Announcing Taxy 1.01

Nathan J. Wilson nathan at cse.ucsc.edu
Thu Jun 23 18:53:13 EST 1994


Taxy 1.01 is now available for anonymous ftp from 'ftp.cse.ucsc.edu'.
I have attached the 'readme' file below.

Enjoy,
-Nathan

Welcome to Taxy 1.01!

Taxy is a database system for helping with biological taxonomic
identification.  For those of you who didn't understand the last
sentence think of it as a computerized field guide.

This is the first major release that actually includes the ability
to identify species described in the database.  There is still a
great deal of work to be done on the database and help system in
order to make the system truely useful.  The system is significantly
different from the previous major release (0.01) both in terms of the
command line interface and the structure of the fungi database.
Anyone who has created entries based on the previous version of the
fungi database should get in touch with me about converting their
work to the new feature set.  Version 1.01 fixes a bug in the Delete
sub-command of the IdSpecies command in version 1.0.

The goal of the current version is to get people to play with the
system and hopefully to work on creating a database of mushroom species.  
All work done with the system is expected to remain freely available in 
keeping with the goal of the project to create a system for sharing 
fungal information freely and to permit easy database expansion and 
interchange by interested users.  This project is part of my computer 
science masters thesis.

The 1.01 release includes:

- A Taxy database emphasizing macroscopic characteristics.  This database
  currently has 173 features and 80 descriptions containing partial
  information for 57 species of fungi.

- An identification system that allows the user to decided between the
  various descriptions.  The identification system is similiar to a
  standard synoptic key.  The system can sort features to help the user
  decide which feature to provide values for next.

- Support for creating, browsing and editing Taxy databases.
  Taxy is designed to support any type of taxonomic information so,
  for example, it should be possible for an interested person to create
  a database of bird or plant descriptions.  The support for this is
  very low level.  Anyone interested in such work should get in touch
  with me.

- An on-line help system including a glossary of terms used in the
  fungi database as well as help on the various commands.

- Two sample runs of the system showing how to identify a species and
  how to enter new information on a species.

- An ASCII text copy of my master's thesis.  This is the most complete
  form of documentation currently available and for the most part is
  still correct.  The Introduction describes the goals and vision behind
  the project.  Of particular interest for using the system is the
  Interface chapter.

- Executables for the Apple Macintosh, Sun SPARC, SGI, and IBM PCs.  
  (Source code is available upon request.)

  All versions are available for anonymous ftp from the machine:
	ftp.cse.ucsc.edu
  in the directory:
	tmp/taxy

  Most files are available as both regular files or in compressed archives.
  the only exception is the program for the macintosh version which is only
  available as a binhexed archive.  The archives all contain all the need 
  files for the given machine.

  Updates to any files are in the directory 'update'

  The unarchived files are:
	raw/readme	- This file
	raw/thesis.tty	- An ASCII text version of my Master's thesis
	raw/taxy.sparc	- SPARC binary
	raw/taxy.sgi	- SGI binary
	raw/taxy.exe	- IBM PC executable (not available yet)
	raw/taxy.hlp	- Help for the program
	raw/fungi.db	- Database with some species descriptions
	raw/fungi.hlp	- Glossary of terms used in fungi.db
	raw/comments/*	- Files with comments on descriptions & features
	raw/assign	- List of the people currently working on given
			  species
        raw/id		- Example log of using Taxy to identify a species
	raw/editing	- Example log of using Taxy to enter a new species

  The mac version in a binhexed, StuffIt archive
	mac/Taxy.sit.hqx

  The SPARC version in a gzipped, tar archive:
	sun/taxysun.tar.gz

  The SGI version in a gzipped, tar archive:
	sgi/taxysgi.tar.gz

  The IBM version in a gzipped, tar archive: (not available yet)
	pc/taxypc.tar.gz


This release does *not* include, but some future release will:

- Automatic merging functions for combining multiple existing databases.

- Features for describing the microscopic aspects of fungi and a more
  complete treatment of features related to Ascomycetes and Gasteromycetes.

- A general scripting system for creating database specific commands for
  entering information.


If you are interested in participating in any way please drop me a
note via email or call me at: (408)423-3773.  If you wish to help
extend the database, please contact me so we can arrange a set of
species for you to work on so effort is not duplicated.

   -------------------------    _________
         Nathan Wilson         <_________>
      nathan at cse.ucsc.edu         _|_|_       It is no dream!
      Co-Science Advisor          \___/    Matsutake are growing
   Minister of Local Forays        | |        On the belly of the mountain.
Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz    \_/ *83--                -Shigetaka



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