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Re: Backus-Naur Form for CIF

At 18:21 30/09/00 +0100, Brian McMahon wrote:
>In accordance with Herbert's suggestion, I have posted Nick's most recent
>copy on the IUCr page at
>   http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/cif/spec/cif-bnf.html
>I shall post notice of its location and Herbert's protocol to cif-developers
>and mmciftools, and via Crystallography Online "What's New". Suggestions for
>other suitable places to post will be welcome.

>On Thu, Sep 21, 2000 at 09:54:29PM +0100, Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
> > Dear Colleagues,
> >   May I request some time to carefully review Nick's BNF.  This is a very
> > important document which will be used by many software developers.  I
> > would like to suggest that we follow an orderly process:
> >
> >   1.  The document with its recent corrections should be posted to an IUCr
> > page for comments and suggestions by not only the COMCIFS membership, but
> > by appropriate interested technical consultants, for at least 30 days.
> >
> >   2.  If significant changes are made, the clock should be restarted until
> > a stable version has been posted for at least 30 days.
> >
> >   3.  Then we should vote.
> >
> > I for one will not be able to make the necessary rigourous tests (i.e.
> > using this BNF with real programs) until I am back from England in
> > October.

I support this requirement for testing. I believe that the IETF requires 
two independent implementations of a proposed protocol to show that it is 
workable. I have read the BNF by eye but have no comments (other than to 
agree it is an important document) . In principle it should be tested against:
         - example files (both conforming and non-conforming)
         - yacc-like tools.
I know this is tedious - and furthermore I am not offering to do it :-(  - 
but it is a necessary part of the process.

(I hope to write more about CIF tools in general shortly).


I think it is very important that
Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences
Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
Tel: +44-(0)-115-951-5087 Fax: +44-(0)-115-951-5110