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

Dear Simon,

   That is precisely the point -- there is a serious and growing
problems with encodings.  The strict UTF8 proposal then makes
it a universal problem for everybody using CIF, and we do _not_
have a coherent means setup to deal with it.  The substitution
of UTF8 for ASCII in the CIF1 spec does not, in and of itself
make anything worse for anybody currently receiving 128 character
ASCII -- it is identical, and it does not force users working
in other systems that the IUCr journals are currently coping
with to jump into the boiling water, they can keep doing whatever
they are currently doing that is currently working for them
and the IUCr.  All the journals have to do until something that
is actually supports not-lower-128-ASCII is ready is to tell people that 
for the jounrnals they will still have to use Brian's reverse solidus
escape codes for anything else -- nothing major changes for most
people.  If and when there really is a coherent scheme to support
more native Unicode code points for journal submission with tested
software, then we can do something more.  Right now, proposals
3,4 and 5 will make things worse for large numbers of users
and not really make anything better for the IUCr.  It is too
early in the UTF8 conversion process.

=====================================================
  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 Thu, 23 Sep 2010, SIMON WESTRIP wrote:

> Just because I'm still at my desk - and despite the fact that I told myself
> I would not
> contribute further beyond my vote - it might be worth mentioning that the
> IUCr are already
> experiencing problems related to encoding issues (in their web services),
> and the occurence
> of such problems is most likely to increase when CIFs can contain non-ASCII
> text.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> Simon
> 
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> From: Herbert J. Bernstein <yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com>
> To: Group for discussing encoding and content validation schemes for CIF2
> <cif2-encoding@iucr.org>
> Sent: Thursday, 23 September, 2010 21:31:24
> Subject: Re: [Cif2-encoding] How we wrap this up
> 
> Votes:
> 
> In terms of the requested preference voting, I vote in declining order of
> preference
> 
> 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.
> 
> Explanation:
> 
> 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
> else.
> 
>   -- 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.
> >
> >Cheers
> >
> >Simon
> >
> >
> >
> >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
> >--
> >John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
> >Department of Structural Biology
> >St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
> >
> >
> >Email Disclaimer:
> ><http://www.stjude.org/emaildisclaimer>www.stjude.org/emaildisclaimer
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> >
> >
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> 
> 
> --
> =====================================================
>   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
> =====================================================
> _______________________________________________
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> 
>
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