First person to use this name on MO: Danny Newman
I don’t think anyone’s claiming otherwise. Only that overloading the “name” field for things that have nothing to do with “what’s this an observation of?” is not the best way to go about doing it.
I would welcome its use as a potential alternative to the current one.
edit: However, I would argue that imageless observations do merit some kind of special attention. Those observations to which that name is intended to be applied are ones which are missing images the uploader meant to include but didn’t, or observations where a user is claiming a meaningful record on dubious grounds without photographic corroboration. They might be recallable with a special query, but they would not be as partitionable (?) without some sort of flag to separate them from more “legitimate” observations. Briefly put, duplication, applying a singly name to a plurality of spp., and the absence of images when intended are essentially mistakes on the part of the uploader; they are negative records, the “offenders” in an otherwise (mostly) calm sea of data. As such, they merit special attention, special designation and, ultimately, rectification.
“Non-fungal” and “mixed” are still identification information regarding the thingy that was observed. “Imageless” is another thing that clearly doesn’t belong in the name field. In fact that one doesn’t even need a separate field, just a database query that pulls up observations with no images attached and some interface on the site for performing such a query. SELECT * FROM observations o WHERE NOT EXISTS (SELECT 1 FROM images i WHERE i.observation = o.id) or something of the sort.
any non-taxonomic designation (Mixed collection, Non-Fungal, Imageless, etc.) would be able to be assigned somewhere other than the name field. Alas, no so functionality exist at the time of writing. Given the current confines of the structure of the site, this is the best possible option I can think of for setting aside duplicates. Proper use of Duplicate includes referencing the observation being duplicated in one of the ‘Recognized’ or ‘Used References’ fields, and destroying or downvoting the proposal if the OP or other users can sufficiently demonstrate why the observation in question deserves its own page.
What do you mean by “overloading,” exactly?
Instead of overloading the name field for that, perhaps there should be a separate field (and it should require the preceding, supposedly identical observation be linked to it).
the name is used to single out observations which are duplicates of other, identical observations. naturally, it has been applied to a wide variety of species.