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Re: [ddlm-group] Result of concatenation operator vote

Dear James,

   With some sort of a change in CIF2, the currently working line
folding trip tests the work in CIF1 won't work in CIF2, so something
has changed.  Please look at the trip tests.

   ;\

has been legal and used for years.

   With that I give up.  CIF will just have to split into even more
conflicting dialects for a while.

   I'll support the full set of trip tests and you can treat some
of them as a syntax error.

   What a waste.

   Regards,
     Herbert



At 1:35 PM +1100 10/29/10, James Hester wrote:
>Dear Herbert:
>
>It is clear from this discussion that the status of the line-folding 
>protocol is unchanged in CIF2.  Both CIF1 and CIF2 are explicit 
>about tokens being separated by whitespace, and both CIF1 and CIF2 
>do not allow backslashes to either post-elide or pre-elide the 
><eol><semicolon> digraph.  Likewise, those who wish to interpret the 
>line-folding protocol contrary to the published standard for CIF1 
>and CIF2 will presumably continue to do so.
>
>I would therefore be prepared to state that the line-folding 
>protocol is unaffected by the CIF2 syntax changes when presenting 
>CIF2 to COMCIFS, if that is any help.
>
>If you wish to instead reopen the elide debate 
>(<http://www.iucr.org/__data/iucr/lists/ddlm-group/msg00331.html>http://www.iucr.org/__data/iucr/lists/ddlm-group/msg00331.html), 
>with the commensurate time that will be required to reach a 
>conclusion, then I suggest that you put the question of reopening 
>the elide debate to a straw poll first, to find out if others are as 
>concerned as you about the issue.  As you have argued forcefully on 
>several occasions, we need to wrap this up soon, and discussing 
>elides will not be quick.
>
>I am not in favour of reopening the elide discussion, as we are 
>likely to simply cover exactly the same ground as this time last 
>year, and take just as long about it as well.  I strongly urge you 
>to delay or abandon discussion of this issue until after CIF2 has 
>been adopted by COMCIFS.
>
>James.
>
>
>(some comments inserted below)
>
>On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein 
><<mailto:yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com>yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> 
>wrote:
>
>Dear James,
>
>  Nothing is impossible, but the fact remains that for CIF2, all the 
>uses of the backslash that had been agreed to for CIF1 were 
>explcitly rejected, largely at Nick's insistence that somehow we 
>were diverging from STAR. The oddity you have pointed out in the 
>"official" CIF1 syntax document is another case of Nick's insistence 
>which in fact diverges from CIF1 practice, existing code and 
>existing round-trip cases.  We have somehow over the years entered 
>an absurd never-never land in which the official CIF documents say 
>one thing, and the established practice on which people do real work 
>is something very different.
>
>
>As John B and I have pointed out, there is no use of backslash that 
>is allowed in CIF1 and not allowed in CIF2.  What this group did 
>reject is a use of backslash to elide <eol> at a syntactic level. 
>Eliding <eol> within a datavalue *after* tokenisation, as the data 
>folding protocol does, is still perfectly legal in both CIF1 and 
>CIF2.
>
>
>
>  If you don't believe me, see the trip test at
>
><http://www.iucr.org/resources/cif/software/ciftest2/ciftest_2.1/outs/ciffold/longtext_out.cif>http://www.iucr.org/resources/cif/software/ciftest2/ciftest_2.1/outs/ciffold/longtext_out.cif
>
>which explicitly tests that the ;\ construct works for line folding.
>
>
>This trip test contradicts the published CIF standards and is 
>therefore incorrect.  Who do I submit the bug report to?
>
>
>  The line folding protocol is an essential reality, especially to 
>allow CIF to be used with Fortran.
>
>
>I have no issue with the line folding protocol as published, in fact 
>it quite elegantly solves legacy issues.
>
>
>  The use of the required whitespace after everything except the last 
>token in a CIF document is an essential reality in lexical scans of 
>existing CIF documents.
>
>  In the name of what is to me is an incomprensible adherence to a 
>constantly changing and undocumented STAR standard has resulted in 
>loss of functionality that is needed to keep current applications 
>and current CIF datasets in use.
>
>
>There is no reason to bring the STAR standard into this, changeable 
>or otherwise.  It is the detailed formal grammar and descriptive 
>text for CIF1 which does not envision use of backslash as you 
>propose.
>
>
>  Of course these issues can be resolved.  I keep accumulating fudges 
>for CIFtbx and CBFlib to deal with them.  The problem is that, 
>without any COMCIFS level agreement on what the preferred fudges 
>are, there is no reason to expect that the files my code reads and 
>writes will be compatible with the files that, say, your code reads 
>and writes, or compatible with the files that, say, John Westbrook's 
>code reads and writes, almost guaranteeing that CIF is going to 
>degenerate even more than it has into multiple idiosyncratic 
>dialects.  To me this seems to be the antithesis of the goal of the 
>creation of COMCIFS -- which was, as its name says, to maintain the 
>CIF _standard_.
>
>
>Indeed, we *are* trying to maintain a *standard*, and so it is most 
>unhelpful when members of the standards committee support and 
>actively advocate behaviour which directly contradicts the published 
>standard.
>
>
>  I apologize for sounding so preachy and stuffy, but I really think 
>it would be a good idea to resolve these issues in some commonly 
>agreed manner and try to keep CIF as a common language, rather than 
>heading further into multiple dialects.
>
>
>On Thu, 28 Oct 2010, James Hester wrote:
>
>Dear Herbert,
>
>Thanks for your detailed response. I think I am failing to understand
>something elementary.  I see nothing in your comments below to indicate why
