[pcplantdb] RDF and Wikis
john at eco-living.net
Thu Jan 12 01:02:09 EST 2006
> I'm back in town. Good to see some discussion.
> I'm wondering if anyone got a chance to look at the RDF ontology I put
> up yet.
Did, briefly...couldn't make heads or tails from what was on those web
pages. However your description of intent and application below is very
I like it.
As far as I can make it out at a quick read, you pretty clearly indicate
how it would support multiple goals in our project.
One of those goals is the IMO very important one of providing an
extensible framework for "guiding" user input in as structured of ways
as we find necessary.
For what afaik we have said we are trying to do, a wiki is clearly not
at all even a little bit suitable. I thought we'd been through all that
already long ago.
Am a bit surprised to see wikis mentioned again as anything other than
accessory/supporting to the actual plant DB.
There's always a tradeoff between "freedom" and "structure" and wikis
are way too "free" for what I have understood we intend to offer.
Thanks for all your hard work on this Bear!
> Human readable
> Machine readable
> I do like the freedom that a wiki provides. But I see some arguments for
> adopting RDF descriptions at some point namely:
> RDF is machine readable.
> Why is that valuable?
> Well, if a plant description is basically basically a page of text
> (ignoring the back end), that description may be very thorough and
> descriptive, and useful to a reader, but it leaves the plant as a rather
> separate entity, isolated from the rest.
> In the ontology I was working on, at the organism level, I was wanting
> to have set of properties that at their root were: produces, consumes,
> traits, requirements, growing areas, etc. There might be subproperties
> which provide subtler distinctions, like something being the main agent
> of production (nest building), versus say producing EdibleFruit.
> Having this knowledge in a machine readable form allows us to create
> something that can at least guide in the creation of food webs. For this
> design we want EdibleFruit, FixedNitrogen, Firewood, and
> WildlifeHabitat. Given a site's climate, soil, and location
> [EnvironmentConditions] (which limits the usable set based on organism
> Requirements), we can then find what groupings would provide those,
> perhaps gaining group score if they have other mutually beneficial
> connections, or lowering it for negative interactions.
> This provides a richer potential.
> But I don't think any of these strategies are mutually exclusive. In
> fact Rich's description of WikiMedia syntax provides the best of both
> worlds. If people can enter text using some similar markup
> [produces:Nectar] (the page is assumed to be the first part of the
> triple Salvia_egalans:produces:Nectar), those tags can be added to an
> RDF store, and the syntax can be defined and checked against an RDF
> Schema (probably the next level up in descriptiveness: OWL). Suggestions
> could be provided to the user regarding the available tags (which would
> show what's available in that context, ie: Plant, SoilType, Animal,
> Construction, etc).
> This provides a nice descriptive page, but gives access to something
> that can model the network of connections/requirements, etc. Without
> some form of data that's readable in that way, we couldn't accomplish
> the visualizations that Stephanie was interested in having.
> And all this could also be done in a more atomized way as Chad envisions.
> Glad your OK Chad. Youch.
> Cheers to all,
> pcplantdb mailing list
> pcplantdb at lists.ibiblio.org
John Schinnerer - MA, Whole Systems Design
- Eco-Living -
Whole Systems Design Services
People - Place - Learning - Integration
john at eco-living.net
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