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Re: Agenda for closed COMCIFS meeting

Dear David,

     Am I correct in assuming that you meant Thursday Aug. 25
for the first closed meeting (not Tuesday Aug. 23)?

     See you soon.


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On Thu, 11 Aug 2005, David Brown wrote:

> Please note that closed meetings of COMCIFS will be held at the IUCr
> Congress in Florence at the following times:
> Tuesday August 25 1500-1700 in Beato Angelico Hall
> Monday August 29 1230-1445 in Brunelleschi Hall
> (The open COMCIFS meeting will be held on Friday August 26 in Leonardo
> Hall - see the program book for details.)
> Although the COMCIFS closed meetings are designed for members of COMCIFS
> to discuss items on the agenda below, I would like to invite anyone to
> attend who feels they have something to contribute to the discussion of
> these items.
> David Brown
> Chair of COMCIFS
> ========================================================
> Agenda for the closed COMCIFS meetings in Florence
> 1. Expansion of the mandate of COMCIFS.
> --------------------------------------------
> 1a. Report of the chair on his meeting with the IUCr Executive Committee.
>     COMCIFS mandate is currently restricted to the maintenance of the
> CIF standard.  I will seek the Executive Committee's approval to expand
> that mandate to include alternative formalisms or protocols for the
> exchange of standard crystallographic data.
> 1b. Formal adoption of DDL1 by COMCIFS.
>     Maintenance of the dictionary definition languages (DDLs) does not
> currently fall within our mandate, but no other organization appears to
> have assumed the authority to approve changes to the DDLs.  Expansion of
> our mandate would allow us to take these dictionaries under our wing.
> While there is no intention of making major changes to any of the
> existing DDLs, recent attempts to use DDL1 in the originally-envisaged
> computer-driven mode have brought to light errors that should be
> corrected.  Formal approval of these minor changes will allow us to
> provide software that makes effective use of DDL1 in accessing the large
> archive of DDL1 based CIFs as well as providing COMCIFS with valuable
> experience in developing more advanced versions of DDL.
> 2. Presentation by Westbrook and Berman
> -------------------------------------------
>     Although it should be clear from the talks at the open meeting,
> Helen Berman and John Westbrook would like to summarize the progress in
> the adoption of mmCIF and related PDBML within the macromolecular community.
> 3. Provision of a schema for a common CIF<->XML mapping.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>     Since non-crystallographic groups who have adopted XML will at some
> point wish to access crystallographic results, there is a need for CIF
> to XML (and vice versa) conversions.  This requires the development of
> an XML schema to represent information stored in CIF.  A COMCIFS
> approved schema would ensure maximum compatibility.
> 4. The future development of crystallographic file structures.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>     After nearly fifteen years, the IUCr has an impressive archive of
> CIFs and considerable experience in their manipulation (though much less
> experience in the computer-reading of dictionaries).  However, if CIF
> does not move forward to keep pace with developments in the rest of the
> world, it will soon become as obsolete as card images.  New features are
> needed in CIF if it is to provide crystallographers with
> state-of-the-art information services.
>     This item breaks down into a number of issues:
>     a. avoiding the problems identified in DDL1 and DDL2 dictionaries,
>     b. convergence of DDL1 and DDL2 into a single DDL standard,
>     c. adoption of new features such as the definition of  vectors and
> methods
>                         (i.e., computer-readable algebraic definitions),
>     d. interfacing CIF with emerging standards in related fields,
>     e. maintaining compatibility with the existing CIF archives.
> 4a. Presentation by Hall and Westbrook
>     Syd Hall and John Westbrook have asked to present their thoughts on
> the future directions of CIF.
> 4b. Open discussion on the future of CIF.
> 5. Adjournment
> --------------

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