[Taxacom] Article 8 compliance

Scott Thomson scott.thomson321 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 7 20:52:52 CDT 2017


Hi Richard,

> One comment that came to mind is it is impossible to predict the future.

>> Technical quibble: People predict the future all the time.  What's
impossible is predicting the future with 100% accuracy and 100%
>> consistency in all situations.  The trick is in making *accurate*
predictions about the future.  In some cases, this can be done with
>> incredibly high precision and accuracy (e.g., when the sun is going to
rise tomorrow, when solar and lunar eclipses will happen, etc.)
>> But in most cases, particularly those involving chaotic processes like
human behavior (e.g., politics), it becomes increasingly difficult to
>> predict future events.  I would place the ability to predict what will
happen in terms of the wants/needs/actions of the taxonomic
>> community somewhere between these extremes....

lol.... pretty wide set of posts there, I agree, somewhere in the middle of
that. Of course my meaning was about prediction accuracy, not that we do
not try. I think the predictions about PDF/A are reasonably sound, but I
would never bet my life on it. As you pointed out, we at one stage thought
the lasar disk would be forever, who thought of clouds 20 years ago. I
learned to program on an original Apple, no numbers, the first one. Using
BASIC. In 1978 for those who wish to judge my age. That computer had 4kb of
memory and we saved to audio cassettes. Yes young ones the floppy disk had
not been invented yet, let alone the lasar one. A modern pocket calculator
has more computational power. Times change. These days of course I mostly
use C++ and Java, along with SQL and I measure memory in gB and tB.

>> Hence my preference for relying on UTF-8 encoding

Yes UTTF-8 is nice, easy to make a java encoder/decoder for it too, which
gives plenty of cross platform support with current systems and hopefully
into the future.

>> But I would add that Article 8 does almost nothing to separate quality
from rubbish.

I would not say it does nothing, there are many ways for people to publish,
easily from their own desktop or laptop, that are excluded by it. These
personal opinion pieces we are better off without. By deeming any
publication of this form unavailable for nomenclature saves us some major
headaches. It comes into difficulty in the borderline cases which causes us
the issues.

Cheers, Scott

On Fri, Apr 7, 2017 at 8:18 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>
wrote:

> Thanks, Scott.
>
> > One comment that came to mind is it is impossible to predict the future.
>
> Technical quibble: People predict the future all the time.  What's
> impossible is predicting the future with 100% accuracy and 100% consistency
> in all situations.  The trick is in making *accurate* predictions about the
> future.  In some cases, this can be done with incredibly high precision and
> accuracy (e.g., when the sun is going to rise tomorrow, when solar and
> lunar eclipses will happen, etc.)  But in most cases, particularly those
> involving chaotic processes like human behavior (e.g., politics), it
> becomes increasingly difficult to predict future events.  I would place the
> ability to predict what will happen in terms of the wants/needs/actions of
> the taxonomic community somewhere between these extremes....
>
> I agree with everything else in you post, with particular emphases on
> these points:
>
> > The electronic should be as binary as possible, literally pure data no
> software specific rendering.
>
> Exactly. Hence my preference for relying on UTF-8 encoding (i.e., the
> standard conversion of binary 1's and 0's into human-readable characters
> like letters, numbers and other symbols); and perhaps XML (highly versatile
> method of adding metadata structure to information, which itself only
> relies on a specific encoding such as UTF-8) -- but nothing more complex
> than that (at least for the long term data storage & recall).
>
> > if ZooBank moves to be the only mandatory requirement, then it must be
> able
> > to survive in some form, and we must assume it will not.
>
> Absolutely!  This is a fundamental "must" for any electronic system we
> develop and rely upon for nomenclatural information.
>
> > For those that are not and have other ambitions shortcuts are possible,
> as we know,
> > in the absence of article 8 we need something to separate quality from
> rubbish.
>
> Exactly.  But I would add that Article 8 does almost nothing to separate
> quality from rubbish.  One of the key advantages in my view of
> consolidating nomenclatural actions within a single online registration
> system is that we would have far more robust, complete, and flexible
> control over implementing mechanisms to separate quality from rubbish
> compared with what Article 8 affords.
>
> Aloha,
> Rich
>
>
> Richard L. Pyle, PhD
> Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences | Associate Zoologist in
> Ichthyology | Dive Safety Officer
> Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu,
> HI 96817
> Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252 email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
> http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/staff/pylerichard.html
>
>
>
>
>


-- 
Scott Thomson
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo
Divisão de Vertebrados (Herpetologia)
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