Wednesday, July 09, 2008
It pays to put things on the Web
Seems obvious in retrospect, but on of the great things about putting stuff online is that it may be useful to other people. What seems like ages ago I developed the Glasgow Taxonomic Name Server to experiment with searching for and display taxonomic names and classifications. As part of that work I developed a SOAP web service, and wrote a tutorial on how to use SOAP from within Microsoft Excel. I did this mainly for my own benefit, so that I wouldn't forget how to do it (much Googling was required). This tutorial has been reproduced, updated and credited, by the World Register of Marine Species (WoMRS). I only realised this after browsing the WoMRS site after following a recent conversation on TAXACOM about the proper name of the sperm whale. The take home message is that you never know who will make use of something you've done, and the chances are that if you've solved a problem, somebody else may well benefit from your solution.