Draft minutes from Madrid closed meetings

James Hester jamesrhester at gmail.com
Fri Nov 25 05:21:45 GMT 2011


As I have received no corrections to the minutes posted below, they can be
considered the final version.


On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 10:29 AM, James Hester <jamesrhester at gmail.com>wrote:

> Please find below draft minutes from the Madrid COMCIFS closed meetings.
> If anybody has any corrections, please let me know.
> James.
> ========================================================================
> DRAFT Minutes of COMCIFS closed meetings held 28th and 29th August, 2011
> ========================================================================
> 28th August
> -----------
> 1. Devolving more autonomy to Dictionary Management Groups was discussed.
> It
> was noted that COMCIFS fulfills an important role in harmonising
> definitions,
> so while it was generally agreed that giving DMGs more autonomy was
> desirable, COMCIFS must still play a role in ensuring a consistent
> ontology.
> COMCIFS could move into a service role of providing technical support
> and ontology integration. ACTION: John Westbrook to liaise with
> B. MacMahon to examine how the PDBx would be merged with COMCIFS
> dictionaries
> in this model.
> 2. Development of a C API: this was generally agreed to be a good
> idea, and it was suggested that the new IUCr forums could be used as a
> discussion group to flesh out the details.  It was noted that there is
> quite a lot of C/C++ software already in existence that may provide a
> sufficient basis for development.  ACTION: J Hester to set up an IUCr
> forum and advise when this is done.
> 3. It was noted that the copyright status of the dictionaries and CIF
> specifications was not clear.  ACTION: B. MacMahon was tasked with
> finding an appropriate licence to apply to the CIF technical documents.
> It was also agreed that a working group should be formed to examine
> broader issues around intellectual property associated with the CIF
> project.
> 4. Discussion: S. Grazulis raised a number of technical issues that
> were not immediately resolved.  P. Murray-Rust suggested that the
> meanings of "."  and "?" were not adequately defined.  ACTION: COMCIFS
> to discuss the meanings of "." and "?" in discussion group.
> 29th August
> ===========
> 1. This meeting followed immediately on from a microsymposium
> presentation by N. Spadaccini on the new DDLm and developments in the
> STAR syntax.  As N. Spadaccini had to leave for the airport, S. Hall
> took his place at the meeting and summarised improvements that had
> been made since the 2008 DDLm draft.  These included nested save
> frames and user-defined types.  P. Murray-Rust was concerned that
> implementation of these new features would require considerable
> amounts of programmer time.  J. Westbrook was concerned that nesting
> save frames to represent multiple items could conflict with the
> denormalised relational database approach adopted by DDL2.  It was
> noted that there is no requirement to adopt or use nested save frames in
> COMCIFS-approved dictionaries or datafiles.
> 2. CIF2 syntax.  The committee voted to accept the latest version of
> the CIF2 syntax, with the proviso that the syntax only be approved for
> use in dictionaries at this stage in order to allow any residual issues
> to be detected and fixed.  S. Grazulis argued strongly against any
> changes to CIF1 single-line string syntax in CIF2.  R. Grosse-Kunstleve
> requested a BNF be produced as the cctbx is now capable of auto-generating
> CIF parsers from BNF files.
> 3. DDLm.  The committee voted to accept DDLm as a COMCIFS-approved
> dictionary language, provided that PDB concerns are resolved and
> pilot tests at the IUCr Chester offices are successful.  ACTION: S
> Hall and I D Brown to prepare DDLm / CIF2 versions of the core
> dictionaries for testing at Chester.  ACTION: B. MacMahon to liaise
> with J. Westbrook to examine the compatibility of nested save frames
> and denormalised relational databases.
> 4. S. Grazulis raised a number of technical issues and made several
> suggestions, including reinstating global datablocks.  It was decided
> that each of these suggestions and issues would be better dealt with
> in the email lists
> --
> T +61 (02) 9717 9907
> F +61 (02) 9717 3145
> M +61 (04) 0249 4148

T +61 (02) 9717 9907
F +61 (02) 9717 3145
M +61 (04) 0249 4148
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