10 June 2007

Protocols & History

In Standards for biological protocols Dror, starts to discuss, how he thinks that protocol standards should look like, and starts building examples of well known procedures, I suggested him to look after RDFa or hGRDDL. However I've never seen a file format describing a protocol and that could be interpreted by a computer.

Hal9000: Hello Dave, how mini-preps do you want to process with the protocol urn:protocol:miniprep:AU87687 today ?
David Bowman: Hello Hal, I wish I could process 96 mini prep's
Hal9000: Dave, you'll need 192 tubes, 400 ml NaOH. The extraction will last 2H00 and will cost 10$. If you start now you will be able to lunch before the canteen is closed.
David Bowman: Thank you Hal, I'll use the centrifuge n°2
Hal9000: Dave, I detect problem with the centrifuge n°2. It should be repaired.
David Bowman: What ??? But we already changed it last week !!

Two blogs about digital history dealt with a parallel of this subject with bioinformatics: here and here. Handling historical data should be as fun as playing with biological data.

When that happens, the only way that historians are going to be able to grapple with this ocean of content will be something that we might call computational history–Bill likens this concept to bioinformatics.

I've already played with the RDF statements from DBPedia to generate an interactive time line about the History of Sciences but I guess there are many other things to do :-)

1 comment:

Pedro Beltrão said...

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question. That mini-prep should have been done two-weeks ago.

ahhh , the joys of geek humor :)