What I'm trying to do

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Mon Sep 4 23:05:49 CEST 2000

>The standard I'm working towards ALLOWS this degree of formality, but
>doesn't ENFORCE it.

Although I think I understand and like what we are trying to do I am having
a slight problem here...  a standard that does not enforce itself, is not
really a standard, is it?

It seems we are after a specification that says:

'a) This is how you describe the bits of organisms, and thus the whole
'b) If you wish not to describe organisms this way, you can, but in that
case, this is how you must do it.'

I can live with that as a standard...

>If all descriptive data needs to be encoded to a strong specification, it will
>never be so encoded (that's one reason, I think, why DELTA has failed as a
>global specification).

The DELTA spec would probably allow you to include a complete description
as a lump of text, but it would not be particularly useful to do so, and I
do not think Mike, Toni and Eric would be terribly impressed to see you
using DELTA this way...  :)

>It seems to me that creating a standard like this would be more valuable
>than simply XMLifying the DELTA of Lucid data file structure.

Yes, as long as it can accommodate all the complexities, rigour and
validation that is inherent in the DELTA and Lucid like data structures.


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