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Re: [ddlm-group] Space as a list item separator

Dear James,

   Could you please clarify

> "strings which have no meaning beyond their significance as tokens are not required to
> be separated by whitespace from the preceding or succeeding strings"
> 
> we remove the requirement for whitespace around brackets, commas and 'loop_'.  Of
> course, insofar as strings neighbouring these will require whitespace around them, this
> does not spoil our grammar at all.  (Note that in lexing/parsing terms, the condition
> that "strings are only significant as tokens" is supposed to be equivalent to discarding
> the 'value' assigned to a token when it is returned by the lexing stage.) 

I am not aware of any prior discussion of discarding space around 'loop', 
and I don't understand the implications of the comment on "strings are 
only significant as tokens" relative to the values of strings.

Also, could someone please state what problem we are trying to solve.  I 
hope we are just trying to design some useful tools to support 
crystallographic data management.  Perhaps we need to revert to basic 
software engineering practice and start by defining who our stakeholders 
are and trying to get them to agree on the major elements of a "user 
requirements document".

Regards,
   Herbert

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

                  +1-631-244-3035
                  yaya@dowling.edu
=====================================================

On Mon, 30 Nov 2009, James Hester wrote:

> OK: so could you take us through the advantages of what you are suggesting compared to
> what we have come up with?  And perhaps why 'the man who writes the cheques' has nudged
> you in this direction?
> 
> I would make the following point: if we add to your list the condition that:
> 
> "strings which have no meaning beyond their significance as tokens are not required to
> be separated by whitespace from the preceding or succeeding strings"
> 
> we remove the requirement for whitespace around brackets, commas and 'loop_'.  Of
> course, insofar as strings neighbouring these will require whitespace around them, this
> does not spoil our grammar at all.  (Note that in lexing/parsing terms, the condition
> that "strings are only significant as tokens" is supposed to be equivalent to discarding
> the 'value' assigned to a token when it is returned by the lexing stage.) 
> 
> The insight I'd draw out of this for our current discussion is that, by taking your
> manifesto plus my above condition, we have a general statement of what we would like the
> surface syntax of a CIF file to look like.  The only difference from our current
> discussion is that we have restricted the charactersets of the non-delimited string and
> dataname tag more than strictly necessary - is there some part of that characterset
> discussion that you'd like to reopen...in a different thread?
> 
> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 9:29 PM, SIMON WESTRIP <simonwestrip@btinternet.com> wrote:
>       Yes that summarizes the differences. Unfortunately, the single-byte
>       non-delimited strings have to be separated by
>       white space in this approach, which is perhaps counter-intuitive and mght
>       have some legacy issues?
> 
> ________________________________________________________________________________________
> From: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
> To: Group finalising DDLm and associated dictionaries <ddlm-group@iucr.org>
> Sent: Sunday, 29 November, 2009 3:45:18
> 
> Subject: Re: [ddlm-group] Space as a list item separator
> 
> Hi Simon: I'm trying to read between the lines here as to how the syntax we have
> been discussing diverges from what you have described, and have come up with the
> following list:
> 
> 1. Presumably the []{} characters must be surrounded by whitespace in your version
> 2. We have restricted the character sets of the non-delimited strings and tags
> more than strictly necessary.
> 3. Comma might be included in the single-byte non-delimited string list
> 
> Are there any other differences that you would identify?
> 
> On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 10:58 PM, SIMON WESTRIP <simonwestrip@btinternet.com>
> wrote:
>       Dear all
>
>       I was chatting with the man who 'writes the cheques' yesterday about
>       some of the
>       changes he might expect with CIF2, and based on this I feel I ought to
>       at least have
>       a go at exploring a 'minimally disruptive' approach, so at the risk of
>       being shouted at,
>       here goes at a slightly different way of looking at CIF:
>
>       CIF contains a list of strings separated by whitespace.
>
>       A string can be nondelimited or delimited.
>
>       Nondelimited strings have a restricted character set (minimally
>       whitespace is excluded)
>
>       A nondelimited string cannot start with any of the delimiters
>       (obviously)
>
>       Nondelimited strings can have special meaning governing what follows
>       them:
>
>           reserved words, e.g. loop_
>
>           tags, e.g. data_ , _foo
>
>           single-byte nondelimited strings, e.g. [ ] { } :
>
>       All other strings are treated as raw data values
> 
>
>       There, least I can say I tried :-)
>
>       Cheers
>
>       Simon
> 
> ________________________________________________________________________________________
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
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> F +61 (02) 9717 3145
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> 
>
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