[tdwg-content] Comments on Darwin Core Issue 205 (the proposed Organism term)

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Sep 18 07:06:06 CEST 2014

Hi Hilmar,


I was not clear in my statement.  I should have said “Giving the class *only* an opaque identifier…”.  In other words, my point was something along the lines of:


“As for the name, although using opaque identifiers in DwC is something I would wholeheartedly welcome, in this case all it accomplishes is buying time rather than a solution. Opaquely identified terms still need a human-readable label that's succinct, precise, and accurate, and arguably more so, not less, if the identifier is opaque.”





From: hilmar.lapp at gmail.com [mailto:hilmar.lapp at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Hilmar Lapp
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:38 AM
To: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Cc: joel sachs; TDWG Content Mailing List
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] Comments on Darwin Core Issue 205 (the proposed Organism term)



On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

I still believe that a human-friendly name is very helpful.  The barrier is
not the standard or how it's named.  The barrier is how humans interpret and
implement the standard.


I agree.


  Giving the class an opaque identifier (I would, of course, vote in favor of a UUID!) would probably create a barrier to progress through opacity that is greater than the barrier of confusion through mis-interpretation of an imperfect human-friendly name like "Organism".


I think this is a false conclusion. The Gene Ontology has been widely adopted, as have been other OBO ontologies, despite (or perhaps because?) opaque identifiers.


I say parenthetically "perhaps because" because having opaque identifiers actually allows you to evolve and change labels so that they make the most sense, rather than being stuck with choices made early on because now all kinds of data uses those identifiers.


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