Bryan Simon bsimon at GIL.COM.AU
Sun Mar 16 08:29:14 CET 1997

In the current thread of the relative merits of intkey and LucID there 
seem to be a conflict of the method by which LucID handles numeric data.

David Yeates wrote:

"LucID also is capable of handling continuously varying (real numeric) 

whereas Eric Zurcher, on the same day, wrote:

"There is no provision for pure text characters, nor for numeric 
characters as such. Hence if one wishes to generate a LucID key from a 
DELTA dataset, all text characters must be discarded, and all numeric 
characters must be broken up into a series of ranges (as is done via the 
*KEY STATES directive of CONFOR in a number of other translations). Note 
that Intkey does not have this limitation, and readily copes with text 
and numeric characters."

What is the real situation? I have recently run a DELTA set of grass 
data (having many characters with continuously varying numeric data) 
through the DELTA translator into the LucID format. However, although 
the character heading comes up on the screen I do not seem to be able to 
insert a random integer value here that the program understands, despite 
David's comments. This maybe due to something I am not doing correctly 
and I would appreciate assistance.

Also are there plans for LucID to be able to use text characters in 
interactive identification as INTKEY can - although they probably have 
little use even in INTKEY unless the text strings are very short.

Regarding the ability of LucID to be able to add qualifications to the 
character states - an extremely useful feature for interactive 
identification - it is pleasing to see that this feature is to be 
included in the proposed enhancements to the DELTA standard

This discussion of the comparative features and relative merits of LucID 
and INTKEY, both of which I find to have very useful features, will be 
of great value to the users and developers of both packages. The 
interchange of ideas can only be healthy and of advantage to the 
enhancement of both systems.

Bryan Simon

Bryan Simon  (Senior Principal Botanist)
Queensland Herbarium  (BRI)             65 Hamilton Street
Meiers Road                                Sherwood
Indooroopilly                              Queensland 4075
Queensland 4068                            Australia

Phone 61 7 3896 9319 (Work)      Fax 61 7 3896 9624 (Work)
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