Scale insect web catalog
Friday, 29th of May, 2015



Please refer to these instructions. At some point in the not too distant future a paper describing this version of ScaleNet will be published and should be used for citation of the application.

For citations of taxonomic catalogs please attribute the catalog authors:

Family Database Authors

Data model

In all of its spledor as a UML diagram. This is a SVG image, so feel free to zoom in enought o actuulay see what is going on:

A mouthfull.


The original ScaleNet is a BASIS (Biological And Systematic Information System) application developed by Gary Gibson. It is a stand-alone relational database system written in FoxPro for Windows 2.6. BASIS was designed as a general database/cataloguing program to facilitate the compilation, integration, and retrieval of systematic, biological, and bibliographic information for arthropods at and below the family level. BASIS can compile and format conventional taxonomic catalogues as WordPerfect, RTF or HTML documents.

Longevity is an general problem for software. FoxPro is no longer suported by Microsoft. Longevity is also a general problem for taxonomists. The first ScaleNet administrators are now in or near retirement.

This version of ScaleNet is a Django application with a PostgreSQL backend. The original data model has been extensively normalized, and an online content managment interface has been added. It was developed by Nate Hardy. Django is a Python MVC (model, view, controller) web development framework. The idea driving MVC design is that by decoupling the data model, program logic and presentation, code will be simpler, and easier to modify and reuse. There are lots of MVC web frameworks to choose from. Nate went with Django because he much prefers to program with Python. That, and Django has a very robust set of tools to introspect the datamodel and generate an administrative interface. This was a very important selling point, given the complexity of the ScaleNet datamodel.

This system was designed with administrative succession in mind. All of the tools are popular, opensource, and cross-platform. The source will be deposited in a version control repository. ScaleNet should be easy to manage and change by anyone.