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Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)
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Re: [vox-tech] collaborative data storage (of excel files)

On Wednesday 16 January 2008 08:45:58 pm Alex Mandel wrote:
> Dylan Beaudette wrote:
> > On Tuesday 15 January 2008 04:58:13 pm Ken Bloom wrote:
> >> On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 09:33:44 -0800
> >>
> >> Dylan Beaudette <dylan.beaudette@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Hi,
> >>>
> >>> some of the people in my lab are interested in collaboratively
> >>> compiling a large quantity of environmental data- each user appending
> >>> several hundred measurements of several variables every week.
> >>>
> >>> They are currently emailing around a spread sheet file and there have
> >>> been numerous data accidents. Now they are asking to put the file
> >>> onto a shared drive, so that they can access it remotely. This sounds
> >>> like a terrible idea to me- even worse than the previous attempt.
> >>>
> >>> The data are essentially rows and cols of numbers that are added to
> >>> and edited weekly.
> >>>
> >>> At first I thought subversion might be helpful, but revision control
> >>> doesn't work so well with binary data (excel files)... unless there
> >>> is something I don't know about. It would be hard to detect
> >>> conflicts, or to merge data. However, it would allow for timestamps
> >>> and revision numbers to provide some level of authority.
> >>>
> >>> Designing some kind of database-driven system seems like a logical
> >>> choice, but I do not have the time to do this. Perhaps there is
> >>> already something out there.
> >>>
> >>> Does anyone have some insight into how to solve this data management
> >>> nighmare?
> >>
> >> In what format do your colleagues generate their data to begin with?
> >> Is this append-only or are there updates too?
> >>
> >> --Ken
> >
> > They work exclusively with Excel.
> >
> > A discussion about this problem with my sig. other last night resulted in
> > mutual distrust of the way most people in academics and "professional"
> > circles are handling data. There really should be a 'data management'
> > course which is either part of the Technical Writing courses (which are
> > required) or taught as a single quarter class. Everyone who is not in
> > computer science or mathematics should be required to either test out of
> > the course or take it.
> >
> > Dylan
> > _______________________________________________
> This is on my list of course to create, and may happen soon if I decide
> to do a Phd. In the meantime we might do a spatial databases group study
> next quarter.
> Alex

Hi Alex,

If that course happens, let me know as there was some interest in an 
(attribute) database course in our dept. which Garrett and I were thinking 
about putting together. Cross-listing and including spatial DB stuff might 
draw a larger audience.

One more fun class to think about!


Dylan Beaudette
Soil Resource Laboratory
University of California at Davis
vox-tech mailing list

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