Advice on COMCIFS policy regarding compatibility of CIFsyntax with other domains. .

Herbert J. Bernstein yaya at
Wed Mar 16 00:44:12 GMT 2011

Dear James,

   I am not objecting to Brian's document.  I think we should keep
as much of it as possible for CIF2.  The only problem is that it
is a "semantic" document and your policy according to you and
John B. seems to want to relegate all semantic issues to the
dictionaries.  It is that relegation to which I am objecting.
Most features consist of both syntactic and semantic components,
and I find it much less confusing to deal with a feature in
its entirety than to deal with just the syntax.

   Until this discussion, I had thought the intent of the dictionaries
was to deal with the tag definitions particular to certain domains
and that both the syantax and semantics of CIF was a global concern.
I find the relegation of the semantics of CIF2 to the dictionaries
surprising and recommend against it.  I want to keep Brian's
document a global document.


  Herbert J. Bernstein, Professor of Computer Science
    Dowling College, Kramer Science Center, KSC 121
         Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY, 11769

                  yaya at

On Wed, 16 Mar 2011, James Hester wrote:

> Dear Herbert,
> Please explain why you think that the latest version of the guiding
> principles is at variance with the 'Common Semantic Features' document
> and approach.  For example, what would prevent us from adopting a
> similar CSF document for CIF2?  It would help if you quoted particular
> points from the guidelines in your reply.
> James.
> On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 3:59 AM, Herbert J. Bernstein
> <yaya at> wrote:
>> Dear Colleagues,
>>   I would suggest that people review Brian's excellent common
>> semantic features document for CIF 1.1.  I think keeping those
>> sort of semantic decisions couple to the syntax decisions for
>> CIF has worked well, and I do not think the sharp departure
>> now proposed for handling CIF2 will work as well for the
>> reasons I stated previously.  It ain't broke.  Why are
>> we fixing it?  New feautures involve a mix of syntax and
>> semantics depedending on the feature.  I believe we should
>> be focusing on features rather than the bin within which
>> they fit for presentation purposes.
>>   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
>>                  yaya at
>> =====================================================
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