Procedure for approving small dictionary updates

David Brown idbrown at
Wed Aug 19 20:27:35 BST 2009

Ralf W. Grosse-Kunstleve wrote:

>Hi James,
>This looks good to me, maybe with the added stipulation that only members of a
>DMG or COMCIFS can post the change to the COMCIFS discussion list (just to be

Item 4 below implies that only the *chair* of the Dictionary Maintenance 
Group would make this  posting to the COMCIFS list (in conjunction with 
the Chair of COMCIFS).  This posting should not be made until the chair 
of the DMG has received approval from his group.  This prior approval is 
essential, as the fast track proposals should only be posted on the 
COMCIFS list when they are ready for final approval.  The expectation is 
that no further discussion is needed at this point.  If there is any 
objection at this stage, it goes back to the DMG.

David Brown

>----- Original Message ----
>From: James Hester <jamesrhester at>
>To: Discussion list of the IUCr Committee for the Maintenance of the CIF  Standard (COMCIFS) <comcifs at>
>Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:48:50 PM
>Subject: Procedure for approving small dictionary updates
>Dear COMCIFS members,
>Currently the procedure for making any changes to the dictionaries
>requires putting those changes to a formal vote on the COMCIFS list.
>This may be seen as heavy-handed for small updates and additions.
>Following discussions with David B I would like to propose the
>following fast-track procedure for dealing with minor updates to the
>1. Anybody can propose a change to the core dictionary either through
>the IUCr web site or by contacting the chair of the appropriate DMG.
>2. In conjunction with the DMG chair, they can work out a proposal for
>new dictionary code.
>3. This code is then submitted to the DMG for comment and eventual approval.
>4. The change is then posted to the COMCIFS discussion list for
>comment within a given time limit.
>5. If no comment is received, or if all the comments are resolved, the
>change is accepted, otherwise it is refered back to the DMG.
>I suggest that a 'small change' is one that creates no new categories
>and affects no more than two definitions.
>A one month time limit for initiating comments seems about right to
>me, as it should allow those that happen to be on holiday to make it
>back in time.
>Should COMCIFS approve this procedure or something similar, I have a
>proposed update that we can test the procedure with.
>Best wishes,
>James Hester

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