Plant DB - data & user friendly

1earth permaculture permaculture1 at start.com.au
Wed Dec 26 19:59:00 EST 2001


>> _Useful_/_may be used_/traditionally used in PC zone 2, 3, 

>To me this is not useful information, at least not in a PC sense of
usefulness. I also think it can be misleading in a very basic sense.

>If I am ignorant of the PC emphasis on relations, it makes me *think*
I know something about this plant in a PC sense (aha, it goes in zone
2 or 3!) when I really do not. 

>I can stick it in zone 2 or 3, it says so in the PC plant
database...so what? Where, what context, in what sort of guilding,
what relations to other plants (which ones?), what functions does it
provide and support in zone 2, in zone 3 (same or different for each
zone?)...?? 

Different people search information in different ways. The same person
also searches the same information in different ways at different
times.

A "Permaculture Zone" search might not suit you (right now), but it IS
USEFUL for other people who are searching with a different mindset or
purpose than yours.

Permaculture zones are one effective way that permaculture
practitioners sort their information, so the idea of a permaculture
zone search function in the Plants DB is at the very least worth
exploring for it's possibilities.

A "location" search, or a "usage" search (such as medicinal, animal
forage, fire retardant, cabinet timber, etc) is also useful in the
right circumstance. (Thinking about a MEDICINAL search could even be
more refined, such as Medicinal >burns - revealing "aloe vera" amongst
others, might also be extremely useful if the information is needed
quickly).

Personally, I would like to see as many search fields as possible,
perhaps with check boxes or pull down menus. This lets the visitor
define their search as much as they are able, before the DB reveals
the results of their search.

Marcus




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