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[ddlm-group] Community consulation regarding CIF2 encoding

Dear DDLm-ers,

I think Herbert's suggestion of sending a version of my summary out is unlikely to produce a great deal of enlightenment, because I expect the range of responses to simply mirror that which we have already seen in this group, with no ultimate resolution.  I would like to propose instead a simple questionnaire that we can use to inform our decision.  The questions I would like to see answered are:
  1. Do you regularly use non-ASCII characters when editing text?  Examples of such characters include accented ASCII characters, and the characters from Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Cyrillic etc.  (Yes/No/Don't know)
  2. What languages do you usually deal with when editing text?
  3. What text editing programs do you usually use?
  4. Can the text editors that you usually use read and write files in UTF-8 format? (yes/no/don't know)
  5. Which non-ASCII encoding do you think would result in the least problems when transferring your text files across the internet?
  6. Would you object to a new CIF standard which allowed only UTF-8 encoded files? If so, why?
  7. Do you have any comments regarding suitable choice of encoding(s) for the new CIF standard?
Once we have fine-tuned the questions, I would suggest creating the survey using www.surveymonkey.com, then posting requests for responses wherever crystallographers are to be found, but especially in groups where non ASCII scripts are likely to be found (European Crystallographic Society, Japanese Crystallographic Society, Computing Commission etc.).

James.
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