[Taxacom] the hurdle for all biodiv informatics initiatives

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Mon Feb 22 00:51:54 CST 2010

Dear Vlad,

I appreciate the edit control facilities available for Scratchpads, but I have a few unanswered questions about them as a generic solution - some unwarranted, possibly, but here goes:

- How do Scratchpads approach the "enter once, use many times" paradigm - i.e., if information is entered or updated in one Scratchpad, can this be propagated automatically to others? (E.g. cf. the WoRMS approach - a sponge expert modifies the World Porifera Database, other DB's which utilise the same shared master taxon list e.g. ERMS, RAMS are instantly updated)

- Is it possible to do a single query across multiple Scratchpads, for a taxon or taxon name of interest

- Are there scalability issues, i.e. will a Scratchpad break if you try to load e.g. 1 million taxon names, or 10 million into it (as per current uBio content, etc.)

- Is it possible to obtain a database or tabular dump of up-to-the minute taxonomic information, preferably from all Scratchpads, for local processing or upload to other systems?

Just items that would be on my "wishlist" for the ideal data storage mechanisms for taxon information.

Any advice appreciated,

Regards - Tony

From: Vladimir Blagoderov [mailto:vblago at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, 22 February 2010 2:28 AM
To: Rees, Tony (CMAR, Hobart)
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] the hurdle for all biodiv informatics initiatives

Dear Tony,

As a matter of fact this sweet spot has been around for more than three years - take a look at Scratchpads (http://scratchpads.eu/). Sites built with Drupal can be more flexible than Wiki or more controlled than EoL, depending on community needs.


On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 20:14, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:
So maybe the task is to build a sweet spot of some sort between these two approaches. The EOL's etc. have talked about "annotation" facilities to do this. The wikiXXX *may* be going in the direction of more taxonomic scrutiny/database rigour (or then again, not.).

Perhaps this is an opportunity for some further debate and looking for ways to leverage both aspects for the common benefit.

Regards - Tony

Dr. Vladimir Blagoderov
Department of Entomology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London
Tel: +44 (0) 207 942 6629 (office)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 942 6895 (SBIL)
Fax: +44 (0) 207 942 5229

vlab at nhm.ac.uk<mailto:vlab at nhm.ac.uk>
vblago at gmail.com<mailto:vblago at gmail.com>

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