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[18 Sep 2008 | 2 Comments | ]

Something that has been bothering me for quite some time fell into place for me in the last few weeks. I had always been slightly confused by my reaction to the fact that on UsefulChem Jean-Claude actively works to improve and polish the description of the experiments on the wiki. Indeed this is one of the reasons he uses a wiki as the process of making modifications to posts on blogs is generally less convenient and in most cases there isn’t a robust record of the different versions. I have …

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[8 Sep 2008 | 8 Comments | ]

…is knowing what you mean…
I posted last week about the spontaneous CMLReact hackfest held around Peter Murray-Rust’s dining room table the day after Science Blogging in London. There were a number of interesting things that came out of the exercise for me. The first was that it would be relatively easy to design a moderately strict, but pretty standard, description format for a synthetic chemistry lab notebook that could be automatically scraped into CMLReact.
Automatic conversions from lab book to machine readable XML
CMLReact files have (roughly) three sections. In …

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[10 Jun 2008 | 16 Comments | ]

I spent today at an interesting meeting at Talis headquarters where there was a wide range of talks. Most of the talks were liveblogged by Andy Powell and also by Owen Stephens (who has written a much more comprehensive summary of Andy’s talk) and there will no doubt be some slides and video available on the web in future. The programme is also available. Here I want to focus on Andy Powell’s talk (slides), partly because he obviously didn’t liveblog it but primarily because it crystallised for me many aspects …

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[11 May 2008 | 2 Comments | ]

As has been noted in a few places, Neil Withers, one of the editors of soon to be newest Nature journal, Nature Chemistry put out a request last week for input on a range of issues to do with how people use journals, formats, and technical widgets. Egon Willighagen, Rich Apodaca, and Oscar the Journal Munching Robot (masquerading as Peter Murray-Rust, or is that the other way around?) have already posted responses. Here I want to add my own thoughts and possibly amplify some of the points others have made.

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[20 Apr 2008 | 8 Comments | ]

Frank Gibson has posted again in our ongoing conversation about using FUGE as a data model for laboratory notebooks. We have also been discussing things by email and I think we are both agreed that we need to see what actually doing this would look like. Frank is looking at putting some of my experiments into a FUGE framework and we will see how that looks. I think that will be the point where we can really make some progress. However here I wanted to pick up on …

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[8 Apr 2008 | 6 Comments | ]

And other big words I learnt from mathematicians…
The observant amongst you will have realised that the title of my previous post pushing a boat out into the area of semantics and RDF implied there was more to come. Those of you who followed the reaction [comments in original post, 1, 2, 3] will also be aware that there are much smarter and more knowledgeable people out there thinking about these problems. Nonetheless, in the spirit of thinking aloud I want to explore these ideas a little further because they underpin …

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[30 Mar 2008 | Comments Off on Data models for capturing and describing experiments – the discussion continues | ]

Frank Gibson has continued the discussion that kicked off here and has continued here [1, 2, 3, 4] and in other places [1, 2] along the way. Frank’s exposition on using FuGE as a data model is very clear in what it says and does not say and some of his questions have revealed sloppiness in the way I originally described what I was trying to do. Here I will respond to his responses and try to clarify what it is that I want, and what I want it to …