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Revised namespace proposal

  • To: "Discussion list of the IUCr Committee for the Maintenance of the CIF Standard (COMCIFS)" <comcifs@iucr.org>
  • Subject: Revised namespace proposal
  • From: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2013 07:39:22 +0100
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Dear COMCIFS members,

At the COMCIFS business meeting this afternoon, I would like to put forward the following modest proposal arising out of the namespace discussion:

“That an ASCII character be added to the list of disallowed characters in CIF2 datanames, with the intention of making this character available to some future scheme for incorporation of datanames from foreign ontologies within CIF datafiles”

Justification:
(1)  Current COMCIFS practices for distributing and registering prefixes was considered satisfactory for current needs at yesterday's discussion, and there were no convincing arguments put forward for any of the schemes presented.  Therefore no decision on a particular namespace scheme seems feasible at today's meeting.

(2) The current prefix registration scheme only applies to those domains who actively seek to use CIF and to construct CIF dictionaries. However, a CIF user may be able to automatically leverage ontological work performed in other domains in a lightweight fashion using a more precise approach than that offered by a simple prefix (e.g. by heuristic construction of 'virtual' dictionaries from foreign domain dictionaries).  It is desirable to facilitate this.

(3) All suggested namespacing schemes included using a prefix, separated from the native dataname by some character. By reserving a character for this purpose, we ensure that we can easily implement a namespacing scheme in the future.



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