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The Cycad Pages
Technical details

The Cycad Pages are served by Apache server running under Red Hat Linux, on a Pentium 200 CPU. Pages have been constructed with a variety of text editors, currently VI under Linux, writing html code directly, and tested on Netscape products, currently version 4.5. The speed and stability under this very basic environment speak for themselves.

Species pages

Pages for individual species are generated "on the fly", using a perl script that searches the nomenclatural data file (the world list), and also data files with descriptions and general notes for each species. These are formatted into html pages with headers and footers, and maps and images incorporated if they are available. The images included in the species pages are reduced to less than 15k to allow reasonably rapid loading across the net, but each such image is also made into a link to a larger full-screen image.


Images have been acquired from a variety of sources in a variety of formats. Images are reduced if necessary to approximately fit an 800x600 display, usually processed with a sharpening filter, and saved as JPEG files with a 25-33% image quality factor, yielding a file between 50k and 150k in size. This gives adequate resolution for web display, but not for quality hard copy publication. Smaller images for display within pages are processed from the same originals, reduced to about 250 pixels in width, giving a file of 6-15k. All images are processed with the LView Pro software package.


Maps are separately stored for every species. Each map is created and saved as a GIF 89a image with 4 colours including a transparent background using the LView Pro software package. Points representing distributions are added manually with the same sofware package.

Identification Keys

The multiple entry identification options use perl scripts to filter and search unedited DELTA items files and match the query terms submitted. The query input forms are derived from the DELTA characters files, processed with a perl script to convert to HTML and edited to select appropriate characters and enhance readability.