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Re: CIF development strategies


	Its not too difficult to write a cif-reader for correctly formed
cifs, but there are an infinity of ways in which users can foul then up
with 'just a small edit'. In an ideal world, users would not manually edit
cifs, but they do, and the resulting files can be difficult to debug even
using the excelent tools at Chester and elsewhere. 

	Can I re-propose two ideas I made several years ago which may help
reduce the problems of tinkering.

1	Permit the user to add new versions of existing data items or
loops AT THE END if the cif, the later version supplanting the
earlier. This would enable changes to be made without fiddling with the
body of the file.

2 Authorise a 'resychronise' directive which could be inserted anywhere in
the file, and would instruct the parser to close all opened
block-structures (loops, quoted strings etc), and continue processing. The
same effect can be obtained (more or less) by dividing a file into bits in
an attempt to find an offending item, but that in itself introduces the
possibility of making even more errors.

		Best wishes

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