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Re: CIF line limits

Nick wrote:
> Let me preface this response with the following. The PDB is trying to get
> some CIFs out that are greater than 80 char lines. If this distribution is
> being held up, awaiting the results of this discussion list then I think
> we should do the following. Though we do not agree where to set a new line
> length limit or if at all, we are pretty much in agreement that 80 chars
> is too small. I think it would be in the PDBs interest to allow them to
> distribute their files and for COMCIFs to guarantee what they finally
> decide on will encompass what ever line length the PDB has created. That
> way they can get on with their job.  

Just for the record this has already been done.  We now need to make it
legal, which means considering the implications of lifting the line limit.  
Is it really necessary to specify a limit?  If unlimit line lengths will
cause a problem for some people, we can offer them a simple remedy that
will allow them to update their software or to make the new CIFs readable
on the old software?  These are the primary questions we need to ask.  It
might help our discussion if John Westbrook could tell us what is the
longest line length that can be expected in the CIF release of PDB.

We also need to ask if there are other features that should be added to
this update as a result of experience with the standard so far or to
prepare CIF for the changes ahead.  These are important questions that
need to be carefully considered or we will be in danger of having to make
future changes to correct the poor decisions we make now.


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