[tdwg-tag] Differences in thinking between TDWG and LinkedData groups about data sharing / integration

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 21:09:28 CEST 2009

1) Only certain classes of organizations will be able to contribute since
the standard is requires special skills. Those groups that can pay for
hardware and
    a person specific to this standard for perpetuity. I look at this and
think that a number of groups that could be providers cannot because of the
way the
    system is implemented. Why not have a simple RDF tar or zip file format
that GBIF checks with a crawler every night?

2) There is very little reuse of existing vocabularies, geo for instance.
Similar to the "not invented here mentality".

3) Discussions and decisions seem to be too much about making sure that
providers keep their "brand" on the data even if they disappear.

4) Suggestions or alternative ways of thinking are rejected until an insider
restates them without attribution

5) It is not at all clear how some of these decisions are made. It appears
as if some people disagree, there is discussion. Then years later there is
    the same discussion. It seems that some smaller group keeps pulling
everyone back to the same architectural decision.

6) Where are the example data sets? We should have some example data sets
available to see if the standard can be used to answer real questions?
    Either they don't exist or they are only available to a few.

I actually have nothing but praise for GBIF and uBio (except for the minor
encoding thing), this more about trying to work within TDWG and getting
stonewalled. I am having the same feelings about it that I had a few years
ago, after which I left to try to make something that worked so I could
proceed with my project.

It probably was unfair to imply that the fiefdoms are by design, rather than
a side effect of the implementation standards, and for that I apologize.

- Pete

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM, Bob Morris <morris.bob at gmail.com> wrote:

> "described by anyone" is not the same as "described by anyone in any way
> convenient to the describer", so I find this quotation somewhat
> disingenuous. More precisely, I wonder what TDWG standard or proposed
> standard you find enables fiefdoms \in ways that are impossible under some
> other solution to the problem the standard addresses/.
> Bob Morris
> On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 10:47 AM, Peter DeVries <pete.devries at gmail.com>wrote:
>> This paragraph below seems to encapsulate the differences in thinking
>> between the linkeddata community and
>> some of the TDWG people on how to best share biodiversity data.
>> *"The notion of a fabric of resources that are individually described,
>> queried, and resolved may seem unmanageable or like science fiction. For
>> organizations that are used to large, manual, centralized efforts to
>> standardize on everything, it may seem anarchic to allow resources to grow
>> organically and be described by anyone. The same people would probably not
>> believe the Web possible in the first place if there were not already ample
>> proof of its success."*
>> REST for Java developers, Part 4: The future is RESTful
>> From
>> http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-04-2009/jw-04-rest-series-4.html?page=4
>> I think that some people may have lost sight of the goal of making data
>> available to improve the understanding of our
>> natural world and hopefully better manage our natural resources.
>> It does not seem that creating a distributed network of fiefdoms will help
>> us achieve this goal.
>> - Pete
>> I was led to this article by @janzemanek on twitter.
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>> Pete DeVries
>> Department of Entomology
>> University of Wisconsin - Madison
>> 445 Russell Laboratories
>> 1630 Linden Drive
>> Madison, WI 53706
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> tdwg-tag mailing list
>> tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
>> http://lists.tdwg.org/mailman/listinfo/tdwg-tag
> --
> Robert A. Morris
> Professor of Computer Science
> UMASS-Boston
> ram at cs.umb.edu
> http://bdei.cs.umb.edu/
> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram
> http://www.cs.umb.edu/~ram/calendar.html
> phone (+1)617 287 6466

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
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