Alex Chapman alexc at CALM.WA.GOV.AU
Fri Aug 22 17:11:56 CDT 1997

To developers of interactive taxonomic identification tools,

The next DELTA Newsletter (DN13), a publication currently co-edited by
myself, Terry Macfarlane and Nicholas Lander, is intended to serve as a
basic comparative review of available taxonomic identification software.

This posting is a call for short articles from developers of interactive
taxonomic identification tools (whether based on the DELTA standard or not)
and related descriptive data management applications.

Also planned for that edition is a review of this software based on a range
of functionality and performance criteria.  This objective review and
accompanying table will hopefully aid workers in the selection of
appropriate software tools for their individual projects.

Thirdly, we expect that a DELTA Newsletter web site will be operational in
the near future, offering the content of past issues and perhaps an area
for user input in rating taxonomic descriptive software or otherwise
contributing to the DELTA Newsletter.  It will also contain an easy
web-based method of subscribing, or managing one's subscriptions, to
DELTA-L.  The URL will be posted shortly.

So, for developers wishing to have their products reviewed in DN 13, there
are 2 parts to address.

1. General articles on taxonomic identification software briefly describing
their functionality, target audience, major applications/installations and
general advantages are sought. Articles should be no longer than 650 words
including title, author and address or 550 words as above if an image
included. The image (screen-shot) should ideally be a 640x480 pixels TIF
General articles should be emailed to me ( alexc at ) before
15th September 1997.

2. Software review.
Any software authors intending to submit an article should give notice ASAP
by filling out the following details, which will contribute to the software
review component of DN13.  Authors of suites of tools should probably code
each component separately to avoid confusion.


Program Name:
Contact Address:
Version No:
Release Date:
OS supported:
Installed size:
Demo available from (medium):

   Data editor:
   Data translator      :
   Data manager:
   Printed Key:
   Interactive Key      :
   Menuing Shell:
   Integrated Suite:

Compliance with DELTA standard (fully, partially, current version of
Language support:
Type of identification  algorithm (eg probabalistic):
Data types handled:
Maximum data field lengths:
Maximum data matrix size (characters*taxa)
Programming language / development application:

Data storage:
   structured ASCII text file:
   relational database table:
   object-oriented database format:

Multimedia file support:

Internet aware:
Examples of major products/applications available:
Other suite components (eg. GIS, nomenclator, specimens):
Interfaces with other systematics tools (eg. cladistics packages):

Other comments:


We expect neither part to be overly time-consuming as the article is short
and probably able to be drawn from existing material, while the review
answers are to be compiled into a comparative table and so the answers must
necessarily be pithy.

Please return the completed form by return email, or post to the address

The editors look forward to your response.  List members may feel free to
pass this email on to other taxonomic identification software developers
not currently on the list.  Alternatively, you can let us know and we'll
attempt to contact them.

Thanks for your assistance,

Alex R. Chapman                   Email: alexc at
Research Scientist           Voice/Fax: +61 8 9334 0506 /0515
WA Herbarium - Department of Conservation and Land Management
Locked Bag 104 Bentley Delivery Centre Western Australia 6983

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