[tdwg-tag] TAG Roadmap for 2008 - Job vacancy!

Roger Hyam rogerhyam at mac.com
Fri Oct 3 12:21:02 CEST 2008

Yes I think you are right a REST section would be good but.... What is  
REST? In a way the TAPIR specification (especially in its lighter  
versions) is 'just' a common REST specification. You pass it  
parameters over HTTP and you get back data as XML. On the other hand  
TAPIR seems more complex than just putting a REST service together.  
Perhaps because doing anything that meets a specification rather than  
just what comes to hand is going to be harder. Perhaps Renato may have  
comments on this.

I have actually just done a REST/JSON service for BCI.


I am nervous because it is totally not TDWG standards compliant and  
just a useful thing for getting data back for mashups and embedding.  
Effectively exposing the database to client side applications.  From  
an engineering point of view it is dead simple - a single PHP file  
(within the Zend Framework). To write code to consume this is trivial  
(there is an example) but it is bespoke. a major thing is that the  
return type is JSON which I think many people think of a standard data  
format for REST type services.

So it would be a good to get some clarification on what we mean by REST.

Does REST tend to imply a particular return type?

If we mean REST/JSON does anyone have an idea how we could get some  
data typing in a JSON object so that a consuming application could  
tell that it is a representation of a DwC object or something from the  
TDWG ontology? Service description is also an issue. We end up re- 
inventing TAPIR if we aren't careful.

I am sure it would be trivial to wrap a TAPIR provider in something  
that converted the XML output to JSON enabling it to act as a data  
source for client mashups.

As usual I'd be grateful for opinions on this. Perhaps we should talk  
in Fremantle.

All the best,


On 3 Oct 2008, at 02:56, Richardson, Ben wrote:

> Yes, I agree
> REST seems a lot easier to implement, and at least having some  
> information on how REST fits in would be helpful.
> Cheers,
> Ben
> -----Original Message-----
> From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org 
> ]On Behalf Of Kevin Richards
> Sent: Friday, 3 October 2008 6:29
> To: Technical Architecture Group mailing list; Roger Hyam
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] TAG Roadmap for 2008 - Job vacancy!
> Just a thought...
> REST based services seem to be gaining a lot of momentum lately, so  
> I wonder if we should mention them in the RoadMap ??
> I would at least like to bring up the subject at some point during  
> the TDWG meeting, and look at how REST may fit in with LSIDs, etc.
> Kevin
> >>> Roger Hyam <rogerhyam at mac.com> 30/09/2008 11:02 p.m. >>>
> Dear TAG Member,
> With kind support from others I have now pulled together what I  
> believe is the text for the 2008 Roadmap. I will polish this some  
> more but do not plan to change it radically. This will be presented  
> to the conference in Fremantle next month as the output of the TAG.
> http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/TAG/RoadMap2008
> Please take a few moments to read this through and edit or comment  
> on the list if you don't agree with it or think anything is missing.  
> I will take silence as assent!
> On or around the 8th October I will convert the wiki page into a PDF  
> and start distributing it.
> I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I wish to  
> stand down as convener of the TAG as of the Fremantle conference. I  
> believe it would be good for the TAG and TDWG to have some fresh  
> blood in this position. I still hope to continue contributing to  
> TDWG but perhaps in different ways.
> The procedure for choosing a new convener is somewhat vague but I  
> believe it should be done through group consensus. Perhaps we could  
> start a discussion on this list and those who are coming to  
> Fremantle could discuss it further.
> Who do you think should take this forward? Would you like to take  
> this forward?
> All the best,
> Roger
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Roger Hyam
> Roger at BiodiversityCollectionsIndex.org
> http://www.BiodiversityCollectionsIndex.org
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
> 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK
> Tel: +44 131 552 7171 ext 3015
> Fax: +44 131 248 2901
> http://www.rbge.org.uk/
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Roger Hyam
Roger at BiodiversityCollectionsIndex.org
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK
Tel: +44 131 552 7171 ext 3015
Fax: +44 131 248 2901

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