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