Suitability of DELTA for fruit/seed key; use on Macs
miked at ento.csiro.au
Tue Dec 13 08:10:48 CET 1994
- From: Susan Mazer
> I am currently working on a photographic field guide to the fruits and
> seeds of about 1500 Peruvian lowland rainforest species, and I'm
> interested in the possibility of using Delta to produce a dichotomous
> key to allow the field identification of these taxa.
> Is this an appropriate/possible application of Delta?
> Is Delta now available for use on Macintosh computers, or only for
> Where can I look into the purchase of the program?
This is an appropriate application of DELTA, though I strongly suggest
that you develop an INTKEY (interactive identification) package instead
of (or at least in addition to) conventional keys. INTKEY could
comfortably handle 1500 species in a single 'key'.
Our DELTA programs are only available for MS-DOS. A MS-Windows version
of INTKEY is almost ready for release. The programs will run on DOS and
Windows emulators on a Mac. We recently did some tests on a Power Mac
7100/66AV with 16MB of RAM. The speed in DOS/Windows emulation is
roughly 15% that of a 50MHz 486. The substantially lower speed is no
problem for most INTKEY operations, which complete almost
instantaneously. However, the time taken for operations which involve
scanning the whole data matrix might be regarded as inconvenient. On
John Lawrence's beetle-larvae data (180 characters, 385 taxa), a check
of the main DELTA data files took 167sec, and the INTKEY BEST command
took 145sec in DOS and 120sec in Windows. (Bear in mind, however, that
you don't need to wait for BEST to complete before choosing a
The DELTA programs, and several data sets, are available by gopher or
anonymous ftp from the following Internet hosts.
muse.bio.cornell.edu (directory: /pub/delta)
spider.ento.csiro.au (directory: /delta)
The file Index.txt (note the upper-case I) contains a list of the
available programs and data. To view this file during an ftp session,
give the ftp commands 'get Index.txt' and '! more < Index.txt'. Most of
the subdirectories of delta contain a file Download.1st which contains
information about downloading and installing the files in that
subdirectory. Files other than .1st, .txt, and .ps must be transmitted
in binary mode (set by the ftp command 'binary').
The programs are supplied with documentation files, sample data, and a
list of references. The conditions of use are in a file DELTA.USE, and
the prices in DELTA.REG. These files are within the self-extracting
archive file DELTA1 at .EXE.
Updates are announced on the Internet via the Taxacom mailing list. To
subscribe to Taxacom, send the message
subscribe taxacom your-first-name your-last-name
by email to listserv at cmsa.berkeley.edu.
CSIRO Division of Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Internet md at ento.csiro.au Phone +61 6 246 4075 Fax +61 6 246 4000
More information about the delta-l