Intkey and LucID

Mike Dallwitz miked at
Wed Mar 19 03:01:07 CET 1997

- From: David Yeates

> In a recent posting users were encouraged to compare LucID with INTKEY 
> running a dataset extracted from a demonstration version of LucID 
> downloaded from the LucID web site.
> As I made clear in an earlier posting, this comparison is unlikely to 
> be useful for at least 2 reasons, as follows:
> 1) The downloadable version of LucID ... is disabled in many ways and 
> current versions of the LucID player supersede the downloadable verion 
> with new and improved features.

Unless the interface has been radically redesigned, it will still be 
more difficult to use than Intkey, when evaluated by any reasonable 
criteria. As I pointed out in a previous posting, the disabling of 
character images in the demonstration version actually makes it _easier_ 
to use.

> 2) LucID and INTKEY store different kinds of data. ... Exporting LucID 
> data into a form that INTKEY uses would require a detailed knowledge 
> of the data structure and operation of both programs. Judging by 
> recent postings, the DELTA team do not possess this information. In 
> these circumstances we cannot see how their extraction of a LucID data 
> matrix from a downloadable demonstration into a form that INTKEY can 
> use would be meaningful.

The data format was reasonably clearly documented in the demonstration 
package, and we think we understand it. We have produced an Intkey 
package which seems to give the same results (though often by a less 
circuitous route) as the LucID package with the default settings. Our 
purpose was to highlight differences in ease of use of the two system, 
by removing differences due to using different data sets. We will be 
putting this package on the Net soon.

> We invite users to test the LucID system, both player and builder, 
> using their own data.

You will apparently have to pay between $250 and $350 for this 
privilege. The DELTA software can be tested free of charge.

> We are flattered and encouraged that the DELTA team is taking such a 
> strong interest in the development of LucID.

Our interest stems from your public claim that LucID is easier to use 
than Intkey: 'We believe LucID makes it easier ... for non-experts to 
use a key.' We felt that this claim should not go unchallenged.

Mike Dallwitz
CSIRO Division of Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Email md at  Phone +61 6 246 4075  Fax +61 6 246 4000

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