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Re: Revised statement of policy on CIF

I agree with Brian's assessment.   The current statement is just
going to put people off.  The conditions for reading "any" file
in the standard and writing only "standard" files seem too restrictive.

People commonly write "jiffy" parsers to extract the handful
of data items of interest to them, or write CIF files containing
local data items.  Both of these cases would seem to violate
the conditions as stated.    

I understand the concern over protecting the standard, and that 
many standards carry similar restrictions.   However,  I do  
think that most people would have serious reservations about
investing any effort in CIF software development after reading
this document.  

Would it be possible to define multiple levels of compliance so
that people could read and write CIF files as their needs 
require without having to be concerned with all of these
other details.   This would permit the existing document to
have a friendly introduction that would address the 
needs and concerns of most users.   It could be followed by
a section that describes how to obtain "official IUCr" seal of 
approval for a CIF application.   This latter section could 
contain all of the existing details and conditions.    


  John Westbrook                                   
  Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey      
  Department of Chemistry                          
  610 Taylor Road                                  
  Piscataway, NJ 08854-8087      
  e-mail: jwest@rcsb.rutgers.edu                    
  Ph:  (732) 445-4290  Fax: (732) 445-4320