Sunday, November 06, 2005

Nodalpoint notices

iSpecies was blogged by "Greg" at Nodalpoint, which carried some earlier discussion about LSIDs.

Curiously, LSIDs pop up again:

What is also cool is that each species has RDF formated metadata associated with it via an LSID, see here for an example. It would be nice if each species had its own permanent URL, which would be arguably more useful than an LSID, but I won't go there :)

Actually, iSpecies doesn't link to LSIDs for taxon names (that's done through one of my other toys, the Taxonomic Search Engine). Perhaps it's time to link these two toys together?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Being too careful

Managed to figure out why the Google Scholar results would sometimes appear and sometimes not. The server hosting iSpecies uses PortSentry to detect and block port scans. PortSentry decided that the Glasgow University proxy was evil. Our proxy has three IP addresses, two of which were blocked by PortSentry. If the DNS resolved the proxy address to a blocked IP, the Google Scholar Perl script would fail (as it connects to the outside world via the proxy). If the DNS happened to resolve it to the unblocked IP, it would work. Found this out by changing
use LWP;
use LWP::Debug '+';
and printing out the response status_line.

iSpecies launched

iSpecies is a very simple test of E O Wilson's idea of a web page for each species. The data displayed are generated "on the fly" by querying other data sources, such as NCBI, Yahoo Images, and Google Scholar. The site was announced on TAXACOM and the Taxonomic Databases Working Group - Structure of Descriptive Data lists on 2 November 2005. It was blogged by Leigh Dodds and Danny Ayers.