Eric J. Gouda
E.J.Gouda at CC.RUU.NL
Mon Mar 20 15:30:58 CST 1995
In message Sun, 19 Mar 1995 18:09:22 -0800,
Adolf Ceska <aceska at FREENET.VICTORIA.BC.CA> writes:
>> From: stephen gough <sgough at S850.MWC.EDU>
>> To supplement traditional methods of identifying vascular plants
>> (mostly trees and shrubs) in a Plant Ecology course, I would like to
>> construct a software-based system for common items. I don't need the
>> rigor of a DELTA-based system; rather I would like something that uses
>> simple descriptive characteristics (perhaps a list of characteristics
>> up front) and then determines one or more possible "hits," with the
>> option to view line art or photographs on screen. Does anyone know
>> what software I might use to construct something like this? It should
>> be PC-compatible, and operation under Windows would be nice.
> I can see that the main stumbling block in the use of DELTA programs is
> the preparation of input files (CHARS, ITEMS, SPECS, etc.). To prepare
> these files is a painful process, almost as complicated as solving the
> RUBIK CUBE. If you make a small change in CHARS file (add or delete a
> character), you have to make endless changes in the ITEMS file and other
That is when you use a normal text editor, but did you try to use the
TAXASOFT DELTA Data Maintenance program. You can delete, insert, move and copy
characters or character states, and your ITEMS and SPECS data will stay
correct. Your access to your DELTA files (ITEMS, SPECS and CHARS) is more
database like (3D table).
It is available via Internet (FTP/Gopher) DELTA directories.
> If you are interested in an interactive identification program, I would
> recommend using XID system developed and distributed by
> XID Services, Inc.
> Post Office Box 272
> Pullman, WA 99163
> Phone/Fax: 509-332-2989
> XID system has an extremely user-friendly "menus" for entering,
> changing, and editing characters and items. You can enter the data in a
> fraction of time it would take you to create CHARS, ITEMS, SPECS etc.
> I have not had chance to compare performance of XID and INTKEY, but
> I don't think one will be significantly better than the other.
> One thing DELTA definitively needs is an easier method of how to enter
> taxonomical data. XID input method proved that it can be done. Can DELTA
> people approach the XID Services, and ask them to provide an interface
> between XID input and DELTA input? Both XID and DELTA would benefit from
> such a marriage.
> Adolf Ceska
> aceska at freenet.victoria.bc.ca OR
> aceska at RBML01.RBCM.GOV.BC.CA
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