PAL: Phylogenetic Analysis Library
A Java library for molecular evolution and phylogenetics
Version 1.2 (April 10, 2001)
The PAL project (http://www.pal-project.org) is a collaborative effort dedicated to provide a high quality Java library for use in molecular evolution and phylogenetics.
This package may be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License
Copyright (c) 1999-2001 PAL Development Core Team.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, 3A Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.
Matthew G. Goode, University of
Auckland (GUI, codon and alignment classes, utilities)
Sean Luke, University of Maryland (Random number generator)
Oliver G. Pybus, University of Oxford (Part of code in demographic models)
Andrew Rambaut, University of Oxford (Yang codon model)
The PAL project is a collaborative effort to provide a high quality Java library for use in molecular evolution and phylogenetics. Updates of PAL are released in frequent regular intervals (approx. every 4 months). At present (version 1.2) PAL consists of 181 public classes/interfaces in 14 packages with a total of more than 32,000 lines of code. Please refer to the API documentation for a detailed description of all classes and methods available, and to the release history for an overview of the development history of PAL.
Please feel free to use PAL or parts of it in your own programs, the terms and conditions for copying, distribution and modification of the GNU General Public License apply. Note that this implies that any work based on or derived from PAL will have to be licensed under the GNU GPL as well. If you redistribute PAL with your application you will have to indicate that you used PAL and you will have to provide its sources (if only by linking to this page).
Contributing code to PAL is greatly encouraged, please read the following guidelines.
If you wish to cite PAL please use
PAL is designed as an object-oriented programming library, and as such it has no direct user interface. To access the methods and objects available in PAL you need to program in Java.
However, there are user-friendly programs available that rely (in part) on PAL to do their job. Be aware, however, that they will usually restrict functionality to some core features of PAL:
PAL is entirely written in the Java language. This allows for a clean object oriented design while avoiding the complexities of C++. Moreover, Java class code runs without needing recompilation on a wide range on platforms. Additionally, PAL also compiles into native code on Unix systems (just like C++) using the GNU compiler for Java (gcj), part of recent releases of the GNU compiler collection (gcc). Corresponding makefiles are included with this distribution of PAL.
PAL consists of a rich variety of objects to facilitate the construction of special-purpose tools for phylogenetic analysis. PAL contains, e.g., ready-to-use objects for:
Download and Installation:
By design, PAL can be installed and run on any platform where Java 1.1 (or better) is available.
PAL 1.2 is distributed in two variants, one for Unix/MSDOS (includes makefiles for jikes/gcj) and one for Macintosh (includes project file for CW 6):
After uncompressing using appropriate tools the following simple directory structure will be created:
pal-1.2 ______|______ | | doc srcThe "doc" folder contains this page, the API manual and some other documentation and the "src" contains the complete source code. Note that there are no precompiled class files.
To actually compile the sources you need to set the class path properly to the folder "pal-1.2/src". Please consult the manual for your Java development kit (or your system administrator) for details.
Compile of PAL into native code on Unix has been successfully tested using the following software (or any later version):
For compilation on Macintosh a Metrowerks Codewarrior project file (suitable for CW 6) is included.
Older versions of PAL are also available, please refer to the
The next release of PAL is scheduled
for October 2001.
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Related (Java) Projects:
To our knowledge, PAL is the only project that aims at providing a collaborative Java library for molecular evolution and phylogenetics.
Similar "private" projects are, however, currently undertaken, e.g., by Andrew Rambaut and Mike Charleston (their Nautilus project) or by the Felsenstein lab (both in C++).
Other Java projects in molecular evolution and bioinformatics include:
Finally, the general issue of scientific programming in Java is discussed, e.g., on the
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We thank Oliver Pybus, Andrew Rambaut, Rick Ree, Allen Rodrigo,
and Wayne Maddison for discussion and valuable suggestions.
We also thank Allen Rodrigo for providing hardware through his NIH grant #59174
and Don Gilbert for distributing PAL in his software archive.
This work is also supported by
a Bright Future´s Scholarship of FRST to A.D.
and an Emmy-Noether-Fellowship of the DFG to K.S.
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