New tags for biology and medicine.

Andreas Tille tillea at
Tue Sep 4 12:24:46 UTC 2007

On Tue, 4 Sep 2007, Benjamin Mesing wrote:

> I believe it is past time to react to this proposal, we don't want to be
> seen as some kind of black hole, everything that goes in never comes
> out. And since I have some spare time at hand, I will make a start.
> Generally speaking the proposed tags are relativly detailed. I believe
> this level of detail is required only by biologists or people in the
> medical field.


> Thus we need to decide, if those details should become
> part of the main vocabulary database.

Well, I don't think that we should make a harsh difference compared
to the main vocabulary database.  Considering the effect of a less
fine grained tagging: People will be presented a list of (guess)
20 items instead of 3-5 items for the more fine grained list, but
I think 20 packages in a list are manageable.  The danger of "bloating"
the system with about 15 more packages you might not need is not
really a thing many people are scary about.

> Another way would be to provide
> them in a different vocabulary/tag database - debtags supports multiple
> of those.

Just for the sake of academical interest: What are the consequences of
a differnet vocabulary/tag database?  I guess the drawback is higher
than a fine grained tagging.

> Index: debian-packages
> ===================================================================
> --- debian-packages     (révision 2253)
> +++ debian-packages     (copie de travail)
> @@ -559,6 +559,18 @@
> +Tag: field::biology:bioinformatics
> +Description: Bioinformatics
> + Sequence analysis software.
> +
> +Tag: field::biology:molecular
> +Description: Molecular biology
> + Software useful to molecular cloning and related wet biology.
> +
> +Tag: field::biology:structural
> +Description: Structural biology
> + Software useful to model tridimentional structures.
> +
> This is probably a reasonable distinction, though we have to decide if
> we want such a fine-grained separation of the "field" facet.

I also wonder whether we gain much at users and.  It might happen that
users have a slightly different perception of these terms and we could

> We would
> also end up with needing the same level of detail for electronics,
> chemistry, physics,...

Well, this is always the same - you need someone who does the job.
Debian-Med just joins forces for people interested in medicine and
biology so we are a little bit ahead. :)

> +Tag: field::medicine
> +Description: Medicine
> I believe that one is agreed upon.
> +Tag: field::medicine:imaging
> +Description: Medical Imaging
> +
> Same as for the ::biology:* tags

Well, I do not agree here completely.  We have a fair amount of
packages (becoming more soon) that deal with medical imaging.
If people are interested just in imaging they probably do not
like things like a practice management system (depending on
PostgreSQL server and other stuff).  So IMHO this differentation
might be worth the effort, but if you think it would spoil
the principle of keeping things simple - just leave it out.

> Quite detailed, though otherwise, people proably won't pick
> works-with::sequence if searching for algorithms working on a DNA.

I'm afraid you are right here.

> So the formats could as well be top level. Though this would mean
> cluttering the works-with-format facet. Could there be a
> works-with-format::special-purpose:* group?

Sounds very reasonable.

Thanks for your input.  It partly shows that outsiders are able
to bring some abstraction into the focussed view of specialists.

Kind regards



More information about the Debtags-devel mailing list