[Wikipedia-l] Wikispecies

Gerard Meijssen gerardm at myrealbox.com
Tue Aug 24 08:42:13 UTC 2004

Magnus Manske wrote:

> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
>> If your interested I have a 80Mb MS/Access database with plant 
>> taxonomy that could be used for its datadesign. It is inherently 
>> relational and non wiki. It is not perfect but I know what is wrong 
>> with it.
> If the information in that database is public domain, it should be 
> used on wikipedia as well.
> Magnus
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The database is public domain and it could be used in wikipedia as well. 
However, at this moment in time there are 70.143 records discrete names. 
There are 4.924 basonym information records, there are 948 standardised 
persons (who participated in descriptions and are part of an author 
label), there are 18.780 author labels. They are all mostly about cacti 
and succulents. Most of the names are not valid any more. Scientifically 
the names are _all_ valid. Cladistics are not part of this database.

Given the amount of attention in ToL to cacti at present, I do not think 
ToL is able to handle this load. In the current taxobox there is no room 
for an author like "(Ascherson & Barbey ex Durand & Barratte) S.Brullo & 
F.Furnari" (/Scilla barba-caprae/) .

The point is not that it cannot be used, the point is that a wikispecies 
does serve a function. The official (Latin and/or English) scientific 
description _is_ public domain for all names. This does not fit in the 
ToL as it is.

The ToL does not have what I call "Taxonominal systems" which are the 
links between names before and after a revision. I think this would make 
Wikispecies stand out if we get a lot of these on-line. In contrast to 
the publications of new names these are the hardest to get hold off.

Do not get me wrong, I do admire the ToL. It just does not cover 
everything that would be important in a scientifically important 
resource. There is a need for some additional tables to cope with the 
requirements that should be considered to make Wikispecies relevant.


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