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World Database of Crystallographers: New Specification

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: World Database of Crystallographers: New Specification
  • From: Brian McMahon <bm@iucr.org>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 17:01:06 GMT
A working draft of a functional specification for the re-engineered World
Database has been posted at http://www.iucr.org/~bm/wdc/newspec.html

This indicates the approach we are planning to take, subject to 
  (a) approval of the WDC General Editor and the EPC Chair
  (b) technical feasibility

The idea, in brief, is to have a master relational database that holds
information about individuals, but also about institutions at which
crystallographic work is performed, and societies. The data structure of the
master database is designed to be fine-grained, with fields that are a
superset of fields needed for a variety of directory services, including
LDAP (and possibly X.500), qi/ph, vcard, and standard SGML and/or XML
erson/organisation entity models. Slave (read-only) databases will respond to
interrogative queries from clients of all these applications.

Entries in the master database are modified only by the Chester staff or by
a daemon process that handles password-authenticated requests from web
cgi programs. People with existing entries may modify their own entries
through a password. People requesting new entries (or deletions) will
complete a web form and submit it; the operation to add or delete the entry
is queued, and must be approved by a National Editor or other privileged

Sample (non-functional!) web interface forms are presented on the page
indicated above.

I emphasise that the fine details have not been worked out, but it seems an
appropriate point to canvass the opinions of the EPC on the suitability of
the scheme outlined.

Best wishes

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