interactive keys

Lyn.Craven at CSIRO.AU Lyn.Craven at CSIRO.AU
Fri Mar 10 10:23:09 CST 2006

For producers of interactive keys, the Windows version of  DELTA is a
lot easier to use than the original.  The training sessions held in
conjunction with the earlier version are probably analagous with the
training sessions held widely during the early days of general office
computer take-up.   The younger, fully computer-literate generations
pick up such stuff much more easily, and they are more prepared to play
around and make something work, than the baby-boomers and their
immediate generational successors.

Regards,    Lyn

PS.  If I can use an interactive package to produce a key, anyone can,
because I am definitely not a computer-oriented person.  Presently I
have DELTA datasets in development for Australasian Hibiscus,
Papuasian-Australian Syzygium, and Melaleuca.   These started with the
old version of DELTA and are now in the new.  But I have never been on a
course,  just picked it up as I needed to.

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
Behalf Of Snow, Neil
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 2:23 AM
Subject: [TAXACOM] interactive keys

Maybe part of the reason for a slow embrace of interactive keys is an
underestimation by the producers of such keys regarding the degree to
which the product needs to be marketed with hands-on training in local
and national settings.  DELTA in its earlier versions was difficult to
learn without assistance, but it became widely embraced in Australia and
eventually other parts of the world.  Its embrace in Australia (in part)
was because in-depth training sessions were held to introduce people to
the technology.  A caveat to those who write software for the keys;
making them too complex may turn away taxonomists from potentially
buying the product for their own use.

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
Behalf Of Anita F. Cholewa
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:51 AM
Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Palm pilots - possibly a better usage

Sorry I'm coming in the middle of this conversation but with respect to
the public and online interactive keys ... our experience (woody tree
key of Minnesota - ) if it's
not simple to use they'll leave the site quickly.  If there's too much
introductory information, the public won't even get to the key.

Anita F. Cholewa, Ph.D.
Curator of plants and Consulting botanist
Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota
1445 Gortner Ave
St Paul MN 55108

christian thompson wrote:

>Yes, Tim, I would like to see the public embrace interactive keys/
>But having produce one (fruit fly expert system [INTKEY] now also in
LucID, go to
>I am sorry to say after 8 years the Public has not come to my door the
way they reacted to Paul Hebert's DNA barcodes.
>Earlier I named a new species after Bill Gates, but no response either.
>So, sadly I not sure what we, as a community, need to do to promote our
science as we see it. All I can tell you is what has failed.
>Oh, well ...
>>>>"Timothy M. Jones" <TPolonski at ADELPHIA.NET> 03/09/06 08:11AM >>>
>    Curious if you think the public or taxonomy will ever embrace
>interactive keys/software?   Seems to me that this technology may give
>taxonomy the boost it needs.

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