There is a very good software system available for the storage, maintenance,
and use of plant data for interactive identification and various types of
output. The system is called DELTA, and the data storage format is also
called DELTA. Data is stored in DELTA format, and then the system transforms
it into various formats: descriptions, for interactive querying, key
generation, phenetic analyses, cladistic analyses, etc. Graphic images can be
attached to the characters and taxa for use in interactive mode. We have been
using the software for several years with great success.
The software is available as shareware on Internet. DOS and Mac versions can
be obtained from the Taxacom node at HUH.HARVARD.EDU (220.127.116.11) or DOS,
Mac, or SunOs versions from the author's node at SPIDER.ENTO.CSIRO.AU.
SPIDER.ENTO.CSIRO.AU is a very slow node compared to HUH.HARVARD.EDU. If you
want the DOS or Mac versions, download from HUH.HARVARD.EDU.
Following is some of the information distributed with the DELTA system.
DELTA PROGRAMS - REGISTRATION AND CONDITIONS OF USE
26 March 1992
M. J. Dallwitz and T. A. Paine
CSIRO Division of Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Phone +61 6 246 4075 Fax +61 6 246 4000 Internet delta at ento.csiro.au
The DELTA format (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) is a flexible method for
encoding taxonomic descriptions for computer processing. DELTA-format data can
be used to produce natural-language descriptions, keys, classifications
(cladistic and phenetic), and systems for interactive identification and
The CSIRO Division of Entomology supplies several programs for processing
DELTA-format data. The programs and the DELTA format are described in two
manuals: User's Guide to the DELTA System and A Primer for the DELTA System on
MS-DOS and VMS. The full set of programs is accompanied by the following
files: the conditions of use (DELTA.USE, this document); registration and
order form (DELTA.REG); installation guide (DELTA.1ST); the changes since the
publication of the printed User's Guide (CHANGES.DOC); an up-to-date version
of the Primer (PRIMER.DOC); and examples of data and directives. Most of these
files are supplied in a compressed form.
If the program INTKEY (interactive identification and information retrieval)
is supplied separately, it will be accompanied by DELTA.USE and DELTA.REG,
data files, and installation instructions specific to these files.
CONDITIONS OF USE
If you use the programs beyond a reasonable test period, you must register,
and you will usually be required to pay a registration fee. Details of fees
and exemptions are given below.
If the use of the programs leads to a publication, you must include
appropriate citations (see Primer), and send a reprint to the authors.
Redistribution of the programs
You may distribute the programs (with or without your own data) without paying
us a fee or notifying us, provided you do not obtain commercial advantage from
the distribution (see below). The programs must always be accompanied by all
of the files described above, except that if INTKEY is distributed by itself,
it need only be accompanied by DELTA.USE and DELTA.REG. If you distribute the
programs with your own data, your documentation must draw the user's attention
to our conditions of use, as specified in this document.
Registered users are entitled to free support for clarification of the
programs or documentation. Reported program bugs will be fixed promptly.
Significant help with the design, analysis, or presentation of data sets
should preferably be treated as collaboration, and lead to joint publications,
but other arrangements can be negotiated.
Training in the use of the programs is available, under conditions to be
CSIRO or its employees shall not be liable for any loss, damage, or injury
(including without limitation any loss of profit, indirect, consequential, or
incidental loss, damage, or injury) arising from the use of the programs.
REGISTRATION, FEES AND EXEMPTIONS
Note. The current printed versions of the manuals (User's Guide Edition 3 and
Primer Edition 2) are out of date, and are supplied free of charge. New
versions are expected to be ready by June 1992. If you pay the distribution
fee for the printed manuals, we will send you the new editions as soon as they
For users in Australia, all the fees set out below are expressed in Australian
dollars. For users outside Australia, the fees are expressed in US dollars,
and payment may be in any currency, converted from US dollars at the current
rate of exchange. Payment may be by cheque (payable to CSIRO Collector of
Moneys), Bankcard (Australia and New Zealand), Mastercard, or Visa. A
registration and order form is included with the distribution, both in printed
form and as a disk file (DELTA.REG) which you can print yourself.
The fees are subject to change without notice.
The fee for supplying the programs on floppy disks is $25 for the first set of
disks, plus $15 for each additional set. Printed manuals are $25 for the first
set, plus $15 for each additional set. These fees include postage. You are
encouraged to avoid these fees by obtaining the programs from bulletin boards,
networks, or other users, and by printing the documentation yourself from
files supplied with the programs. (Note. The User's Guide is not yet available
as a file.)
The cost of registration for a single user (unless exempt) is $100 for INTKEY,
or $200 for all of the programs (including INTKEY).
The cost of registration for several users within the same organization is
determined by the `effective number of users', which is defined as the number
of non-exempt users who could be using the programs simultaneously (see
examples below). Each additional user costs $25 for INTKEY, or $50 for all of
the programs. Registration may be upgraded to a higher number of users, or
from INTKEY to all the programs, by paying the difference in cost.
Other arrangements for the payment of registration fees may be negotiated.
We would prefer not to issue invoices. If you require one, there will be a fee
Students using the programs as part of course work do not have to register or
pay a registration fee. (However, the organizers of the course must register.)
All other users must register, but school or undergraduate students using the
programs for non-course work are exempt from registration fees. Exemption may
be negotiated in other cases. In particular, you should apply for exemption if
payment of the registration fee would cause financial hardship to you or your
Examples of registration fees
(1) The programs are installed on your PC at work and also your PC at home.
You and your assistants share the PC at work during working hours, and you use
your PC at home after hours. The effective number of users is 1.
(2) The programs are installed on 2 PCs used by 3 people for research, and on
4 PCs used by undergraduates for course work. The effective number of users is
(3) The programs are installed on a network serving 100 terminals. The
programs are used by 3 people for research, and by undergraduates for course
work. The effective number of users is 3.
Registration fee ($) for INTKEY or all programs
Users INTKEY All Users INTKEY All Users INTKEY All
1 100 200 6 225 450 15 450 900
2 125 250 7 250 500 20 575 1150
3 150 300 8 275 550 30 825 1650
4 175 350 9 300 600 50 1325 2650
5 200 400 10 325 650 100 2575 5150
Minor upgrades (e.g. Version 2.13 to 2.30) are free, except for distribution
fees (see above). Major upgrades (e.g. 2.32 to 3.00) will require the payment
of a new registration fee. Program upgrades will be publicized in the DELTA
Newsletter, and on bulletin boards and networks where the programs are
Use of the programs for commercial advantage
If you obtain commercial advantage by using or distributing the program(s),
you must pay us a fee, to be negotiated in advance. You would be deemed to
obtain commercial advantage if you distributed the programs and/or your own
data for use with the programs, and charged more than the direct cost of
distribution. (The direct cost of distribution includes costs such as the cost
of blank disks, copying of disks, printing of manuals, packing, and postage,
but not costs such as those incurred in the preparation of the data and
writing of the manuals.) In this case, we would normally ask for royalties of
10% of your gross sales (paid yearly in arrears), and for a copy of your
package. Purchasers of your package would be entitled to use the programs only
with the data supplied with the package. They could o