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3.1. The index page

General ornithological practice is to organize bird records according to taxonomy. Accordingly, the index page will group photos under the various taxa—orders, families, genera, and so on. Fortunately, this project can use the taxonomic infrastructure described in xnomo3: A system for representing bird taxonomy. Hence, the general organization of the index page will be an outline-style display of bird taxonomy, with Class Aves the root taxon, and each lower-level taxonomic rank indented one level further.

However, there is no sense in displaying all possible bird taxa. It saves space to display only those taxa for which there is at least one photo.

For each taxon that contains at least one photo, there may be more than one English name that applies. For example, older photos of what is now called Long-tailed Duck may be under the older name, Oldsquaw. The author's preference is to place each unique name under its own form page. In this example, under the taxon (species Clangula hyemalis), there would be links to two form pages, one for photos under Long-tailed Duck, and one for Oldsquaw photos. In a future revision, it might be good to add a feature that gives equivalences for older names, so that Oldsquaw photos are automatically moved to Long-tailed Duck.

A first approximation of index page design would be to show a separate heading line for each taxon. Then, under each form name in that taxon that has at least one photo, there would be a link to the form page for that form name. Here is a mockup of the start of the index page, through the geese and swans. The symbol “→f” means that the preceding text is a link to the form page for that name.

Class Aves: Birds
   Order Anseriformes: Screamers, Swans, Geese and Ducks
      Family Anatidae: Swans, Geese and Ducks
         Subfamily Anserinae: Geese and Swans
            Genus Anser
               Species Anser indicus: Bar-headed Goose
                     Bar-headed Goose →f
            Genus Chen
               Species Chen canagica: Canada Goose
                     Canada Goose →f
               Species Chen caerulescens: Snow Goose
                     Snow Goose →f
                  Form Chen caerulescens 1: Blue Goose
                     Blue Goose →f

Because the index page may be quite long (many hundreds of lines), there are some obvious steps to compress this report into fewer lines.

So, here is our mockup from above, with these improvements.

Class Aves: Birds
   Order Anseriformes: Screamers, Swans, Geese and Ducks
      Family Anatidae: Swans, Geese and Ducks
         Subfamily Anserinae: Geese and Swans
               Anser indicus: Bar-headed Goose →f
               Chen canagica: Canada Goose →f
               Chen caerulescens: Snow Goose →f
                   Chen caerulescens 1: Blue Goose →f

There is one additional consideration: what if a taxon has only one name referred to it, but that name is not the standard name? For example, if there is only one Long-tailed Duck picture, and it is indexed under Oldsquaw, which of these examples should it look like? In this case, the space-saving choice is to display the standard name, and the name used, on the same line, and make that line a link to the form page. For example:

Clangula hyemalis: Long-tailed Duck (as Oldsquaw) →f

In such a case, the reference name is given first, and the variant as “as …”.