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SKIS v5.6 Biodiversity Data Capture and Communications Program

Derek Gunn Gunn at Otago.ac.NZ
Sun Nov 5 18:58:58 EST 1995

|  SKIS v 5.6  |  the Six Kingdom Inventory System   |   Oct. 1995  |
|                                                                   |
|  Available now: SKIS_56.ZIP                                       |
|                                                                   |
|  This file contains the fully functional program SKI_IN.EXE       |
|  for data capture to create and manage taxonomic checklists.      |
|  Included are four NAMes-files with classification lists of       |
|  all Mammal and Plant families as well as all Seabird species.    |
|  For those of you new to the SKI-System we include detailed       |
|  on-line and printable documentation with examples.               |
|                                                                   |
|  Available free via anonymous FTP from various sites, eg:         |
|  Asian    users,  nctuccca.edu.tw:/garbo/pc/science               |
|  American users,  ftp.coast.net:/pub/systems/pc/garbo/science     |
|  European users,  garbo.uwasa.fi:/pc/science                      |
|  Oceanian users,  archie.au:/micros/pc/garbo/pc/science           |
|                                                                   |
|  Users can accept the Classification provided or define their     |
|  own Taxonomic Standards for projects large and small.            |
|                                                                   |
|  In building & organising annotated taxonomic checklists, SKI_IN  |
|  uses Biological Classification as an hierarchical Index; this is |
|  represented by a short and meaningful code.  SKI_INput has many  |
|  data management facilities and provides a variety of formats for |
|  the output SKI-files for printing,  for use in spreadsheets,     |
|  database programs and E-mail.                                    |
|                                                                   |
|  Uniquely, SKI-System files are updatable as the Biological       |
|  Classification evolves.  The available SKI_PLUS program and      |
|  current series of INDEX files achieve this at Family level.      |
|                                                                   |
|  The file: SKIS_56.ZIP, requires PKZIP v 2.04G to decompress the  |
|  files it contains (via garbo.uwasa.fi:/pc/arcers pkz204g.exe).   |
|                                                                   |
|  Freeware to private individuals.                                 |
|  Shareware to Businesses.                                         |
|  Concessionware for Conservation and Education projects.          |
|                                                                   |
|  Dr Stan Woods,  Derek Gunn                                       |
|  Internet:  Gunn at otago.ac.nz                                      |
|  Address :  P.O.Box 6269, Dunedin, New Zealand.                   |
|                                                                   |

For those new to FTP, below is an example of
a typical FTP session:

 ftp garbo.uwasa.fi        #FTP connect to Garbo
 anonymous                 #Use this name to get temporary privileges
 [Type the first part of]  your email address as your password
 cd /pc/science            #Go to the relevant directory
 bin                       #Use the binary mode in program transfers
 dir                       #Get a look at the directory's contents
 get skis_56.zip           #Get the 290K file into your directory
 close                     #Close the connection to Garbo
 quit                      #Quit the FTP program

  Who would find SKI_IN useful?
  - Anyone wanting to quickly find the Latin names and see the
    relationships of organisms, to organise existing records or to
    make classified taxonomic indexes, eg, for text books or study 

  - Anyone interested in their local environment and in listing 
    records of species for monitoring or managing almost any aspect 
    of biodiversity. 

  - Anyone who wants to make before-and-after or comparative data 
    sets.  Series of species checklists are an ideal format to record 
    biodiversity responses to local 'stresses', from new management 
    plans to climate change.

  - Researchers making initial records and analysis of biota; 
    integrating data from diverse sources (eg, merging checklists; 
    importing foreign taxonomic files; updating classifications),
    preparing basic classified species lists for publication.

SKIS is designed to assist a wide variety of people to handle 
biological data.  The SKI_IN program provides and manipulates the 
scientific names in predictable ways leaving the user free to record 
and manage species related information.  So, users are painlessly 
taking advantage of the huge fund of knowledge that is coded into the 
Biological Classification, and are adding unique, up-to-date and 
often local information of immediate interest.

