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Re: Meaning of _category.mandatory_code

Dear Colleagues,

  Three essential prerequisites for community adoption
of any data represenatation standard are:

  1.  Clear, publicly available documentation
  2.  Full software support in the major languages
used by the community.
  3.  Workable means to migrate existing pools
of documents to the new representation.

DDL3 is an important conceptual step forward.  Now
we need to find the resources (people, time and
money) to integrate it into our scientific efforts.

  Regards,
    Herbert

=====================================================
 Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
   Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
        Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769

                 +1-631-244-3035
                 yaya@dowling.edu
=====================================================

On Tue, 31 Jan 2006, Matthew Towler wrote:

> Hi
>
>  > since the programs that will read CIF3
> > dictionaries will have to be able to handle save frames, it would add
> > little additional overhead to allow save frames to be used in the CIF3s
> > themselves.
>
> I do not think this necessarily follows.  Supporting save frames in
> dictionaries only means only one level (the dictionary reading) of
> software is affected, whereas using it in all CIFs affects all levels
> e.g. UI code.  Adding a new level of abstraction to a UI is an order of
> magnitude more work than simply adding support to dictionary reading.
>
>  > As CIF3 software becomes available the advantages in working
> > in CIF3 will become apparent.
>
> In my opinion the problem here is that without widespread CIF3 use or a
> compelling reason to use it there will be no CIF3 software.  At the
> moment users either use DDL1 for small structures or DDL2 for mmCif and
> new users are likely to choose one or the other mainly depending on the
> conventions of the audience they are intending on speaking to.  For many
> users upgrading to CIF3 would amount to spending a lot of effort for
> very little tangible benefit.  More importantly unless everyone upgrades
> there will be no point generating a CIF3 structure as others will not be
> able to process it.  The analogy I would use is that of video phones -
> no one buys one because no one they talk to has one, therefore no one
> buys one ad infinitum.
>
> Matthew
>
> The opinions in this email are my own and do not reflect those of the
> organisation for which I work (the CCDC)
>
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> cif-developers@iucr.org
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>
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