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Re: [ddlm-group] options/text vs binary/end-of-line. .. .. .. .... .. .. .

On Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:47 AM, Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
>At this point I do not object to staying with the CIF1 text specification
>which is _not_ ASCII, but text, using ASCII as an unambiguous way to
>specify the glyphs being referred to.

I could be satisfied with a specification that allows only those characters for which there are ASCII codes, but only if the underlying character model is significantly expanded, preferably to all of Unicode.  To do that with only ASCII characters would require adopting some kind of escape mechanism, perhaps modeled on the ones defined for Java and Python source code.

Whether it is done exclusively with ASCII characters or in some other manner, CIF2 is of absolutely no use or interest to me unless its character repertoire for data values is substantially expanded relative to that of CIF1.  An informal, optional, or ancillary formalism such as the system of elides commonly used with CIF 1.1 is not sufficient.

>Hopefully, in the not too distant future, CIF will be able to upgrade
>to Unicode by emulating XML
>However, I doubt that the handling of text ever will have a clean final
>answer.  There always seems to be some sort of improvement being tried.

Indeed.  If CIF requires there to be one universal mechanism for handling text before it supports additional literal characters, then it will still be using the same 98 literal ASCII characters far into the distant future.

John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
Department of Structural Biology
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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