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Re: [ddlm-group] A modest addition to the DDLm spec. .. .. .

The major use of the "+" concatenation is likely to be in dictionaries
for regexes because we are headed to more and more complex regular
expressions.

Because of Nick's strong opposition to formalizing the line-folding
protocol in the standard, I am concerned about continuing to have
infrastructure, such as dictionaries, dependent in the line folding
protocol.  I though use of the "+" would allow for a long-term stable
solution for dictionaries independent of whether the line folding
protocol survived.

However, concatenation is in fact quite useful.





At 10:41 AM -0500 10/1/10, Bollinger, John C wrote:
>On Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:05 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
>
>>Try working with some of the longer regexes for a while and you may
>>come to appreciate having something like the plus or the line-folding
>>backslash to allow you to present what really in one very long
>>single-line character string with lots of funny stuff in it
>>over a series of line and broken with some whitespace that is
>>not part of the string.
>
>You do not need to persuade me of the usefulness of breaking up 
>regexes.  I fully appreciate it.  I remain unclear on these points, 
>however:
>
>1) Are dictionary regexes and adjusting to the quoting rule changes 
>the principal use cases driving this proposal?
>
>2) Why is the use of text fields with the existing line-folding 
>protocol not a sufficient solution?
>
>3) For regexes, why is it better to add a new feature to CIF than to 
>modify the DDL's regex data type to accommodate insignificant 
>whitespace?  That would give you an even clearer way to break up 
>regexes, and the scope of the change would be much more contained.
>
>>However, the question is not one of your taste or mine or Nic's, nor
>>even whether the feature is useful to everybody, but whether
>>it is useful to some reasonable number of people and
>>whether having it causes some kind of problem for other people.
>
>That is one important question, but by no means the only relevant 
>one.  I could suggest two or three changes that would be useful to 
>some people and harmless to everyone else, but that is not (history 
>shows) sufficient justification to adopt them.
>
>In any event, I think the proposed change does cause problems: it 
>will confuse some people, it will incrementally complicate the 
>production, testing, and maintenance of CIF software, and it may 
>render invalid some existing CIFs that otherwise would be valid 
>CIF2.  How serious those problems are, and whether they would be 
>offset by the benefits that would be realized is unclear to me. 
>Whether substantially the same benefits could be realized in a 
>manner that carries fewer problems is also unclear to me.
>
>What happened to the urgency to finish CIF2?  Surely opening a 
>discussion on a new change proposal is not conducive to swift 
>completion of the work.
>
>What happened to the principle of avoiding changes whose 
>implications and impact are not fully understood?  I submit that 
>this proposal describes such a change.
>
>
>I apologize, but I think the best course of action is to table this 
>proposal, for reconsideration when the next revision of the CIF 
>specification is designed.
>
>
>Regards,
>
>John
>--
>John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
>Department of Structural Biology
>St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
>
>
>
>Email Disclaimer:  www.stjude.org/emaildisclaimer
>
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-- 
=====================================================
  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
=====================================================
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