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[magCIF] Dictionary language for magCIF

  • To: Discussion list for the magnetic CIF dictionary project <magcif@iucr.org>
  • Subject: [magCIF] Dictionary language for magCIF
  • From: James Hester <jamesrhester@gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:42:45 +1000
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Dear magCIF authors:

COMCIFS have had an email discussion (which you can see the archive of online in the same area as magcif is archived) around the naming and dictionary language for magCIF.  I can confirm that the potential mixing of dotted and underscored datanames in a datafile is not an issue.  The recommended dictionary language is now DDLm, which takes the best bits of DDL1 and DDL2 and adds in (optional!) mathematical relationships between datanames, and some authoring conveniences.  You can browse example DDLm dictionaries at https://github.com/COMCIFS/cif_core - note this directory also contains the current DDL1 core dictionary.

The only caveat that was expressed by COMCIFS members was that you would lose access to DDL1 dictionary tools.  Dictionaries are only very lightly used by CIF applications, as far as I can tell, and you would in any case only be deprived of those limited capabilities DDL1 offers in regard to new magCIF datanames - old datanames would continue to be recognised. I can expand on this point if anybody is concerned.

The canonical reference for DDLm is http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ci300075z

It would also be possible to write a DDL1 magCIF dictionary, autotranslate it to DDLm, and then expand it out with the extra information that DDLm requires, if that sounds like a more gentle approach.   Note that using DDLm need not imply a change the format of the actual datafiles containing magCIF datanames - in this sense the datafiles are orthogonal to the language used to define the datanames. 

all the best,

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