Re: Taxonomies in XML
At 22:31 15/04/98 -0800, John Totten wrote: >The 30 or so XML files that represent the El Limon Weeds Collection >(one separate file for each weed) will impress a Web Master but not a >botanist because you cannot produce a taxonomy from them. > How can you add nodes and unlimited nesting to XML documents? > If your taxonomy is fixed and consists of a single hierarchy then XML is the most natural way to express it :-). I have done this for protein sequences on the WWW and come up with something like: <LIST TITLE="EUKARYOTA"> <LIST TITLE="METAZOA"> <LIST TITLE="CHORDATA"> <LIST TITLE="VERTEBRATA"> <LIST TITLE="TETRAPODA"> <LIST TITLE="MAMMALIA"> <LIST TITLE="EUTHERIA"> <LIST TITLE="PRIMATES"> <ITEM TITLE="HOMO SAPIENS"/> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> </LIST> This allows nesting of any depth and displays beautifully in a tree-structured browser. [I shall be releasing JUMBO2 very shortly - when SAX is finalised - and this will be one of the examples to show an essentially non-textual application of XML.] [I have added whitespace to the above example for human benefit. Exercise: If you are new to XML, how would you decide whether the whitespace was 'ignorable'? :-)] Note that I dare not venture further than this because taxonomies are much more complex than this - usually dynamic and hence requiring attention to renaming, equivalences, the possibility of multiple parents, etc. Much the same problems as with orgCharts :-). But if you have a fixed taxonomy, XML is wonderful. try doing the above with a relational data and asking non-experts to create the input, whereas I suspect any scientist could work with the above almost without thinking. Why did I include the 'data' in the TITLE attribute rather than content? Mainly because I had a simple display routine that picked up TITLE attributes rather than content attributes :-). If I redid it now I might move things to element content. HTH P. Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic net connection VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary http://www.venus.co.uk/vhg xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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