so far ...

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Thu Nov 25 13:31:21 CET 1999

> This is typical of the level of malpractice of those who seem to be taking the
> running with this discussion. Can you imagine being so clumsy and foolhardly
> with hard-won data?  I despair of this debate.

Patience Nick - new lists take a while to settle down as participants
try and establish a common agenda, and people strut personal favorite
products and ideologies.

Like Bernie, I am waiting for the discussion to focus itself.

I had initially thought we were looking at a common and comprehensive
(interchange?) format for biological descriptive data, perhaps
involving an information model of the topic we are dealing with, and
importantly, its boundaries.  But all too quickly we have got to the
level of all things to all people end-products, software and a degree
of daunting complexity that we could probably do without at this stage.

Approaching things from an 'if it aint broke dont fix it' point of
view, is someone in a position to enunciate/tabulate exactly what it is
we are trying to achieve and the shortcomings/limitations of exiting
formats in reaching this goal?  Having done this we might be better
able to partition things into managable and achievable lumps.  I was not
at the Harvard meeting so I'm a bit reluctant to stick an oar in, but
since when has ignorance been a reason not to have an opinion... :)

All the suggestions of 'do it this way using this', while interesting
and educational, are tending to obscure rather than clarify what it is
we are tring to achieve.

Well, I am getting a bit lost, and I love this data stuff...


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