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Re: Revised statement of policy on CIF

A question we should address which I think relates to the question of
"quickies", is what should be done about restricted subsets of the CIF
syntax.  Suppose somebody decides to set up a major package so that it
writes CIFs with tages in a particular order (so far no problem) and then
sets up their CIF read module so that it bombs unless it is presented with
those tags in that particular order.  I think that it would be fair to say
that the package writes CIF but that it would not be fair to say that it
reads CIF.  The correct statement would be that it reads a restricted
subset of CIF.  Note that quasar and cif2cif can serve as front-end filters
to re-order general CIFs so that they can be fed into such packages.  So,
other than encouraging truth in advertising with the qualifying phrase
"restricted subset", perhaps we should not object.

The risk we face from such a permissive approach is that various
fixed-ordering flavors of CIF will then be assumed by other software
packages.  I don't know the right answer here, but this might be a good
time to consider how "strick" we should be.

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