Message 2004-06-0031: Re: Yet one more proposal for a shorthand notation, and for an addition to Rec. 11A

Wed, 16 Jun 2004 07:26:38 -0700 (PDT)

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Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 07:26:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: "T. Michael Keesey" <mightyodinn@yahoo.com>
To: Mailing List - PhyloCode <phylocode@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu>
Subject: Re: Yet one more proposal for a shorthand notation, and for an addition to Rec. 11A

--- David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:
> This may well be superfluous; one of Sereno's talks promises to discuss the
> topic at some more length. In case it won't be superfluous, I'd like to
> propose the following notation, with the goals of making definitions as
> short as possible, but without losing information -- so that the shorthand
> could appear in a protologue instead of a spelled-out version --, and of
> making them language-independent.
> 
> A through G are taxa, M is an apomorphy.
> 
> Node-based:
> {A(, B, C...) + D}
Did you mean: {A + B[ + C [ + D [...]]]}?

> "{}" used instead of "Clade()" because it's shorter, already used on a few
> websites, language-free, and avoids confusion with the method to write a
> tree -- (A + (B + C))).

I don't know if it's desirable, at least in this case, that it be
language-free. The PhyloCode may come to cover several types of taxa, not just
clades. The currently proposed format is appropriately simlar to a
mathermatical or computer-language function, and you could use it for other
types of taxa as well, e.g. species(CM 9380).

Furthermore, trees are usually written using commas: (A, (B, C))

> "+" used instead of "and" because it's shorter, in widespread use (abstract
> booklet!) and language-free.

This does make sense to me.

> Stem-based:
> {A(, B, C...) # D(, E, F...)}
> "#" used instead of "not" because it's shorter and language-free; instead of
> ">" or "<--" because the direction of the arrow would confuse people either
> way, and because "<--" is painfully ugly, unless replaced by a real arrow;
> instead of "" because this (the mathematical "not" sign) is poorly known
> and poorly available on keyboards. My English teacher used "#" for
> "opposite". Its use for "number" seems to be restricted to the USA and is
> not understood over here.

I have never heard of anyone using "#" for "not" -- I can't see how this would
be intuitive at all. Incidentally, programmers us "!" for "not", but, again, I
can't see this being widely intuitive, either.

I thought that "<--", whether ugly or not, clearly communicated what it meant.
Furthermore, most extended fonts have a more elegant verison of it (which may
or may not show up correctly for everyone): &#8592;

> Apomorphy-based:
> {M in A (+ B, C...)}
> "in" used because symbols would be somewhat hard to find and would be poorly
> known; "in" is Latin, English, German and more, so some internationality is
> retained this way.
>         (Apomorphy-based definitions with a node-based clade as a specifier
> are potentially self-destructive.)

Sounds good to me.
 


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