normal Concerning 'Voous' (not) order

6 years 1 week ago #1082 by Elizabeth Watts
Do you remember the days before Voous order? when you were trying to look up a particular bird in a book? And there was no set order? The Goldfinch was first or whatever the editor decided? Back in the 70s when you started birding?

I do.

It seems that BUBO is forcing us right back into those days.

Personally I don't give a (insert expletive here) what the evolutionary relationships of birds are. I spent 4 years as a professional evolutional biologist, teaching the subject at Cambridge University. My Ph. D thesis is about how certain animals are related to one another. Scientific ideas about evolutionary relationships are one thing. They belong in then realm of scientific journals. And only there.It has nothing to do with bird listing.

The reason all bird books follow(ed) Voous order was easy. It was to make using field guides simple.

I was not impressed by the putting of Anseriformes and Galliformes in a new place, to make looking them up in new bird books unecessarily difficult; now I look at my list on this website today and the order of the passerines has gone to hell in a hand cart .

Enough is enough.

If you want to promote that order, fine. But at least include a button/option so we can see our list in proper Voous order.

I've made a money contribution to keep your site up before. I won't make another one unless and until you get your act in order on this.

I invite other readers of this post to comment, and preferably to put their money where my mouth is! When you go back to proper Voous order, I'll make a further monetary contribution to the website.

If you agree with me, please make a pledge as a comment!

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6 years 1 week ago #1083 by Ian Ellis
Elizabeth, I think you have woefully misunderstood what Bubo is trying to do with this website. They are simply presenting a user friendly way of recording lists on whatever geographical scale you may wish. It is not their job to define the species order for a particular region - it is dependent on the authority in question. Perhaps you can take up your issue with the likes of the BOU, IOC, Dutch Birding or whoever, rather than with the fine work put in by Andy and Mike who are doing this on a voluntary basis.

In any case, how important is the species order when it is easily searchable in an electronic format?

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6 years 1 week ago #1084 by Andy Musgrove
Thanks Elizabeth, and thanks also Ian. A few points:

I'm sorry if you feel BUBO is "forcing" you to do anything. We made the decision at the outset of setting up BUBO Listing that we would avoid the temptation of imposing our own preferences in terms of taxonomy, etc, and instead would use published lists. In Britain we use the BOU list. In fact, I've been very slow at updating the order to follow the BOU - it changed a couple of years ago in reality. I also personally found it very difficult to use at first (having been brought up with Wren, Dunnock and Robin as a handy trio in a row, for example). But I recently decided that I was being inconsistent here and we should simply follow the base lists as published, full stop. I'm sorry if you find it awkward, but as Ian points out, most list entry is based on adding a species at a time, so it doesn't really matter what order it's in.

We don't propose to recreate a "proper Voous order". The programming required would take a long time, which we don't have. The Voous order was simply an opinion at one particular point in time, and is no more appropriate than any other. If we were going to create another option, we'd be better simply to allow alphabetical order. But we don't have time to do that either.

In terms of donations, we are of course really appreciative of any donations we receive towards the upkeep of the site - it is really helpful. However, please be aware that collectively they pay for a proportion of the website hosting costs only, anything else comes out of Mike's and my pockets. It's not a huge amount, and that's fine, but please don't get the impression that we are running BUBO Listing as some vast money-making venture. We both have busy professional careers, as well as a multitude of other interests in our spare time. Fortunately, the way we designed BUBO Listing at the outset means that it largely runs itself; this is fortunate because neither of us have the time to work on implementing major changes. Donations would have to increase by several orders of magnitude to let us "give up the day jobs" and work on BUBO properly!

Best wishes

Andy

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6 years 4 days ago #1085 by Elizabeth Watts
Andy:

You seem to have missed MY point, which is that these changes to reading order have changed it from 'user friendly' (as you claim it is and as it was when it followed the order we were familiar with) to 'user UNfriendly' as it is now with 'guess where we'll find the bird on the list'

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6 years 1 day ago #1086 by William Jones
Elizabeth,

I think you also have to consider other users for whom returning to the Voous order would be just as confusing. Not everyone using the website was around in the 70s and the current ordering is much more user friendly for me for example. Following what the different authorities use is therefore the best option for everyone. If you still have a problem with it then take it up with the relevant authority.

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6 years 20 hours ago #1087 by Andy Musgrove
Thanks William. Yes, not everyone grew up with Voous order, so "user friendly" depends on the user. Only real options for us are either alphabetical order or most recent as produced by that authority.

Elizabeth, if it's any comfort, I still find it a tricky order too, but I'm getting more used to it the more I see it. Indeed, crows as the first passerines was a feature of some pre-Voous orders too.

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5 years 11 months ago #1090 by James Emerson

Personally I don't give a (insert expletive here) what the evolutionary relationships of birds are. I spent 4 years as a professional evolutional biologist, teaching the subject at Cambridge University. My Ph. D thesis is about how certain animals are related to one another.


With all due respect, if you don't give an expletive about the evolutionary relationships of birds, I would suggest you chose the wrong PhD and job - perhaps that is why you feel so strongly about this issue?

The reason all bird books follow(ed) Voous order was easy. It was to make using field guides simple.


I disagree. My first bird book was a hand-me-down Hamlyn guide. It states that the birds are in evolutionary order. So I would suggest that most books used the Voous order because it was the currently accepted taxonomic order of the time, not to make them simple.

I was not impressed by the putting of Anseriformes and Galliformes in a new place, to make looking them up in new bird books unecessarily difficult; now I look at my list on this website today and the order of the passerines has gone to hell in a hand cart .


How much of an issue is it really on a day-to-day basis? I keep lots of lists on BUBO and look in field guides fairly regularly, but it takes very little time to find any recently moved species. In terms of BUBO, if you display your list then most of the species are probably still on the same page and therefore easy to see.

In conclusion, it sounds like a personal bug-bear rather than something that requires urgent changes.

Regards,
James

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