Discussion List Archives

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ddlm-group] Community consulation regarding CIF2 encoding

Dear James,

   Please point not just to your survey, but to the entire discussion.
Please recall that the entire discussion is already public on the
web.  This is just a matter of calling community attention to it.

   While I find the survey somewhat slanted if presented without the 
background, essentially a push-poll, if we can get the community involved 
in the discussion, and not just presented with structured questions, I 
have faith that we will get a good sense of what is workable in the 
current context.  Those who just want to respond to your survey questions
can do that.  Those who wish to delve into the issue more deeply can do
that.  It is up to them, not to us.

   In any case, I recommend putting something out to some assortment
of lists very soon, so we can have the discussion well started before
the ACA meeting.


P.S.  To some extent the poll has a bit of the flavor of voting on
the value of PI.  What matters is not whether a huge majority likes
solution A or B.  What matters is whether choosing one solution or
the other will impede some significant chunk of science from getting
done, and, as with the value of PI, that is hopefully a factual
determination, not a matter of opinion.  We need informed commentary
much more than we need to count votes on preferences.
  Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
    Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
         Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769


On Thu, 1 Jul 2010, James Hester wrote:

> Hi Herbert: the idea would be to distribute an email with a pointer to 
> the survey.  Your suggested paragraph would be a reasonable text for 
> that email, acting as an introduction to the questionnaire, although the 
> mention of XML and HTML I think is slanting the question somewhat. And 
> indeed we should include an open-ended question in the survey asking for 
> their thoughts.  The point of the short series of questions is that 
> those who have no time to spend familiarising themselves with our 
> discussion and formulating a thoughtful reply are still able to spend a 
> few minutes and provide important information on which we can base our 
> decision.
> On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 8:37 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein
> <yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> wrote:
>       Dear Colleagues,
>        Unless we are assuming that the CIF2 transition is not acutally
>       going to happen, that transition is going to involve a wide
>       range
>       of both software developers and users of crystallographic
>       software
>       throughout the community.  Either we have te dicsussion with
>       them
>       on a UTF-8-ony standard now, or we will have to have the
>       discussion
>       with them later, when it is much harder and more expensive to
>       revise what we will have done.
>        If James is reluctant to post his own summary to the lists,
>       then
>       how about the following:
>        COMCIFS, the IUCr Committee of the Maintenance of the CIF
>       standard
>       is considering some important improvements and extensions to
>       CIF.
>       Among the extensions being considered is enlarging the character
>       set allowed from simple ASCII to the full UNICODE character set
>       (the same set of characters used in web browsers with HTML and
>       in XML).  There is strong disagreement on COMCIFS as to whether
>       this would best be done by mandating just a single UNICODE
>       encoding,
>       UTF-8, or whether is would be best to follow the practives of
>       HTML
>       and XML in allowing alternate encodings.  The full thread of the
>       discussion thus far can be seen at:
>        http://www.iucr.org/__data/iucr/lists/ddlm-group/
>       Comments from interested members of the community would be
>       appreciated.
>        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 Thu, 1 Jul 2010, SIMON WESTRIP wrote:
>       I agree this would probably be more productive.
>       Perhaps the IUCr could point its authors at such a survey
>       - via its CIF
>       author services pages (printCIF, checkCIF...)?
>       Cheers
>       Simon
> ___________________________________________________________________________
>       _
>       From: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
>       To: ddlm-group <ddlm-group@iucr.org>
>       Sent: Thursday, 1 July, 2010 6:51:47
>       Subject: [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.
> --
> T +61 (02) 9717 9907
> F +61 (02) 9717 3145
> M +61 (04) 0249 4148
> _______________________________________________
> ddlm-group mailing list
> ddlm-group@iucr.org
> http://scripts.iucr.org/mailman/listinfo/ddlm-group
> --
> T +61 (02) 9717 9907
> F +61 (02) 9717 3145
> M +61 (04) 0249 4148
ddlm-group mailing list

Reply to: [list | sender only]
International Union of Crystallography

Scientific Union Member of the International Science Council (admitted 1947). Member of CODATA, the ISC Committee on Data. Partner with UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in the International Year of Crystallography 2014.

International Science Council Scientific Freedom Policy

The IUCr observes the basic policy of non-discrimination and affirms the right and freedom of scientists to associate in international scientific activity without regard to such factors as ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political stance, gender, sex or age, in accordance with the Statutes of the International Council for Science.