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Re: Updating COMCIFS' approach to dictionaries

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein <yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> wrote:
Perhaps one should consider an automated web tool similar to a dns
registry that would provide
seni-automatic dispensing of dictionary identifiers, prefixes, category
names and tag names to
make the avoidance of naming collisions simpler to achieve.

We are also developing/using tools in this space such as a dictionary browser/search tool. We're making use of tools such as RDF/SPARQL endpoints and also NoSQL databases especially faceted indexing and search which is very powerful for this sort of thing. We use the CIF core dictionary, have translated it into RDF and use the terms in SPARQL queries.

There is relatively little need to deploy these tools beyond the dictionary creators and my guess is that for the next (say) five years there won't be any performance problems. The evolving web technologies now make it easy to create browse/display/search tools and CIF won't need to re-implement everything from scratch.

One related syntactic/semantic issue to consider would be to move from
the current underscore
separation of prefixes from category names and tag names to the use of a
hierarchical ":" or "."
notation to allow for dns-like arbitrary nesting of naming responsibilities.

Essential in the medium future. CIF names have to be machine parsable without lookup

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge

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