Information about the Proposed mmCIF-like Coordinate Format

The CIF Project was started by the International Union of Crystallography to look into a new standard format for crystallographic data. CIF (Crystallographic Information File) is now in general use in the small molecule field. mmCIF is a subset of this project which is responsible for designing a format for use with macromolecules.

CCP4 has decided to adopt some of the features of the mmCIF format in its own working format for co-ordinates. As it is only a working format then only a subset of the data items described in the mmCIF dictionary will be used. It is also likely that we would want to expand the mmCIF dictionary to include additional data items. The format must be editable and easy to read by users which may put further restrictions on the length of data items. It also implies that the relationships between the data items should be kept to a minimum.

Development of the new format is still in its early stages. Following a meeting on 19/8/97, Martyn Winn (DL) and Liz Potterton (York) have been coerced into formulating specific proposals. Some ideas of their thought processes may be got from the following links, but remember that it is all very fluid at the moment. Feedback welcomed.

Work at Daresbury

Work at York

Other resources