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Agenda for Glasgow

Dear Colleagues,

	As you know we are planning to hold a closed meeting of Comcifs at
the IUCr Congress in Glasgow next August possibly in addition to an
informal open meeting.  This is being arranged partly as a result of your
expressed interest in a face-to-face meeting of the committee, something
that we have not had since our inauguration in Beijing in 1993. 

	Since meeting time will be limited and the issues we may wish
to discuss will be involved and complex, it is important that we have a
well worked out agenda and that we come prepared to make effective use of
the time available.

	I am therefore asking for items that should be put on the agenda. 
You can send them to me personnally or to the discussion group - either
way I can pick them up.  Could you please give a brief indication of the
nature of the item and what you think needs to be discussed.  It would be
best to have these suggestions earlier rather than later, but if new
issues arise items can be added right up to meeting time. 
	I have so far had suggestions for the following items.

1. Intellectual property rights.  
	There has been a small closed discussion group looking at the
complexities of this issue, but it is more a concern of the Executive
Committee than Comcifs.  However, there may be aspects that we wish
to discuss. 

	I am not quite sure what needs to be discussed here.  Some of you
may want to identify the issues that make this a useful agenda item.

3. DDL1 versus DDL2.  
	We currently run dictionaries using two incompatible DDLs.  Is
this the ideal long term solution or should we be aiming for a single
DDL?  If we wish to maintain both DDLs, some dictionaries such as the
Core and symCIF will need to be maintained in two versions. 

3. Methods.  
	This is a suggestion to provide machine readable expressions that
allow one data item to be calculated from other data items defined in the

4. Merging Dictionaries.
	We have a working group whose discussions can be found at
(http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/cif/comcifs/wg1).  It has been looking at
the problem of merging dictionaries so that, e.g., the core does not have
to be included explicitly in every specialised dictionary.

	I am making a list of other items that people would like
to see on the agenda so that I can arrange, where appropriate, that
position papers on the issues are prepared and circulated well before
hand.  In this way we can come prepared to discuss the issues and will not
have to spend time reviewing the background and bringing everyone up to
date on the jargon and acronyms.

	Are there any items on which we need to make a decision?  What can
a face-to-face meeting do that cannot be done as effectively by email? 
This latter question is important if we want to make the best use of the
time we have together. 

		I wish you all a happy holiday season


Dr.I.David Brown,  Professor Emeritus
Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, 
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 1-(905)-525-9140 ext 24710
Fax: 1-(905)-521-2773