  What the SKI_INput Program is:
  - A DOS-based program that allows you to quickly and easily put
    together checklists of taxonomic names and add your information.
    Each record consists of Latin names selected painlessly from 
    menus (or keyed in) and up to 4 lines of 'Other Info' - your 
    unique input.  For each record the program automatically provides
    the appropriate SKI-number for data management:

    SKI-#      ORDER      Family    Genus   Species    Other Info
    -----      -----      ------    -----   -------    ----------
    772.1.1.1  CARNIVORA  Felidae   Felis   sylvestris Domestic Cat 
    772.1.1.2  CARNIVORA  Felidae   Felis   concolor   Cougar ...
    918.1.1.1  FAGALES    Fagaceae  ***     ***        Oak Trees ...

  - SKI_IN is a tool for recording base-line biodiversity information 
    and communicating it.  Files can be of any size, and all are made 
    compatible independent of input sequence.

  - Interrogating SKIS' input files makes it easy to find the ORDER, 
    Family, Genus & species names (Common or Latin) for a species 
    from initially knowing just one name for it.  Some NAMes-files 
    provide species related information such as geographic ranges, 
    conservation status or biodata.

  - With SKI_IN you can checklist any (or every!) named species; each 
    species record receives a unique SKI-number which defines its 
    predictable position within any SKI-file.   All SKI-files are 
    broadly compatible - and users/project managers can easily apply 
    means to make sets of files totally compatible. 

  How the SKI_INput Program works:
  Eg, use the NAMes-file of all Seabirds (NAM-28) to call up species 
  from menus into your checklist - but feel free to key in 
  alternative names at any stage.  You can view the complete list in 
  several different formats, edit any record, add new species, etc. 
  NAM-28 also allows you to select any other Bird ORDER and key in 
  any Bird species. Then you could change to another of the start-up 
  NAMes-files and add any species of Mammal or Plant, this time with 
  Family-level menu support.

  When ready to view, print or export your checklist (on a floppy or 
  via E-mail), restructure it first to SKI-sequence; this is a 
  generally accepted 'evolutionary' sequence with alphabetic sub-

  SKI_IN is suited to a wide spectrum of users and uses. Depending on 
  what is wanted for any task, SKIS can be simple and informative for
  non-biologists who maybe just want to record local biodiversity
  information, or it can display sophisticated classifications with
  sub-groups and perform major tasks with taxonomic files to satisfy
  professional requirements.

  What the SKI-System is not:
  - SKIS is NOT primarily a dispenser of taxonomy or Classifications; 
    it just happens to be very good at doing so - as a necessary way
    of helping people to execute projects involving biodiversity.

  - SKIS does NOT identify plants and animals. NAMe-files can include
    identification pointers, but, as yet, keys and graphics are not

  - SKIS is NOT a database in the sense of a dedicated unit that
    amasses ever more information and can be interrogated in set
    ways.  But SKIS is a unique database System; all users are
    functional parts of it; with your input its distributed contents
    are designed to evolve (existing files can be up-dated as
    Classifications evolve).  It's Biological!

  New features of SKI_IN v 5.6 (cf 5.3):
  - several new print options
  - better directory/file handling
  - beginners prompts (can be switched off).
  - supported by the high-level program SKI_PLUS

  SKI_IN v 5.3 was a stand-alone program and was dependent on central 
  development and distribution of NAMes-files.   This was not always
  seen as a viable option.  So now, SKI_PLUS creates NAMes-files from 
  users' SKI-files. (And it imports non-SKI-files to create SKI-files
  from them - powerful!)   So users with SKI_PLUS can be totally 
  independent, especially in developing taxonomic standards for
  projects large and small.   Viable?   It's Biological!

