Chapter 5.1 General considerations in programming CIF applications

Definition and exchange of crystallographic data

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 5. Applications

  1. H. J. Bernstein

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000751

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Bernstein, H. J. 2006. General considerations in programming CIF applications. International Tables for Crystallography. G:5:5.1:481–487.

Author Information

  1. Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Kramer Science Center, Dowling College, Idle Hour Blvd, Oakdale, NY 11769, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006


This chapter is an introduction for programmers new to CIF to ways of creating new ‘CIF-aware’ applications and of adapting existing applications to make them CIF-aware. We review general considerations in programming CIF-aware applications, ranging from leaving an application CIF-unaware and relying on external filter utilities to do the job, through engineering an existing application to directly read and write CIFs, to writing a new CIF-aware application from scratch.


  • Crystallographic Information File software;
  • computer programs;
  • data exchange standards;
  • software design considerations;
  • software