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Re: [ddlm-group] CIF-2 changes


Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
With the divergence between CIF 1.1 and CIF 2 and the application of the
aliases, this has now become challenging.  We want the software writers to 
handle both CIF 1.1 and CIF 2 documents, but we want users to be 
encouraged to write clean CIF 2 documents, not relying on aliases except
when necessary.

>From a practical aspect aliases will be with us for a long time for the following reasons.

1. They will be with us for a long time since it will take time for all the systems currently producing CIF1
(e.g., SHELX) to convert,

2. There will be little lncentive for this to occur in the short term because the current software is unable to read CIF2.  We should encourage people to write as much software in CIF2.0 because this will be able to read CIF1 as well (using aliases), we will not be able to persuade them to write CIF data files in CIF2.0 until a;; the programs they like to use are able to read CIF2.  We may have to settle for a CIF2 -> CIF1 converter for people who have programs that may never be converted because their authors are no longer around to make the change.

3. There is a large archive of CIF1s out there (e.g., in associated with Actas Cryst. papers) for which there are no plans to convert on the grounds that CIF2 programs can by defiition read any archived CIF. I suspect that for a while at least Acta will have to make their CIFs available in both standards with CIF1 being needed for legacy applications. 

We should recognize that aliases are going to be with us for the long haul and in principle indefinitely.  However, a complete conversion may be possible with some CIFs such as imgCIF, where there is not yet a significant legacy, or where archiving the CIF is not envisaged.


fn:I.David Brown
org:McMaster University;Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research
adr:;;King St. W;Hamilton;Ontario;L8S 4M1;Canada
title:Professor Emeritus
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