Comments on “General Nuclear Database Structure”

For the Internet Foundation, I am reviewing “nuclear data” on the Internet.
Today I am looking at “ENDF”:
At Evaluated Nuclear Data File (ENDF) under “The ENDF Format” at the bottom is has “Beyond the ENDF Format”:
Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) – WPEC Expert Group on the Recommended Definition of a General Nuclear Database Structure (EGGNDS)
You should have links to the groups responsible for Evaluated Nuclear Data File (ENDF), Japanese Evaluated Nuclear Data Library (JENDL), Russian Library of Evaluated Neutron Data Files (ROSFOND/BROND), Joint Evaluated Fission and Fusion Nuclear Data Library (JEFF) and the IAEA.  Not just text. Text that humans have to read does not tie things together into a whole. Even html links are not sufficient as they are so easily broken, changed and lost.
At pages like you should use the full page title, “Cross Section Evaluation Working Group (CSEWG) Organization and Links”
I was going over covariances this morning.  Glad to see that listed.  But use full titles on pages. The search engines use the url, then the title, then the contents. Many members, no projects, most recent report 2011, D Smith Guidance is 2012.  And only US members.  And not a single model, no communities, no education. And covariances only cover the individual pieces of the problem, not the full fabric of all the verifications and calibrations needed.
Richard K Collins, Director, The Internet Foundation
In July  1998 I took over TheInternetFoundation.Org domain from Network Solutions after the original Internet Foundation was cancelled for political reasons. Most of my working career was in mathematical statistics on global population, global economics, global finance, global issues of all sorts. So it seemed natural to look at the whole of the Internet and all human efforts to collaborate on global and systemic issues.
Almost all of the “nuclear data” pages on the Internet are hand-written, local, and for single question human users.  They do not well serve the needs for large collaborations, education and understanding of the whole. That is my first rough assessment, but I am seldom wrong and have been working at this full time for the last 23 years on much larger communities.  It is not impossible to sort out and improve.  But bad habits are hard to change.
For instance, is an isolated application.  No context, no background, no community.  It is accessible by search engines and will show up early for anyone searching for nuclear data. But it has no context. For the roughly 2 billion first time learners on the Internet about 200,000 of them are likely to go into fields affected by nuclear data and models full time. And they are faced with a mess.  You guys might barely know what you have, but they are not going to know all the background, and will not stand still for memorizing things you should provide.  I sent Alejandro some comments.  I think I made him a video.
Sorry. Starting to preach and teach.  I have to say sternly to groups like Amazon, or NASA, or Facebook that they are doing really hurtful things.  I cannot always convince people to change, but it is getting easier.  Most people who throw things on the Internet have no concept of 4.8 Billion users, and the accelerated pace of people picking up very complex things and investigating them in depth. What I do in a few days or months on a topic, is being repeated billions of times.  I am very good, and if it takes me that long, multiple by a billion and you begin to get some serious numbers.  My main metric is human time.  To just get a complete map of nuclear data on the Internet is taking me a long time. It is chaotic, every site different, different style and layouts, different human languages, different funding.  At the core should be a real database, but most of the effort seems to be on conventions for writing text for human readers.
This is better than the IAEA LiveChart but it does not have the data in computer readable form, so a human reader gets inserted into that pathway and things grind to a halt. The “list of levels” is human eye candy and not really suitable for computer use for merging, consolidating, comparing, visualizations, experimentation with models.
It is NOT sufficient to have the data in databases that only a few programmers can access or see or improve.  You have to let the whole community working on the topic see the whole of things, try and test new things, and then allow those to be shared. GitHub is getting closer, but they are moving at a glacial pace.  I have been working on that for the last several years. “nudat” is 104 entries, “endf'” is 2460, “nuclear data'” is 859.
You can have all the human committees and reports and recommendations you want.  You can have all the grant and awards and projects you want to fund – and they will not get to the fundamental problem that all the groups involved end up on the Internet, and they have no clue how to do things globally. They carry the worst habits of paper publishing, and the worst habits of human organizations to an environment that currently is not self organizing and a patient helper to every person looking for things. The Internet is the afterthought of billions of organizations just dumping their incrementally designed pages and their decades of accreted data onto the web.  Then it is my responsibility to try to make sense of it and to single-handedly bring a bit of sense to the whole. The Internet Foundation was supposed to be $15 per year per domain, and that is about $6 Billion a year.  And I get none.  So guess why your organization and all the people doing “nuclear data” are allowed to each “do their own thing” and spend decades talking about common formats.  Databases are not that complicated.  But it takes hard dedication to keep people from doing a poor job of sharing.
Look at “nuclear data” on the Internet. That is the problem.  Not just letting the people in your small US community talk to each other. That is another problem.  The Internet is global.  It is for everyone. And it does not have to be such a mess.
Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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