Mike Dallwitz miked at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Fri Nov 18 11:35:51 CST 1994

                                                               18 November 1994

I am posting this correspondence as an example of a detailed discussion of a
DELTA program, which may be of interest to many DELTA users, but not to Taxacom
subscribers in general. Will anyone volunteer to set up a mailing list
specifically for this kind of material?

> From: zhu at (Guang Hua Zhu)
> To: miked at (Mike Dallwitz)
> I asked Dave Boufford the following statement in 'tonat'. I still don't
> understand what it's for. I do want to have ',' instead of ';' after some
> characters. But this can not be done by adding the character number after
> this command. Please tell why. Thanks a lot.
> > From: "Dave Boufford" <boufford at>
> > To: zhu at
> >
> > > *REPLACE SEMICOLON BY COMMA 5 9 11 13 (? this makes no difference
> > > to your description. What is it for?)
> >
> > If you prefer a semicolon (;) instead of a comma (,) then don't list any
> > characters.

The REPLACE SEMICOLON BY COMMA directive requires the specification of sets of
characters, not just single characters. This is because the required
punctuation depends not only on the preceding character in the sentence, but
also on the following one. Characters that are contiguous in the character list
are not necessarily so in descriptions. Characters may be missing because they
are unknown, inapplicable, or excluded.

It is usually sufficient to specify (some of) the same sets as in REPLACE
SEMICOLON BY COMMA as in LINK CHARACTERS. To see the effects of a more
complicated specification, try the following with the sample data. *LINK
    CHARACTERS 3-5 7-9 13-15 18-21 (etc.) *REPLACE SEMICOLON BY COMMA 3-5 7-8
    13:15 18
To make the effects easier to see, you could remove the OMIT CHARACTER NUMBERS
directive, and add INCLUDE CHARACTERS 3-21. You will need to look through
several of the resulting descriptions to find instances of all the possible

Mike Dallwitz                                  Internet md at
CSIRO Division of Entomology                   Fax +61 6 246 4000
GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia     Phone +61 6 246 4075

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