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Re: Cif dictionary version numbers

> "Data value is not a correctly formatted number: _dictionary_version"
> According to ddl_core.dic the _type of _dictionary_version is numb.  1.0 
> and 1.1 are valid numbers but 1.0.1 and 2.3.1 are not, at least by my 
> understanding of the definition of a number in the CIF 1.1 specification.
> This could be a serious issue if some computer program attempted to 
> compare dictionaries by converting the value of _dictionary_version to a 
> number.

Oops. That's rather embarrassing.

> So my question is, should the dictionary versions that do not meet the 
> dictionary specification be changed so that they do? i.e.
> 1.0.1 -> 1.1
> 2.3.1 -> 2.4

I think the three-level "numbering" scheme is useful in indicating the
approximate level of change in an edition of the dictionaries - a change
from 1.0.1 to 1.0.2 means that only some very minor changes have taken
place, and one need not rush to upgrade. 1.1 to 1.2 probably means that new
data items have been added, and perhaps some adjustment to some of the
validation ranges. 1.1 to 2.0 probably means that there have been a lot of
changes, perhaps even to the underlying data model - the documentation
should be read very carefully. There's also benefit in allowing the
_dictionary_version to have additional characters - "1.2beta" could be a
useful way of flagging a preliminary release to developers.

So I would favour leaving the version labelling as now, but changing the
type of _dictionary_version in any new DDL1 release that results from this
and other of the recent bug reports.

What do others feel?

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