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Final agenda for closed COMCIFS meeting

Dear Colleagues,

	I enclose below the final agenda for our closed meeting.  I will
point out that we have two hours scheduled and an agenda containing 7
items.  That works out to about 15 minutes for each item.  We clearly will
not solve all our problems in that time.  We may be able to run over the 2
hours, but I don't know if our room will be needed by others, so we
should aim to cover as much as we can in the allotted time.  I intend to
keep a firm hand on the agenda so that we at least touch on all the items.
We may have to try for an adjournment if there are still outstanding
issues we need to discuss.

	I am enclosing the agenda now so that you can come prepared and we
spend as little time in giving background.  Most of the topics are open
ended but I hope we will be able to come to sufficient of a consensus that
further discussion can occur in the corridors and by email. 


                     COMCIFS CLOSED MEETING
                          9 August 1999
                          Held in Etive

1. Merging dictionaries                      McMahon, Bernstein
     As new dictionaries come on line this function is becoming
     more urgent.
2. Intellectual property rights              McMahon
     i. Comments on Herb and Brian's draft statement
     ii. What is COMCIFS role with respect to DDL?
     iii. Should CIF be registered with ISO?  This could
          strengthen our claim to the standard.  

3. CIF Browser-Editor
    There is a growing need for such an application to avoid
          discouraging users.  
    Should we seek external funding?  
    What should be in the specifications for such a browser?
4. Encoding and Dissemination                Berman

5. Coordinating CIF developments with non-crystallographic data
projects                                     Berman
    Several non-crystallographic databases are now being
         developed using DDL2 to ensure that they are compatible
         with mmCIFs.  
    How can we ensure compatibility between CIF and such Star
    How far can COMCIFS go in policing conformity?
6. Relationship to other file structures (XML, ASM.1)
    Similar file structures are now being widely adopted.  
    What should our relationship be with these other standards?  
    Do we need to build some compatibility into CIF?
7. The Future of DDL
    How many versions do we need to maintain?
    Should we move towards a single DDL?  
    Can we define a DDL3 that is compatible with DDL1 and DDL2?
    What additional functionality is needed?
        1. Type constructs
        2. Multidimensional arrays
        3. Nested loops
        4. Save frames
        5. Methods

				Chair of COMCIFS

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