Help with corrupting Delta files

George (Buz) Wilson BuzW at AUSTMUS.GOV.AU
Thu May 6 08:01:42 CEST 2004

- From: Jeremy Bruhl

> My delta data files are being corrupted. Characters with varying 
> numbers of states (ie 4,11,13 etc) have the states reshuffled from the 
> original order.

Our isopod research group at the Australian Museum have seen this 
distressing behaviour too, but have not been able to trace the cause. It 
may happen when dragging characters or character states to new 
positions, or reconfiguring the characters in some way on a mature 
database with many scorings. I discovered this problem when absurd 
character states were appearing in my phylogenetic trees. As far as we 
can tell, this is a bug in DELTA, not a virus, but we haven't tried to 
recreate the behaviour. You can fix it the old fashioned way of checking 
all of your character text and scorings <very tedious!>. One thing that 
may help is exporting the dataset and then re-importing it to a new 
file, and then being careful to not stress ye olde DELTA too much. The 
moral of the story is to save frequently, and to make a new differently 
named backup copy after each major editing session, so you can backstep 
if necessary. It's buggy, but it is the only DELTA we've got!

Buz Wilson

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