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Re: Phylogenetic taxonomic definitions in Xiaotingia paper

 I do not want to get to the point as in when phylogenetics was
 introduced to mammalian taxonomy, and every new "arrangement" --
 excluding this or that taxon only from the _topology_ -- came with a
 new name.

Oh, neither do I. That's the other extreme.

(Besides, it wasn't actually phylogenetic nomenclature. They didn't name clades, they named phylogenetic hypotheses.)

 <Have you noticed how the term "birds" is used in the discussion
 triggered by *Xiaotingia*? It's used as a branch-based name for
 everything closer to Neornithes than to traditional non-birds like
 velociraptorines, dromaeosaurines, troodontids, oviraptorosaurs and
 the like. That's how the definition of Avialae by Xu et al. maps to
 their tree. I think Aves should be defined that way (more carefully,
 means, with more external specifiers); that's the closest thing to a
 traditional meaning it has, and it literally means "birds" not just
 in Latin, but also in (higher styles of) today's Spanish and

 This supports the idea that "Aves" should always refer to the
 esoteric "birds."

Well, if it doesn't (as far as possible), confusion will inevitably result, at least for a decade or three, and avoidable discontinuity with the literature will also result. Such outcomes should be avoided, and indeed the PhyloCode says so in several places.