DELTA programs for the Mac?

David Maddison dmaddsn at CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
Tue May 31 18:08:04 CDT 1994

In response the Mike Dallwitz's comments regarding DELTA for the Mac:

>Although there are many Mac users, they are a small proportion of the total
>number of PC users (I think about 10%).

While the proportion of people with Macs is relatively small among people
in general, the proportion of academics, the users of DELTA, with Macs
is much higher than 10%.   (It is the business community which
tips the balance the other way.)   I am not sure what the actual number is,
but in my experience, it seems more like 50%. I have been in 3 departments
in my recent career; 2 of these are about 90% Mac, the other is about 60%
Mac; I also know of other departments that are 20% Mac.   (This seems to
vary from country to country; the ratio of Macs may be highest in the
USA, where Macs are relatively cheaper.)  The ratio may also be different among
taxonomists, and among others who use products like the Beetle Larvae of the
World or Angiosperm Families.

That having been said, I have a few words in defense of Mike's stance:

The amount of time it takes to develop for most graphical interfaces, like
Windows or the Mac, is, frankly, unbelievable (although it is getting easier),
and while we can expect companies like Microsoft or WordPerfect to develop
programs on multiple platforms, it is a tremendous amount to ask of
a small group like the DELTA development team.  I strongly suspect that
the decision to not port DELTA quickly to the Mac is not out of lack of desire,
but because of the realities of the situation.

We face the same dilemma with MacClade: we would dearly love to have it
on multiple platforms, including Windows, but we do not have the man-years
necessary to do this, and have not yet organized funding to hire a programmer
(although we will!)

- David

David R. Maddison                PHONE: (602) 621 9781
Department of Entomology         FAX: (602) 621 1150
University of Arizona            Internet: dmaddsn at
Tucson, AZ   85721

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