Re: Result of CIF2 vote

Why not just say what those issues are?  If COMCIFS is to vote on
the CIF2 proposal, and there are serious issues, shouldn't they
be fully and transparently on the table for everybody to see
and discuss, or won't we just be going into a loop on this, with
the DDLm group saying one thing and COMCIFS not agreeing?

I support both the CIF2 draft and Ralf's proposed revision to it.
I think it is a very good improvement.

As I understand it, what Ralf has proposed is a clean, specific
modification to the wording of change 7, which currently reads:

=======================
"CHANGE 7 ? NEW
Triplequote delimited strings.

The ASCII """ sequence (alternatively ASCII ''') delimits the
beginning of a string that may contain any printable character and
whitespace and is terminated by  the first subsequent """ sequence
(alternatively '''). CIF2 does not specify any  interpretation of the
contents of
the string. The string can contain separable " and "" characters,
(alternatively ' and ''). Clearly, the string within cannot contain
an ASCII """ (or  alternatively ASCII ''').

For example

"""He said "His name is O'Hearly"."""

'''In {\bf \TeX} the accents are \' and \".'''

The string values are, He said "His name is O'Hearly". and In {\bf \TeX}
the accents are \' and \".. No interpretation of any elides is
undertaken; this is the responsibility of the calling application.
The triple quote  string supports embedded newlines, which are
considered part of the string.

=======================

His revised wording (with one correction) is:

========================

CHANGE 7 NEW

Triple-quote delimited strings.

The following ASCII sequences delimit the beginning of a string:

"""
'''
r"""
r'''
u"""
u'''

The characters following the delimiter sequence are interpreted
with exactly the same algorithm as implemented for triple-quoted
strings in the Python programming language version 2 series.
In this algorithm, triple-quoted strings are terminated by matching
""" or ''' delimiters.

For example

"""He said "His name is O'Hearly"."""
r'''In {\bf \TeX} the accents are \' and \".'''

Triple-quoted strings provide a reliable mechanism for storing any
arbitrary string in a CIF2 file.

=========================

This is cleaner and simpler than the original change 7 wording.
It probably does not conflict with existing CIF1 documents and the
_only_ CIF2 documents it can conflict with are the very few
that happen to end in \""" or \''''.  The new leading delimiters
r""", r''', u""" and u''' will have to be added to the list of forbidden
starts to white-space delimited data values in change 5.  In exchange for
this minor adjustments to valid CIF2 syntax we gain a fully documented,
software supported way to include arbitrary strings in a CIF2 document
that people are already used to working with.

I have reviewed the discussion of the "use of elides in strings"
thread in the ddlm-group discussion list, and, while I did not
then and do not now understand the objections to the general use
of elides in quoted strings, I particularly do not understand
the logic of objecting to the use of elides in treble-quoted strings,
which are a construct completely new to CIF and therefore in
conflict with no existing data files.

Would those who have an objection to Ralf's proposal please
state their objections.  An objection that says we object because
in past discussions another body could not manage to come to an
agreement and just gave up does not speak to the merits of this
specific proposal.

Regards,
Herbert

At 12:41 AM +1100 1/1/11, James Hester wrote:
>Dear COMCIFS: I cannot support Ralf's suggestion immediately.  I
>anticipate issues based on previous discussions in the DDLm group, and
>will address them in that forum.
>
>Happy New Year
>James.
>
>On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:53 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein
><yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> wrote:
>>  Dear Colleagues,
>>
>>    We might save some time if the other voting members of COMCIFS
>>  were to express there views on Ralf's suggestion for the
>>  wording change for change 7 immediately.  I support it.  If
>>  a majority of COMCIFS support it right now, we are in a much less
>>  ambiguous position than if it is a minority position, and
>>  can try to make very real progress on coding before Madrid,
>>
>>    Regards,
>>      Herbert
>>
>>
>>  =====================================================
>>   Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
>>     Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
>>          Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769
>>
>>                   +1-631-244-3035
>>                   yaya@dowling.edu
>>  =====================================================
>>
>>  On Fri, 31 Dec 2010, James Hester wrote:
>>
>>>  Dear COMCIFS members and advisers:
>>>
>>>  At the end of the 6-week voting period, the CIF2 draft has been
>>>  approved 4 votes in favour, one against and one abstention.
>>>
>>>  While we can choose to ignore the points raised by Ralf in his
>>>  dissenting vote, I think it would be worthwhile revisiting eliding in
>>>  triple-quoted strings.  Such a discussion is best handled in the DDLm
>>>  group, so if this aspect of the standard interests any of you who are
>>>  not currently enrolled in the DDLm-group, I suggest that you contact
>>>  Brian MacMahon to be subscribed.
>>>
>>>  I believe the DDLm group will be able to find a solution.  If we are
>>>  unable to agree, then the standard as currently approved will be the
>>>  final version.  If we do find a solution, then an amendment to Change
>>>  7 will once again be presented to this forum for a final vote.  I
>>>  would hope that we can produce an amendment by the end of January at
>>>  the latest.
>>>
>>>  James Hester.
>>>  --
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>
>
>
>--
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>M +61 (04) 0249 4148
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--
=====================================================
Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769

+1-631-244-3035
yaya@dowling.edu
=====================================================
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