[Taxacom] the hurdle for all biodiv informatics initiatives

dipteryx at freeler.nl dipteryx at freeler.nl
Wed Feb 24 02:52:34 CST 2010

Van: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu namens Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Verzonden: di 23-2-2010 23:42

>Jim Croft wrote:
>> This example is only a problem if you consider (Evarthrus) and the
>> various contractions of genus, author and date to be part of the name
>> (which IMO they aren't).
>> Removing these attributes (name metadata?) from what appears to be a
>> name string, there appears to be, on the surface, only one
>> Cyclotrachelus sodalis (as a name, as opposed to a named taxon
>> concept) which could be linked to a canonical nomenclator entry for
>> that name containing links to everything you could ever care to know
>> about that name (type specimen metadata, type image(s), protologue
>> bibliography metadata, protologue image, protologue transcription,
>> etc.)

> Ah, but if you remove these attributes, especially at genus level, 
> now you cannot distinguish between the following, as per my recent post 
> regarding Decapoda real world homonymy instances: [...]

That is a red herring (as pointed out several times by now).

The "canonical nomenclator" would have entries for each scientific name 
("scientific name" in the sense of a Code, in its one correct spelling);
each scientific name being made unique by its type. The "metadata" will 
indeed be attached to "canonical nomenclator entry" and so can the 
various circumscriptions ("multiple concepts of what constitutes [the

Obviously, when dealing with each occurrence of a name it is important to
resolve homonyms, to circumvent misspellings, etc, etc, but piling lots 
and lots of text strings on top of one another is diverting time and 
attention from actually doing that. It looks to me like an attempt to 
understand the postal system by collecting misprinted stamps; it may 
be a nice as a hobby but won't get anywhere. 

Instead it would be advisable to build a (fairly simple) algorithm to do
a rough sort, at least that would save time for the inevitable human 
operator who will have to do the actual work.

Paul van Rijckevorsel

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