Matrix based descriptions

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Mx provides an extremely flexible mechanism for producing matrix based descriptions. In brief, and set of characters can be linked to a "content type". Content types are flexible free-text categories that can be attached to any OTU. These categories can be additionally annotated with any number of figures. Content-types are grouped in any number of "content templates" for flexible display or use.

Steps to take to generate matrix based descriptions

  1. Code a matrix, or any set of characters that you'd like to use in a description.
  2. Decide which categories you'd like your coded characters to fall into. For instance you might have separate content headings for "head", "mesosoma", and "metasoma". Create a character group for each of these headings and populate it with the characters that you want to include. Sort the characters within each group to order their display.
  3. Create "content types" of the same heading.
  4. Edit your character groups. For each group select the corresponding content type(s). You can map multiple character groups to a single content type, in this case characters are subordered by content type name.
  5. Create a content template, like "descriptions", add, and order the content types you would like to include to that content template.
  6. Show a given OTU and then click "content" on the left. Click 'matrix syncing' on the top right. You are presented with possible updates to the content. Click "update" to accept them.
  7. When you copy your matrix based description to a content type with "update" the text is fixed. You can subsequently edit it, publish it to the public version, or re-update it. This extra step lets you "freeze" the description you would like to publicly release while continuing to work on the matrix. If you then update you can re-update your content. By copying the description to a free text field you can also subsequently manually update or modify portions, perhaps in concordance with some publication formatting requirement.

Because content types can be include in any number of content templates you can mix and match views of your content, for instance in private you may want to include sections for "working notes", while in public you might not want to display those. You could also create templates for different journals, with headers (content types) required for different formats.

Extending descriptions to include other data

Matrix based content can be easily mixed in with other content attached to an OTU. To start see App/content_type, App/content and App/content_template.

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