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Re: A managed phase-out of DDL1 dictionaries

Dear Matthew,

Thanks for the feedback. There is no plan to completely remove the DDL1 dictionaries from the IUCr website, and they would still continue to be available from the canonical URL. What will happen is that, after the transition period, definitions will no longer be updated to mirror any changes made to their DDLm counterparts.  We anticipate that the number of such changes to the DDL1 dictionaries during the transition period would in any case be quite minimal, and most would happen at the point that the initial DDLm version is approved.  How about we agree to discuss and review the situation in COMCIFS in 2 years' time rather than mandate a cutoff date?

Incidentallly, I don't think any particular decision has been made on whether or not to backport new definitions appearing only in DDLm dictionaries.  That might be worth discussion here as well.

all the best,

On 21 April 2017 at 18:10, Matthew Towler <towler@ccdc.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

Dear James


Thank you for publishing this proposal.  I support the proposed process for the change over, but am unsure of the timetable.  A few months ago a message indicated a web page that listed software that was already DDLm compatible.  This morning I have had a search on the IUCr website in the DDLm and software sections and could not find it, but what I recall is that at the time I looked it was somewhat sparsely populated.  I appreciate that a little positive pressure in the direction of change can be a good thing, I also recognise the need to work with what already exists.  My overall feeling is that the discontinuation of DDL1 dictionaries should be driven by software and community adoption, that a date should not be set until there is sufficient community uptake.  Otherwise I feel there is a risk that discontinuing DDL1 dictionaries will effectively equate to discontinuing all dictionary updates.


I will state that this is entirely my personal view as a CIF user and software engineer, rather than being any kind of official view of the CCDC, my employer.


Best wishes,




the DDL1 dictionaries will be prominently marked as deprecated and after a nominal period (say 2 years) maintenance will cease and links to the dictionaries will be removed (although their historic URIs cannot be changed and so they will not be removed).

If any of you see an issue with this, please comment.

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