New DELTA features

Gregor Hagedorn hagedorn at FUB46.ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE
Mon Mar 24 11:03:32 CET 1997

Robin Wilson wrote regarding my proposal of modifiers:

> Although it would cause most of us a lot of work to come up with 
> libraries and to convert our current unstructured comments, I can see 
> the value in doing this and would strongly support the idea.

My application will parse the item description comments and move all 
"clean" comments to the modifier attribute. This will do a lot of the 
work, e.g. for "ca." comments etc. There has to be some testing done on 
this, to make sure it works ok.

I could also add a method which will further try to parse cases where 
the defined modifiers are only part of the comment, but this is more 

The real major problem I have is that currently I have no clue how to 
deal with the fact that the notes apply to another character state than 
to the one they are associated with.

will end up as:

This will screw up your data! How does Confor handle this?

It really is a design problem of the Delta format itself, because in 
another case:
    1,1/2<when fully developed>/3

> the focus for future developments of the DELTA format should be 
> towards more structure aimed at interoperability rather than adding 
> features that are very nice when used within DELTA but make data 
> exchange with other databases more difficult. This may will sound a 
> little hypocritical to Mike and others as I am one of those who have 
> been asking for the nice new features!

Of course this is a two-way process. DeltaAccess is designed to link in 
any data which support ODBC. That will be all SQL-Servers, Paradox, 
dBase/Foxpro, and lots of others.

I have not worked with Pandora yet, but I have seen it and am quite sure 
they could offer ODBC access if it is not there already.

Regarding the literature reference databases, I wonder whether there is 
any system out there that would support ODBC access to its data. Does 
anybody know?

To clarify things as I see them: OLE is fairly useless, you could 
display literature reference as a whole inside your program using OLE, 
but it would have to store the link to that specific reference somewhere 
first. Getting this link into the database is the problem. You certainly 
want to choose it from a picklist, right? DDE: most programs support 
this, but it is very difficult to offer a picklist of references with 
this mechanism. It is clearly beyond my capabilities, but perhaps some 
professional programmer could do it.


Gregor Hagedorn
Inst. f. Mikrobiologie, BBA     Net: hagedorn at
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220 or -2221
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

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