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

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Nov 14 22:38:03 CST 2010

> Google presents itself as a single index, but is fact 
> replicated many times across the globe.

Yes, but we don't all have the freedom (or the hardware infrastructure, for
that matter) to download the *entire* Google Index onto our local servers
for linking directly to our local datasets.

> This distributed replication of a shared dataset is somethign 
> I would like to see for collaborative projects such as the 
> Australia's Virtual Herbarium, the International Plant Name 
> Index, the Atlas of Living Australia, perhaps the 
> Biodiversity Heritage Library and a bunch of others.

... or the Biodiversity Information community.

> The problems seems to be no-one appears able to rise to the 
> challence of doing it.  This is largely because the central 
> monolith is so much easier to create, if you want standards 
> you can just make them up, you don't have to worry about real 
> time synchronization, you get a quick, responsive and 
> attractive result to strut before your funders and employers 
> and you don't have to negotiate too much with stakeholders 
> about functionality and other requirement thingies.

Agreed, but at some point the value of shared data (and consequent reduction
of duplication of effort, not to mention integration of a broad set of
external datasets) overwealms the temptation to opt for the easy-option data

We hope GNA will be a model for the New Way. (perhaps ALA is already a


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