Semantic Physical Science Workshop

We (Charlotte Bolton and I) are preparing the material for the Semantic Physical Science Workshop in January (10/12). A major feature of this is our Jumbo-Converters which convert legacy log files to semantic CML. To do that we are cleaning up and testing the code – which runs to probably tens of thousands of lines designed by Jim Downing and Sam Adams and implemented mainly by me.

To make it usable it has to be cleaned of historical cruft, tested and documented , probably all together and iteratively. We’ve had several iterations of wrappers for J-C including two versions of “Lensfield”. Currently it looks like we are going back to a much simpler commandline-interface, and putting some responsibility on the user to write the wrapper. This is a common problem – workflows are hard and local and don’t seem to generalise or abstract well. Moreover when you commit to one it’s very hard to remove and change to another. So, as we have done with OSCAR, we’ve whittled away the wrapper stuff.

We didn’t get as far as we’d hoped for today, because of this:

It’s a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter Nisus) and although we have seen them in our garden from time to time, this one – a female – has started to use our spruce tree as its dining table. Sparrowhawks eat mainly birds (superb article in Wikipedia where we learn that this one might eat 1500 Great Tits a year. This looked like it was eating a Blackbird and we recovered the following

Which I am guessing is a female blackbird (Turdus Merula).

We managed to get the photo with my birdwatching telescope and a phone equivalent pointed at the eyepiece.

Since the hawk takes about an hour to eat a bird and because it went off for another one and came back again, it took up a lot of our time. So the evening will have to make up for what I didn’t manage during the day.

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