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Re: [ddlm-group] CIF 1.5

I'm gradually starting to appreciate Herbert's CIF1.5 idea. In particular, I'm quite keen to start using
lists, even within the apparent confines of CIF1 and regardless of the DDLm use.
It would be a shame if the CIF2 changes were so unpalatable that they hindered introduction
of something that could already be very useful in current CIFs.

However, I look forward to seeing a full description of CIF2 syntax in the hope that it will, after all the
toing and froing, be as elegant and unambiguous as its predecessor.

From: Joe Krahn <krahn@niehs.nih.gov>
To: Group finalising DDLm and associated dictionaries <ddlm-group@iucr.org>
Sent: Tuesday, 1 December, 2009 18:17:22
Subject: Re: [ddlm-group] CIF 1.5

Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
>    I respectfully disagree.  Indeed, I strongly disagree with almost every
> aspect of the recent CIF 2 decisions.  However, I have had my say.  Let
> us finish the design of something and get it into use.

Instead of CIF 1.5, maybe CIF1.1 software can initially use lists stored
as strings? That way, file I/O is still CIF1.1, but you can implement a
CIF2 list parser on the application side to deal with lists. In fact,
that might be a good first step before finalizing CIF2 syntax, to make
sure there are no design flaws in the list syntax.

I also disagree with many of the CIF2 changes. CIF2 seems to be aiming
towards a Python influenced syntax, rather than just keeping with the
original concept of CIF being simple and efficient. Unfortunately, that
is just the way humans work. The important thing is to make sure that
the syntax is precisely defined, so there are no parsing ambiguities.

Joe Krahn

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