Description Language for Taxonomy (DELTA)
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, conventional or interactive keys, cladistic or phenetic classifications, and information-retrieval systems.
- Description Language for Taxonomy (DELTA)
- Permanent IRI (for citations and links)
- Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
- Current (2005) standard
- Technical specification
- When taxonomic descriptions are prepared for input to computer programs, the form of the coding is usually dictated by the requirements of a particular program or set of programs. This restricts the type of data that can be represented, and the number of other programs that can use the data. Even when working with a particular program, it is frequently necessary to set up different versions of the same basic data, for example, when using restricted sets of taxa or characters to make special-purpose keys. The potential advantages of automation, especially in connexion with large groups, cannot be realized if the data have to be restructured by hand for every operation. The DELTA (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) system was developed to overcome these problems. It was designed primarily for easy use by people rather than for convenience in computer programming, and is versatile enough to replace the written description as the primary means of recording data. Consequently, it can be used as a shorthand method of recording data, even if computer processing of the data is not envisaged.
- Dallwitz, M. J. 2006. Description Language for Taxonomy (DELTA) Standard. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/107
Parts of the standard
This standard is comprised of one document.
Definition of the Delta Format
- Definition of the Delta Format
- Permanent IRI
- Last modified
- M. J. (Michael J.) Dallwitz (author)
- T. A. (Toni Anne) Paine (author)
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
- This document is primarily for the benefit of programmers, and contains more detail than would usually be required by users of the DELTA format. It provides an introduction to the format, and details necessary to encode data in the format.
- See http://delta-intkey.com/www/overview.htm for an overview and http://delta-intkey.com/www/use.htm for conditions of use.
- Dallwitz, M. J. and T. A. Paine. 1999 onwards. Definition of the Delta Format. Version: 2005-09-13. http://delta-intkey.com/