[tdwg-tapir] FAQ page

Roger Hyam roger at tdwg.org
Mon Jan 16 18:44:26 CET 2006

I should add my 2 cents here.

I think it is my role (when I can get the documentation thing out the 
way) to pull together an overview of the whole TDWG 'thing'. This will 
be part of the architecture along with a vision of where we should be 
going. A glossary of terms is a start but their needs to be more than 
that. We need a Bush (senior) "Vision Thing" here.

I imagine the vision will crystallize out after the GUID meeting at 
which point lots of people will say "it will never work" and we will 
have to change things or build demo systems or whatever. At the moment 
it looks likely (as Donald says) that we will need to move toward an 
RDF/OWL way of doing things but I don't see this as being based on big 
triple stores as I don't think all services will give the ability to 
search on all possible assertions (I have not had a chance to look at 
the logs I received properly but it doesn't look to me that people want 
to do complex searches and we should perhaps have clear test cases 
before we engineer a solution to support arbitrary requests rather than 
basing it on what we thing people might want to do). What is clear is 
that people want to extend and mix and match schemas. ABCD has been 
added to repeatedly and DarwinCore has been forked. Also we don't make 
use of metadata standards like DublinCore of vCard which means that 
engineering generic solutions is likely to be difficult. RDF/OWL type 
approach definitely solves these kinds of problem. Even if we still 
exchange templated chunks of XML those chunks can also be RDF compliant, 
served through Tapir and reference a central OWL ontology. Everything 
changes but things remain the same.

Hope this helps,



 Roger Hyam
 Technical Architect
 Taxonomic Databases Working Group
 roger at tdwg.org
 +44 1578 722782

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