[Taxacom] Sorry, but you are out-of-line

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun Nov 14 22:15:15 CST 2010

I am not troubled by "duplication" in the sense of multiple copies of the same 
data for the sake of data security. What troubles me is duplication of effort, 
especially when all that duplication is being funded. I assume that it would 
cost next to nothing just to make and distribute copies of content? No problem 

The *only* requirements for such a system are:

1) A robust mechanism for maintaining synchrony among the datasets; and

2) A core set of community-generated and -agreed policies to mitigate the 
amplifiction of crap data in the shared datasets

these *only* requirements are both *huge* requirements, requiring, as they do, 
high levels of cooperation and agreement across a diverse community of people 
... I take it you don't care if someone like Makhan disagrees, but where do you 
draw the line? If you can come up with a mechanism, agreed to by the taxonomic 
community, to resolve issues of data conflict, then I will be impressed! 

try defining "crap data" in an objective and rigorous fashion! I can show you 
crap data ... data that has effectively been given the stamp of approval 
(perhaps with a disclaimer in the fine print) by the likes of just about any 
reputable organization, ABRS, GBIF, CoL, etc. etc.

From: Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
To: Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com>; Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Cc: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Mon, 15 November, 2010 4:55:00 PM
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Sorry, but you are out-of-line

This reminds me of a conversation Jim and I had over a decade ago about the
dreaded "C" word ["Centralization"].  What I advocated for back then is what
I advocate now:

"Centralization" in the sense that EVERYONE shares the same idnetifiers to
the shared data objects when building data cross-links; but "Distributed" in
the senese that EVERYONE has their own local copy of the COMPLETE shared
dataset, which they can use as they see fit.

The *only* requirements for such a system are:

1) A robust mechanism for maintaining synchrony among the datasets; and

2) A core set of community-generated and -agreed policies to mitigate the
amplifiction of crap data in the shared datasets.

I see NO OTHER WAY to progress in our community without FULL AND DIRECT OPEN
ACCESS to shared electronic data content (at least the non-copyrightable
stuff, like taxon names, literature citations, etc.), based on a mechanism
that ensures MASSIVE (but harmonized) redundancy across the plant.  Fail
either of these two critera, and it's just not worth the effort.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Jim Croft
> Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 5:10 PM
> To: Stephen Thorpe
> Cc: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Sorry, but you are out-of-line
> This does not worry me at all. Different interfaces to 
> different questions, different purposes - horses for courses, 
> tools for the job.
> The real nightmare is different (and worse incompatable) 
> underlying standards and the inability to get a single view 
> of the whole lot, with all the duplication and 
> incompatability resolved.
> Centralism is one way (the technically easy way, becasue 
> everybody tries it) to deal with this, but the thought of a 
> single taxonomic/nomenclatural/biodiversity monolithic 
> juggernaut fills me with abject fear and dread.
> Ask any major institution - centralism is fine, as long as it 
> does not happen 'at that other place'... :)
> jim (a distributed and replicated, belt and braces kida guy; 
> a guy who is not only glass half empty, but who is scared 
> shitless because the container is made of glass)
> On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM, Stephen Thorpe 
> <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:
> > ... on the other hand, the problem with biodiversity informatics 
> > projects (lime CoL, EoL, GBIF, WoRMS, etc.) is that although they 
> > share their data, they all want to create their own interfaces ...
> --
> _________________
> Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~ 
> http://www.google.com/profiles/jim.croft
> 'A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to 
> the point of doubtful sanity.'
>  - Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)
> Please send URIs, not attachments:
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with 
> either of these methods:
> (1) http://taxacom.markmail.org
> Or (2) a Google search specified as:  
> site:mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here


More information about the Taxacom mailing list