  How the SKI-System works:
  A start-up library of NAMe-files covers _every_ Order and Family -
  enough to checklist _every_ named species.  Genus-level NAMes-files
  will be available next.  Their use is to create species-level 
  NAMes-files, each with hundreds of species with some common bond. 
  Some of these will be World-wide lists, such as NAM-28 with all 
  Seabirds, or regional lists, eg NAM-63 Birds of Mexico, but most 
  will be users' local biodiversity NAMes-files.

  As Biological Classifications change, SKIS can update existing 
  SKI-files.  SKI_PLUS can achieve this now at Family-level to attain 
  compatibility with INDEX Series 04.  Taxonomic elements of major 
  databases will be similarly updatable - automatically.  Users' help 
  will be sought to develop a policy or consensus for producing 
  future INDEXES. 

  We at SKS-Information will keep producing new NAMes-files, but the
  majority will be created by users (with SKI_PLUS, typically from
  files created in SKI_IN).  We look forward to these NAMes-files
  being freely distributed between users, with any of general 
  interest being added to our free FTP list.

  See the "Order Form" file via the HELP directory in SKI_IN for a
  list of NAMes-files, etc.  Updates will be sent to bulletin boards,
  with all orders, or can be got direct from us via GUNN at OTAGO.AC.NZ
The prime aim of SKS-Information is to develop and promote the 
widespread use of SKIS to assist users in the collection and 
communication of basic and detailed information for biological 
conservation and education.


SKS-Information POLICY for NAMes-files:
NAMes-files, like the names they contain, are treated as common
information (unless privately commissioned from SKS-Information).
They are offered free via FTP, or on disk for a small handling fee, 
for personal and private use.  We claim copyright and reserve all
rights for some aspects of NAMes-files and so are able to share such
rights with our 'personal and private' users, to receive income from
corporates and to be in a position to prevent such rights being
claimed by others.  Essentially, SKIS is for SKI-users in the
interests of conservation and education.

The following NAMes-files and others will be posted on FTP in the 
next several weeks; many others will follow.  Or use the printable 
'Order Form' in SKI_IN via HELP.

   Family-level       Compatible with INDEX Series 04.
   NAMes-files:                                            SKI-##
    NAM-86   Vira and Monera (*)                          010-060
    NAM-69   Protoctista: Alga and Protozoa               060-200
    NAM-71   Animals: Sponges and lower animals           200-300
    NAM-73   Animals: Molluscs and Annelids               300-400
    NAM-75   Animals: Arthropods                          400-525
    NAM-76   Animals: Echinoderms (*)                     526-600
    NAM-23   Animals: Lower chordates and Fishes          600-700
    NAM-49   Animals: Higher vertebrates                  700-800
    NAM-15   Fungi and lower plants (*)                   800-900
    NAM-37   Plants (already in 17-file SKI_IN pack)      860-999

 (*)Files with relatively few Families may have Genus names added.

    Family-level files:
  - Free on FTP, or handling charge $US9 each, or any 6 or more $US50
  - With this selection of NAMes-files, SKI_IN gives menus assistance
    to Family level to record any, or all, named living species!

   Standard (to genus or species level)
  NAMes-files                                              SKI-##
    NAM-18   UK Butterflies and Day-flying Moths          521-523
    NAM-19   Freshwater Tropical Aquarium Fishes          634-690
    NAM-21   Marine Aquarium Fishes                       630-690
    NAM-62   Dinosaur Genera                              718-719
    NAM-24   Bird Genera - Non-Passerines                 720-748
    NAM-51   ABA Birds of North America (>850 species)    727-750
    NAM-63   Mexican Birds                                727-750
    NAM-55   Mammal Families including Fossils etc        750-800
    NAM-32   Freshwater Animal Genera                     200-800
    NAM-33   Irish Freshwater Animal species              200-800
    NAM-60   Fern Genera                                  875-890
    NAM-56   Plant Families (with cross-referencing)      860-999
    NAM-39   Aquarium and Watergarden Plants              860-999
    NAM-44   All SKI-ORDERS (from INDEX Series 04)        010-999

  Standard NAMes-files: free via FTP, or handling charge $US9 each.


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