Name for the standard

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Tue Sep 16 16:36:19 CEST 2003

I've been quietly following this discussion, and have a general question to
ask.  In the note below and in previous notes, there seems to be an emphasis
on SDD in the contect of "taxonomy"; but wouldn't it be more appropriate to
place the emphasis more in the context of biological objects (e.g.,
specimens), rather than abstract concepts (taxa)? Even though the
descriptive data may be applied directly to taxon concepts without an
explicit reference to specific specimens/objects, ultimately the characters
themselves that are being described are attached to a physical organism --
whether or not the specific physical organism is explicitly identified, or
merely implied.

Thus, when searching for another moniker to reference what we now refer to
as "SDD", I suggest that options along the lines of "Bio..." are preferable
to those along the lines of "Taxo...".

Ultimately, this is about a Standard for Structured Data to Describe
Biological Objects -- isn't it?  I doubt that "SSDDBO" will win the hearts
of many (or a shot at the bottle of cheap Portugues port). Personally, I'm
partial to the previously-suggested "BODDS".


Richard L. Pyle
Natural Sciences Database Coordinator, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: TDWG - Structure of Descriptive Data
> [mailto:TDWG-SDD at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU]On Behalf Of Kevin Thiele
> Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:56 AM
> Subject: Re: Name for the standard
> Do people in general think that we need to specify that we're
> working in the
> taxonomic domain - something that the name SDD doesn't - or can we be
> extremely general. Perhaps it's the case that SDD will be able to be used
> for descriptions outside the taxonomic domain, and we should embrace this
> (whether anyone else embraces us is another matter entirely) - k
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Gregor Hagedorn" <G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2003 10:53 PM
> Subject: Re: Name for the standard
> > Kevin wrote:
> > > yes, I agree that SDD (Standard for Descriptive Data) would do - I was
> > > just looking for something a little more exciting. Cheers - k
> >
> > .... I disagree :-) that "Standard for Descriptive Data"-standard
> > would do, I therefore propose "Structured Descriptive Data"-standard.
> > I absolutely agree with you about searching something more exciting.
> >
> > There is a general name grabbing of most-general and all-encompassing
> > names (like BioML, which is really indecent...). Since we think about
> > the generalization from Biological to other collected objects all the
> > time and try to avoid too specifically biological jargon, we actually
> > have some justification following suit and grab
> >
> >   DescriptionML ?
> >
> > (for which Google returns 1 hit, which interestingly does not contain
> > the term, I even checked the html source...)
> >
> > Gregor
> > ----------------------------------------------------------
> > Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at
> > Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
> > Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
> > Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
> > 14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203
> >
> > Often wrong but never in doubt!

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