[delta-l] ALA Delta

Nooteboom, H.P. (Hans) Nooteboom at nhn.leidenuniv.nl
Wed Jan 4 09:56:50 CET 2012

Dear Eric,

>From the beginning I knew this, and I tried it. But Kconi of Pankey was so much better that I preferred that. It allows you to choose the character you want, the most obvious (for the user) or the character that divides the rest of the taxa in two equal portions. You can play with it two make the best key possible. Very easily you can make partial keys for different distributions, a key based on flowering specimens, and one based on fruiting specimens. All things that are very useful in flora's. And for the editors you really must make dichotomous keys. (At least for this editor).
If you use delta's tokey, this all is impossible or at least very complicated.

The problem with kconi is that it is not completely compatible with delta, and it does not run under windows (for younger people, who always used windows, that makes it really too difficult).

Hans Nooteboom
Editor of Flora Malesiana

From: delta-l-bounces at science.uu.nl [mailto:delta-l-bounces at science.uu.nl] On Behalf Of Eric.Zurcher at csiro.au
Sent: woensdag 4 januari 2012 6:30
To: delta-l at science.uu.nl
Subject: Re: [delta-l] ALA Delta

Mauro is quite correct in that the generation of "conventional" keys has been available as part of the DELTA system for several decades. However, the generated keys are not necessarily dichotomous. Consider the following entry, copied from the Key documentation in the Delta User's Guide:

2(1).    Female-fertile florets 1.            3

            Female-fertile florets 2.            Poa

            Female-fertile florets 3 or more.          9

Here we see three possible paths to follow, rather than 2. This approach to handling mulitstate characters was a deliberate design decision, and makes a good deal of sense (in my opinion).

Note that the KEY STATES directive can be used to "group" states of multistate characters, in addition to providing state "boundaries" for numeric characters. This can be applied if one really must have a dichotomous key.

Eric Zurcher
CSIRO Plant Industry
Canberra, Australia
Eric.Zurcher at csiro.au<mailto:Eric.Zurcher at csiro.au>

| -----Original Message-----
| From: delta-l-bounces at science.uu.nl<mailto:delta-l-bounces at science.uu.nl>
| [mailto:delta-l-bounces at science.uu.nl] On Behalf Of Mauro Cavalcanti
| Sent: Wednesday, 4 January 2012 12:43 PM
| To: Descriptive taxonomic databases
| Subject: Re: [delta-l] ALA Delta
| Hans,
| Surely DELTA can and do generate dichotomous keys, via the KEY program
| included in the original CSIRO DELTA package. As a matter of fact, the
| key-constructing algorithm used by this program was one of the first
| publications of Dallwitz (Syst. Zool. 23: 50-57, 1974) in the field of
| taxonomic computing.
| Hope this helps.
| Best regards,
| 2012/1/3 Nooteboom, H.P. (Hans) <Nooteboom at nhn.leidenuniv.nl<mailto:Nooteboom at nhn.leidenuniv.nl>>:
| > Dear Mike,
| >
| > I often am asked whether DELTA can be uses for dichotomous
| keys. Alas, I do not know of a program other than PANKEY,
| which I use although it is quite complicated, not being fully
| compatible with DELTA.
| > Is there someone who knows of a program generating
| dichotomous keys from a DELTA database? Preferably not
| automatic, because one wants to choose the characters!
| > For flora's we still make them!
| >
| > Greetings and a good 2012
| >
| > Hans Nooteboom
| > _______________________________________________
| > delta-l mailing list
| > delta-l at science.uu.nl<mailto:delta-l at science.uu.nl>
| > http://mailman.science.uu.nl/mailman/listinfo/delta-l
| --
| Dr. Mauro J. Cavalcanti
| Biologia Aquática
| Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia
| Av. André Araújo 2936, Aleixo
| CEP 69060-001, Manaus, AM, BRASIL
| E-mail: maurobio at gmail.com<mailto:maurobio at gmail.com>
| Web: http://sites.google.com/site/maurobio
| _______________________________________________
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