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[ddlm-group] Wrapping up the elide discussion

Dear DDLm-ers,

This latest round of discussion started as an attempt to find
consensus on an elide system for CIF2 triple-quoted strings.  I have
asked everybody to contribute their preferences, and now that John W
and Ralf have replied to me off-list regarding their preferences for
elides, we are in a position to read the tea-leaves and determine a
consensus solution.  I can report that Ralf, while preferring the full
Python approach (proposal P) will accept a solution that allows
arbitrary strings to be included in a CIF file.  John W prefers a
solution involving minimal changes to current syntax.

So our top preferences are as follows:

Herbert: P, otherwise F with conditions
Brian: F' and E, P least preferable
James: F' and F, P unacceptable
Ralf: P best, A,B,E,F,F' OK
John W: A, B or F' (my interpretation of minimal changes - John feel
free to say otherwise)

It appears that all but Herbert would be prepared to vote for F', and
even Herbert is prepared to consider F.  No other proposal reaches a
similar level of acceptance among voting members (and I note that
non-voting members are also strongly in the F/F' camp).  I would
therefore like to focus discussion on F' and F as the two choices most
likely to succeed.

The single point in favour of F' as opposed to F is that the sequence
<backslash><backslash> has no meaning, which makes it simpler to
include backslash-rich text (eg LaTeX or RTF).  This continues to be
of particular concern among our journal colleagues.

The single point that some consider to be in favour of F relative to
F' is that it is a proper subset of Python syntax.

If no consensus can be achieved following a small period for comment
within this group, I propose voting between F or F', followed by a
formal vote at COMCIFS level to accept the resulting elide system as
an amendment to the current CIF2 standard.


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