so far ...

Susan B. Farmer sfarmer at GOLDSWORD.COM
Wed Nov 24 08:45:42 CET 1999

>From: Leigh Dodds <ldodds at>
>> I sense that application developers who use Nexus are pretty happy with
>> the format since is was a collaborative effort to begin with, and that the
>> Nexus community would not see a great benefit in adopting a new data
>> format.  Anybody else have this impression?
>Given this, and other similar comments on the list, I'd suggest that an
>additional requirement of any new format (if thats the way things go)
>is that it provides backwards-compatibility, as far as possible with
>other formats.

IMHO, this inter-compatibility of data sets is one of the Big Issues
that needs to be addressed.  I (initially) put all of my data into
DELTA and then converted it to Nexus.  The Nexus file has been heavily
modified (and many of my character and state names truncated in the
bargin).  Until very recently, there was no way to take *this* file
back into DELTA.  But more than that; all of the continuous data
in the original file (aka measurements) are now gone and will have to
be added back into the DELTA data set by hand.  :-(

Why not extend the current standards that if there are data types that
their particular application doesn't recognize, they stay around -- just
ignored.  MacClade does that even with Nexus data (maybe the newest one
doesn't); but if I save my file from within MacClade, if I want to run
PAUP again, there are commands that I must reinter into the file
because MacClade has removed them because it didn't understand them.

Susan Farmer
sfarmer at
Botany Department, University of Tennessee

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