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  • Subject: RE: The CIF BNF
  • From: "ROBIN SHIRLEY (USER)" <R.Shirley@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 10:44:25 +0100 (BST)
Responding to:

> Mon, 25 Sep 2000 03:06:57 +0100 (BST)
> Nick Spadaccini <nick@cs.uwa.edu.au>

> However Robin does close his mail with the statement that a
> restriciton does give considerable practical advantage. I really
> can't see why that would be the case, since one can find a file
> that will break the restriction. Why not completely generalise your
> application?

That's not quite right: I actually said that, while I accepted that
the *restriction* was arbitrary, in effect I endorsed the practical
usefulness of *convention(s)* concerning line length (80 chars -
good for reading/printing/layout; 255 chars - a common input
restriction in browsers/line-editors, etc.). 

My point was that it would be helpful to the community if such
*conventions* were customarily followed by default and only exceeded
in cases of actual necessity.

Thus this would not be an issue that affected the programming of the
*reading* of CIF files, which would need to cater for the maximum 
line length (if any) allowed, but one of customary usage and hence 
the programming of their *writing*, so as to be courteous to the 
community of CIF users.

Robin Shirley

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