>it would be impossible to use the line-folding protocol to split long lines
>over multiple lines, for arbitrary CIF2 text.  Additionally, I believe your
>first example below would be a syntax error under both CIF1.1 and CIF2,
>because the <eol><semicolon> sequence terminates the datavalue regardless of
>following text.  In other words, I know of nothing in CIF1.1 to indicate
>that <eol><semicolon> terminates the datavalue only if there is whitespace
>or <EOF> after the <eol><semicolon>.
>
>If I am incorrect in my thinking, I would appreciate a correction expressed
>in terms of the formal CIF1.1 grammar.
>
>James.
>
>On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 2:27 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein
><<mailto:yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com>yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> wrote:
>      Dear James,
>
>       The line folding protocol is in section 26 of
>
> 
> <http://www.iucr.org/resources/cif/spec/version1.1/semantics>http://www.iucr.org/resources/cif/spec/version1.1/semantics
>
>      I tried to get agreement on continuing this use of the backslash
>      and that was firmly and explicitly rejected, effectively
>      removing the entire line folding protocol, which depends on it.
>       Even if we restore the use of the backslash, there has been a
>      significant change in the termination of a text field.  In CIF
>      1.1, text field can only end with <eol>; followed either by
>      whitespace or the end of a file, so the existing line folding
>      protocol allows
>
>      ;\
>      this is an example of an embedded text field
>      ;\
>
>      an embedded text field
>      ;\
>
>      ;
>
>      which is no longer valid under CIF2 because all quoted fields
>      end on the first occurrence of their delimiter, and as stated in
>      the new syntax document, "CIF2 keywords, data block headers,
>      save frame headers, data names, and data values must all be
>      separated from each other by whitespace. Whitespace not
>      otherwise part of a CIF2 syntax element is significant only for
>      this purpose.
>
>      Reasoning: The CIF1 specification relies implicitly on the
>      syntactic structure of the language to require whitespace
>      separators between syntax elements. The CIF2 syntax no longer
>      implicitly provides whitespace separators in some cases
>      (notably, after most types
>      of data values), therefore the requirement is now made
>      explicit."
>
>      So under CIF2, the use of the elide to shield the <eol>; is
>      explcitly an error.
>
>      It would be very nice to have the line folding back, either
>      in the form of the use of the backslash, or by using the
>      string concatenation operator.
>
>
>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
>                 <mailto:yaya@dowling.edu>yaya@dowling.edu
>=====================================================
>
>On Thu, 28 Oct 2010, James Hester wrote:
>
>      I would be happy to indicate the status of the line
>      folding protocol under
>      the CIF2 draft when introducing the CIF2 draft to
>      COMCIFS.  Perhaps you
>      could write a few words in reply to this email giving a
>      description of the
>      status of the line folding protocol under CIF2, as I'm not
>      sure why
>      line-folding and CIF2 are incompatible.
>
>      On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM, Herbert J. Bernstein
> 
> <<mailto:yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com>yaya@bernstein-plus-sons.com> 
>wrote:
>           Dear James,
>
>            I don't mind if the approval of CIF2 has priority if
>      the debate
>           on that ends before debate on the concatenation
>      operator, but
>           imasmuch as either the concatenation operator or some
>      other
>           replacement for the line folding protocol is
>      necessary before
>           CIF2 can become a full replacement for CIF1, I would
>      suggest
>           that the matter be brought to COMCIFS at the same
>      time
>           and we see what happens.
>
>            I would also like to bring the issue of how we
>      transition
>           imgCIF before COMCIFS.  That is anther area where
>      CIF2 does
>           not yet provide support.
>
>            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
>                           <mailto:yaya@dowling.edu>yaya@dowling.edu
>           =====================================================
>
>
>      On Thu, 28 Oct 2010, James Hester wrote:
>
>           My count is 2 in favour, 4 against, with Simon (whose
>      vote
>           doesn't appear to have come in)
>           potentially making that 3 in favour and 4 against. 
>      These
>           are not entirely convincing numbers
>           for either side. However, although the proponents of
>      the
>           concatenation operator are free to
>           address COMCIFS on this question, a replay of this
>      vote
>           within COMCIFS would lead to at least 3
>           opposed and at least one in favour, with Nick's
>      opposition
>           making it (at best) a 4-2 vote
>           against.  So, I suggest that at this point we delay
>      any
>           further consideration of concatenation
>           until COMCIFS has approved CIF2.
>
>           In a subsequent email I will therefore put the
>      current
>           CIF2 spec to a DDLm group vote, and
>           assuming it passes will present it to COMCIFS for
>      final
>           approval.
>           --
>           T +61 (02) 9717 9907
>           F +61 (02) 9717 3145
>           M +61 (04) 0249 4148
>
>
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>
>
>
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>
>
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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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