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Re: [Cif2-encoding] How we wrap this up


In terms of the requested preference voting, I vote in declining order of

1, then 2, then (big gap) 5, then 4, then 3.

On absolute voting up or down in COMCIFS, I will accept 1 or 2, but will
lobby against and vote strongly against 3, 4, and 5.


I am not opposed to Brian recommendations.  The only reason I would vote
for 1 over 2 is that I fear Brian's recommendation would generate yet
more debate over the precise details and I believe we have more than
run out of time to get something concrete ready for the IUCr meeting.

I am very strongly opposed to 3, 4 and 5 because I believe they will
cause confusion and delay in adoption of CIF2, while choices
1 and 2 keep the practices the community and the IUCr have lived
with successfully for many years, simply applying then to UTF8
instead of ASCII.  People may not understand what they are doing
in that mode, but they manage to successfully submit CIFs to the
IUCr that way, and we don't have software ready to support anything

   -- Herbert

At 8:13 PM +0000 9/23/10, SIMON WESTRIP wrote:
>Faced with the options:
>1. Herbert's 'as for CIF1 proposal with UTF8 in place of ASCII' 
>recently posted here and to COMCIFS.
>2. Herbert's 'as for CIF1 proposal with UTF8 in place of ASCII', 
>together with Brian's *recommendations*
>3. UTF8-only as in the original draft
>4. UTF8 + UTF16
>5. UTF8, UTF16 + "local"
>I have to vote for (4).
>When it comes down to it, I believe that the specification of a 
>'standard' should not be based on uncertainty,
>and as 'any encoding' presents uncertainty, it should not be in the standard.
>I might be accused of changing my position (I have recently 
>expressed support for flexibilty and even a qualified
>acceptance of the 'as for CIF1 proposal with UTF8 in place of 
>ASCII'), but part of the value of these discussions
>is to question your own views in the light of other's perspectives. 
>Indeed, I have found these discussions
>extremely informative and am now in a far better position to handle 
>the realities of introducing non-ASCII CIFs,
>whatever the final COMCIFS decision.
>From: "Bollinger, John C" <John.Bollinger@STJUDE.ORG>
>To: Group for discussing encoding and content validation schemes for 
>CIF2 <cif2-encoding@iucr.org>
>Sent: Thursday, 23 September, 2010 15:02:25
>Subject: Re: [Cif2-encoding] How we wrap this up
>On Thursday, September 23, 2010 5:46 AM, SIMON WESTRIP wrote:
>>1. Herbert's 'as for CIF1 proposal with UTF8 in place of ASCII' 
>>recently posted here and to COMCIFS.
>>2. Herbert's 'as for CIF1 proposal with UTF8 in place of ASCII', 
>>together with Brian's *recommendations*
>>3. UTF8-only as in the original draft
>>4. UTF8 + UTF16
>>5. UTF8, UTF16 + "local"
>>These can be broken down to:
>>'any encoding' (1, 2, and 5)
>>'specified encoding' (3 and 4)
>>Note I put 5 in the 'any encoding' category as I think 'local' 
>>could be interpretted as any encoding.
>I agree that 'local' could be interpreted as "any encoding", but I 
>choose to view it as "context-dependent".  Thus a file that is 
>CIF-conformant on one computer might not be CIF-conformant on 
>another.  Some will find that unsatisfactory.  In my view, however, 
>it is the best interpretation of CIF1's provisions; its purpose is 
>thus to ensure that *all* well-formed CIF1 files are also 
>well-formed CIF2 files (a context-dependent question).  Lest I 
>appear to overstate the case, I acknowledge that the UTF8-only and 
>UTF-8 + UTF-16 proposals would have the result that a large majority 
>of well-formed CIF1 files are also well-formed CIF2 files.  The 
>variations of Herb's proposal probably also make all well-formed 
>CIF1 files well-formed CIF2 files, but I disfavor them on different 
>grounds (mostly that they are too open to differing interpretations).
>>In either case, a degree of work will be required to accommodate 
>>user practice and the legacy of CIF1.
>I think the entire question reduces to which accommodations for the 
>CIF1 legacy are assured by CIF2 vs. which will constitute 
>non-standard extensions.  I don't think that individual responses, 
>from Chester for example, are likely to depend much on which option 
>is adopted, but I do think the overall consistency of responses will 
>be affected.  Thus I favor precision of the specification and 
>coverage of the likely uses, in hope of achieving the greatest 
>consistency of response.
>I doubt this has swayed anyone's opinion, so please consider it an 
>advance explanation for my upcoming vote (inasmuch as I rely on 
>James's previous assurance that voting rights in this context are 
>not restricted to COMCIFS members).
>Best Regards,
>John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
>Department of Structural Biology
>St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
>Email Disclaimer: 
>cif2-encoding mailing list
>cif2-encoding mailing list

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

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