Nested character states

Mike Dallwitz mike.dallwitz at NETSPEED.COM.AU
Sun Sep 16 13:35:08 CEST 2001


- From: Jaan Palisaar

> ... an identification program called IDENTFIND ... had a very useful 
> feature: you could nest character states; e.g. the character <color of 
> flowers> could have the character state "blue" and nested inside 
> "blue" could be "reddish blue", "dark blue", "bright blue" or 
> whatever. So if the enduser is not sure, he/she can choose the "parent 
> character state" and get everything which is included. Or if you are 
> coding the habitat type it would be very useful to do things like
>
> <habitat>
>     forest
>         deciduous
>             oak
>             beech
>         evergreen
>             pine
>             ...
>
> I'm quite new to DELTA (working with DeltaAccess) but haven't seen 
> anything like this. Is there anything I missed or is there any other 
> program which is capable of doing things like this?

You can use characters dependencies in DELTA to achieve something 
similar to this. It's hard to be more precise without seeing IDENTFIND - 
can you send me a copy?

For colours, there would seem to be little or no advantage in the kind 
of nestings or groupings suggested above. For example, suppose that you 
had additional states 'bluish red', 'dark red', 'bright red'. Any 
uncertainty that the user might have about the colour of a particular 
specimen would not necessarily be expressible by the groups or higher 
level states 'blue' and 'red'. For example, the uncertainty might be 
between 'dark red', 'bluish red', and 'reddish blue'. The simple way of 
handling this is to let the user select _any_ combination of states.

- From: Jason B. Blazzard

> You really need to try out XID Systems, Inc. The newest version is 
> very powerful with the features you need

I couldn't see this feature in XID, and it doesn't seem to have 
character dependencies.

There is a comparison of an earlier version of XID with several other 
interactive key programs at
    http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/www/comparison.htm
Although the interface is substantially different in the new version, 
the functionality doesn't seem to have changed much. It would be useful 
to have a revision history, showing the new features of each version.

Mike Dallwitz
13 Warrambool Close, Giralang ACT 2617, Australia
Phone: +61 2 6241 2884
Email: mike.dallwitz at netspeed.com.au  Internet: biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/



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