SDD Specifications Document

P. F. Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Mon Mar 6 13:57:05 CET 2000

>If the rules need to be formulated rather then just named the challenge is
>to do it in such a way that an XML parser could do the collation, and a
>klutz taxonomist could create their own if an existing one is not sufficient.
There are many ways one can go from measurements to some sort of collation,
and this is an area where there is a fair amount of activity - I would have
thogutht that specifying rules was not the way to go.

>Is this possible or am I talking out of my stovepipe?
>>2. Collated Character source. I see these as essentially
>>a drill down mechanism that further identifies a 'bottom-level'
>The necessary thing is to identify a path to the treatment that contains the
>data for collation, and the taxa of the lower-level treatment that will
>provide the data for a taxon in the current treatment. In the example above
>it's perhaps deceptively simple, because the target taxa in the lower-level
>treatment (in this case, the specimens) are nested within a taxon with the
>same name as the current taxon in the higher-level treatment (Macrolepiota
>clelandii or Lilium turkestanicum). This is perhaps the easiest way to do it
>(thinking aloud now) - require that the taxon of interest exist somewhere in
>the taxon hierarchy in both treatments, then step one down in in the
>lower-level treatment to find the elements of interest. Does any of this
>make sense to anyone - I'd quite like some support here, if anyone's still
>out there.
Are you then going to have to specify all ranks in advance, so that one
knows what is up or down?  And how would one proceed if unranked naming
does indeed become popular?

>>4. Its possible to provide a Character list internally to the
>>treatment or reference an external one. Will it be a requirement
>>that both could be used (i.e. combine the internal and external lists.)
>Yes. The way I see it an external character list is a resource, but not a
>constraint. If one is referenced a treatment builder should also be able to
>1. define their own internal characters,
>2. perhaps pick and choose amongst the characters from the referenced list,
>rather than have to use them all.
>I think such flexibility is necessary if lexica are to grow.

This issue of character lists in advance gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Perhaps I am confusing the issue, but to a certain extent one could argue
that characters flow out of/depend on observations/measurements, so would a
character list in advance unduly constrain?  I am thinking of characters
like helobial/cellular/nuclear endosperm, which can and should be
decomposed, embryo development, anther wall development, etc.

Peter S.

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