[Taxacom] globalnames?

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Mon Sep 21 12:54:35 CDT 2009

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Dean Pentcheff
Verzonden: ma 21-9-2009 19:18
> On a side note, this discussion is a brilliant example of why 
> database geeks push hard to use "arbitrary" unique keys, 
> instead of concocting keys that include human-useful information.

> What the botanical community has done (as I understand it) is 
> create a system of unique keys for taxonomic authors. The keys 
> take the form of a standardized (and unique) abbreviation for 
> every author. [...]

> The data-nerd's approach would have been to use something like
> "184746" for that Smith, and "736659" for the other Smith. 
> Sigh, you say. Ugly. Opaque.

> The advantage to the standard-abbreviation system is that, 
> by using a human-readable abbreviation as the unique key, 
> the experienced reader is able to (in most cases) mentally 
> substitute the proper name intuitively.

> The disadvantage is that it's just too close to colloquial usage 
> to be safe. [...]

This concern looks unfounded: it actually works. See:

(or go to http://www.ipni.org/ipni/authorsearchpage.do and type in
"Smith" in the field "Author Surname").


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