names-based infrastructure make the walk well worth while, as are the conversations that accompany the promenade.
> David Patterson

Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
... in pursuit of the meaning of leaf ...
... 'All is leaf' ('Alles ist Blatt') - Goethe

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