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

Dear James,

   I was under the impression that you were the chair of COMCIFS and
you have decreed that there is no mistake.  I, recalling the bitter
fights involved at the time, am very certain that the wording in
the spec is a mistake.  Time will tell as to who is right.

   The entire point of having a library of trip tests was to deal
with such boundary cases.  If the trip tests are no longer relevant,
I would suggest that COMCIFS have them taken down, put up a few
PDB and CCDC files and call it a day.

   As I said, I give up.


At 1:48 PM +1100 10/29/10, James Hester wrote:
>Herbert, if you believe that there has been a mistake in Volume G, 
>then I suggest that you raise your concerns with COMCIFS.  You may 
>wish to produce examples of CIF files accessible to normal users to 
>support your case that the published standard does not accord with 
>normal practice.   I would suppose that all PDB and IUCr and CCDC 
>archive files do conform to the published standard, but perhaps you 
>have other information.
>On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:17 AM, Herbert J. Bernstein 
>Dear John,
>   A mistake is still a mistake, no matter how many times it gets repeated.
>The requirement to scan one character ahead to terminate a token by
>finding whitespace at the lexical level goes back to the first
>implementations of CIF.  That was what was being removed in CIF2.
>That removal has consequences.
>   Efforts to get clear and unambiguous statments of both STAR
>and CIF syntax that are actually consistent with the format of
>existing files would be a good idea. but it seems that we never
>manage to do that because documenting that reality seems to
>always cause somebody concern.  The result is that we have a large
>and growing of CIF files that conform to a variety of different
>undocumented specs.
>   It is a shame.
>   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, Bollinger, John C wrote:
>>  On Thursday, October 28, 2010 4:48 PM, Herbert J. Bernstein wrote:
>>>  Let me make this absolutely clear:
>>>  ;\
>>>  does not violate the CIF1.1 syntax.  It violates an incorrect
>>>  description of the CIF1.1 syntax.  This is about as silly as saying
>>>  the "would that it were the case" violates English syntax because
>>>  Microsoft word has a grammer checker that does not know about the
>>>  subjunctive.
>>  I suppose, then, that I am at a loss as to where to find a correct 
>>description of the CIF 1.1 syntax.  The spec currently available 
>>online at <http://iucr.org>iucr.org agrees with IT vol. G.:
>>  1) as ITG puts it, "A text field delimited by the <eol>; digraph 
>>may not include a semicolon at the start of a line of text as part 
>>of its value."  (International Tables vol. G (2005), Section 
>>, numbered paragraph (18).)
>>  2) The formal grammars presented in both places do not permit a 
>>semicolon to appear at the beginning of a line of text inside a 
>>text field.  According to them, the first <eol>; digraph following 
>>the opening delimiter can only parse as the closing delimiter.
>>  3) The explanations of both versions of the formal grammar repeat 
>>the same restriction on lines inside text fields: "[...] the first 
>>character cannot be a semicolon." (ITG, numbered paragraph 
>>  The specifications available to me are explicit, consistent, 
>>repetitive, and clear on this point.  Furthermore, both versions of 
>>the specification say
>  >
>>  4) Tokens are separated by whitespace (ITG 2.2.3, third paragraph), and
>>  5) "For a semicolon-delimited text string, failure to provide 
>>trailing white space is an error."  (ITG, numbered 
>>paragraph (56))
>>  Do you have a more authoritative reference than ITG?  Or official 
>>errata that alter these provisions?  Or an authoritative 
>>supplemental specification that changes them? Where can I find a 
>>correct specification?
>>  Thanks,
>>  John
>>  --
>>  John C. Bollinger, Ph.D.
>>  Department of Structural Biology
>>  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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  Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
    Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
         Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769

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