Re: plant DB - prose, searches
> From: John Schinnerer <eco_living@...>Too right. My spin on the subject, is that I'd like to gather as much
> This is good news about the AAAS DB, at least where non-living (e.g.
> recorded in some static form) information is concerned. For an in-use
> legal model of "open" documentation, see:
> And...I'll go on with related stuff from several rich recent posts...
> Given the fragility of the technology pyramid we reside at the top of
> and the huge differences between "living" knowledge and "dead"
> information, I often think that much of the effort and infrastructure
> that goes into high-tech projects such as we're proposing (and PFAF,
> AAAS, etc. are undertaking) would be better used to revitalize living
of this living knowledge as possible and aid the communication of this
knowledge. What I'd like to do is create a forum where people can
exchange this knowledge. A collaborative plant database could do this
very well. One very important thing is making it collaborative, trying
to get through the not-invented-here pheromone. Providing appropriate
credit for info added to a database is very important. But a sense of
ownership is also vital to make the project work.
The AAAS project does have a very specific aim which is to stop people
locking up knowledge/information. We've seen lots of problems with
patenting of plants which can go prevent people even using their
> > The problem with writing things as prose is that they are difficultFree text searches leave a lot to be desired. The words used to describe
> > to search on.
> However, if the DB is full-text searchable, it can be done. Main
> trouble is as with text-based web searches (which are often a full-text
> search on the search engine's entire indexed web space) - lots of
> spurious results that aren't relevant and have to be manually culled.
> Advanced search features (booleans, etc.) help but can still be
> frustrating and require more user expertise.
something might not match the words used to search for something. There
can be a lot of irrelevant information returned by many of the search
engines. Context is important, acid in terms of soil might not be what
your looking for if you are looking for acidic berries. One of the
weakest parts of the pfaf db is the range info, which is a text fields.
Latin Name Common Name Range
Abelmoschus esculentus Okra The original habitat is obscure.;
Abelmoschus manihot Aibika E. Asia - Southeastern Asia to
Abelmoschus moschatus Musk mallow S.E. Asia.;
Abies alba Silver fir C. and S. Europe;
Abies amabilis Red fir Northwestern N. America - Alaska
Abies balsamea Balsam fir Northeastern N. America -
Newfoundland to Virginia, west
Michegan and Ohio.;
Looking for plants which grow in a specific state or country from this
information is practically imposible.
> I am in process of redoing the static resource links on my site as attfn
> searchable object DB (using Zope's ZCatalog objects and custom
> classes), including canned queries and keyword and full-text searches.
> This should give some indication of how object based DBs handle search
Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
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