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Re: [ddlm-group] Straw poll results

Dear Nick,

   I would suggest we discuss various approahes to deprecating features 
tomorrow over lunch, but it really is a very common practice in standards 
work, e.g. the handling of type-punning in gcc.  It saves both users and 
developers a lot of aggravation and helps them to learn and adapt to new 


  Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
    Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
         Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769


On Wed, 14 Oct 2009, Nick Spadaccini wrote:

> On 13/10/09 11:27 PM, "James Hester" <jamesrhester@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Here are the results of the straw poll.  See the end of the email for
>> detailed vote counts, and note the request for a further vote on
>> certain issues.
>> ===========
>> 1. UTF8 will be supported. Not clear on asciified version or
>> binary. Therefore, please comment and vote on the following, given
>> that UTF8 will be included in the new standard:
>> (a) UTF8 should be supported in standard form only (i.e. 'binary'
>> characters with values above 127 will appear in CIF files)
>> (b) An asciified version only should be supported.  An example would
>> be the syntax \uxxxx, where xxxx refers to the Unicode code point of
>> the character in hexadecimal notation.  NB this is not strictly UTF8,
>> but simply a Unicode representation.
>> My vote: 1.a
>> 2. Termination of quoted strings on first occurence of quote delimiter
>> and restriction of character set for non-delimited strings: Approved,
>> but not clear whether to deprecate first or move immediately to
>> requirement.  Upon long consideration of Brian's email and Herbert's
>> reservations, and two cups of tea, and some chocolate, I am happy to
>> change my votes to 1.2 and 2.3 (and perhaps call the new CIF syntax
>> 2.0 rather than 1.2), therefore I declare these proposals approved as
>> a requirement in the new standard.  I'll write a separate email on
>> this.
>> However: Brian and James want to require whitespace between tokens
>> outside compound expressions regardless of it now becoming strictly
>> unnecessary in several cases.  Given that the above proposals have
>> been passed, please vote again on the following options:
>> (a) Whitespace is not required between tokens unless tokens could not
>> otherwise be separated; writers are encouraged to pad between tokens
>> (b) Whitespace must always appear between tokens outside compound expressions
>> (c) Whitespace must always appear between tokens both in and outside
>> compound expressions
>> My vote: 2.b
>> Detailed vote summary
>> =====================
>> Issue1:  Removing the requirement for a trailing whitespace after
>> quoted strings outside of bracketed constructs.
>>   Options:  1.1. Preserve the current convention as is
>>             1.2. Terminate all quoted strings on the occurance of the
>> trailing quoted delimiter without consideration of the next character
>>             1.3  Deprecate rather than require 1.2
> What does deprecate rather than require 1.2 mean? If a scientist asks, what
> does the formal language specification state concerning the absolute need
> for whitespace before and after a token, what is the answer?
> Please don't say we deprecate (definition: earnestly disapprove of)
> whitespace, that is just plain silly. In the specification a quoted string
> is terminated by the first occurrence of the matching quote (1.2), or it is
> terminated by a quote immediately followed by one or more whitespace (in
> which case you are actually voting for 1.1).
> Again (and again and again, how many times do I have to say this?)
> deprecation has to do with an implementation. What are we specifying?
>> 1.1: Nobody (Herbert prefers if 1.3 not an option)
>> 1.2: Brian (but whitespace required between tokens), Nick, Simon
>> 1.3: Herbert, James (but whitespace required between tokens)
>> Difficult to determine any clear preference from John W., but he seems
>> happy to go along with the changes we are discussing so long as there
>> is a clear fallback position.
>>   Issue2:  Restriction of the character set for non-delimited strings
>> outside of bracketed constructs
>>   Options  2.1.  Preserve the current convention as is
>>            2.2.  Modify the current convention to deprecate use of
>>                  any characters other than a strictly limited set
>>                  of characters, adding a warning oon reads and
>>                  defaulting to add quote marks on write
>>            2.3.  Modify the current convention to forbid the use of
>>                  any characters other than a strctly limited set
>>                  of characters, making it an error to read a non-delimited
>>                  string that does not comply even if the intention
>>                  can be inferred from context
> Same question, earnestly disapproving of a character set is not a
> specification. What will be specified for the language? Is the , allowed or
> not allowed in an unquoted string?
>> 2.1: Nobody
>> 2.2: Herbert, James
>> 2.3: Nick, Simon, (John)
>> UTF8:
>> Do not use: Nobody
>> Use: Simon, Brian, John
>> Use, binary: Herbert, James
>> Use, asciified: Nick
>> A clear preference for binary or ascii can't be gleaned from Brian and
>> Simon's and John's emails, so I've left them as simply 'Use'.
> cheers
> Nick
> --------------------------------
> Associate Professor N. Spadaccini, PhD
> School of Computer Science & Software Engineering
> The University of Western Australia    t: +61 (0)8 6488 3452
> 35 Stirling Highway                    f: +61 (0)8 6488 1089
> CRAWLEY, Perth,  WA  6009 AUSTRALIA   w3: www.csse.uwa.edu.au/~nick
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> e: Nick.Spadaccini@uwa.edu.au
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