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Ticket Resolution Summary Owner Reporter
#150 duplicate Clarification of use of standard region names in "region" variables. cf-conventions@… martin.juckes
Description

The CF standard name region has the current description "A variable with the standard name of region contains strings which indicate geographical regions. These strings must be chosen from the standard region list." This description implies that the variable should be of character type, but it is often more convenient to have an integer variable and make a clear link to the region names using flag_values and flag_meanings. The proposal is to clarify the definition so that either usage is acceptable and include an example of the latter usage in the convention text. It is also proposed that an appendix be added to the CF Convention text to state clearly any constraints on file meta-data which are implied by the CF Standard Name definitions, so that it is possible to test such constraints in the CF checker.

New description for CF standard name "region"

A variable with the standard name of region must have values associated with geographical regions from the CF standard region list, either as a character variable using the region names directly or as an integer variable with values linked to region names through flag_values and flag_meanings attributes.

New usage example in CF Convention text

The following should be placed at the end of 6.1.1, after example 6.2

A variable with standard name 'region' may also be of integer type and use 'flag_values' and 'flag_meanings' attributes to express the relationship between the integers and the region names:

integer basin(basin);
       standard_name: region;
       flag_values: '1 2 3';
       flag_meanings:'atlantic_arctic_ocean indo_pacific_ocean global_ocean';
......
values::
   basin: 1, 2, 3;

New Appendix Section

Change "Appendix B: Standard Name Table Format" to:

Appendix B: Standard Names

B.1: Standard Name Table Format

.....

and

B.2 Constraints for specific standard names

B.2.1: region

Variables with standard name region must be one of:

  • type character, with values taken from the CF standard region list;
  • type integer, with flag_values and flag_meanings attributes. The flag_meanings attributes must be a space separatd list of values from the CF standard region list (see example 6.2).
#158 wontfix data_type=char|string cf-conventions@… bob.simons
Description

In NetCDF-3 files, in order to make it clear whether an array of chars should be interpreted as an array of chars or an array of Strings, I propose that we replace this sentence in CF section 2.2:

NetCDF does not support a character string type, so these must be represented as character arrays. In this document, a one dimensional array of character data is simply referred to as a "string".

with:

Since NetCDF-3 files do not have a built-in string data type, strings in NetCDF-3 files must be represented as character arrays. To clarify how a char array should be interpreted, char arrays must have a "data_type" attribute with a value of "char" (for individual chars) or "string". (In older files with char variables that lack a data_type attribute, it remains ambiguous whether a char array should be interpreted as an array of individual characters or an array of Strings.)

#159 wontfix charset attribute cf-conventions@… bob.simons
Description

In order to specify the character set of char and string variables, I propose that we append these two paragraphs to the end of CF section 2.2:

Each char array variable that is to be interpreted as an array of individual characters (not string(s)) must have a "charset" attribute which clarifies that the variable is to be interpreted as individual characters (not string(s)) and specifies the 8-bit character set used by the chars. Values for "charset" are case-insensitive. See http://www.iana.org/assignments/character-sets/character-sets.xhtml . Currently, the only values allowed for "charset" are "ISO-8859-1" and "ISO-8859-15". A scalar char variable may also use the "charset" attribute, which defaults to "ISO-8859-15" if it is not specified.

A string or string array variable (including a char array variable that is to be interpreted as a string or array of strings) may have an "_Encoding" attribute. Alternatively, a file may have a global "_Encoding" attribute which applies to all strings (scalar and array) in the file. Values for "_Encoding" are case-insensitive. See http://www.iana.org/assignments/character-sets/character-sets.xhtml . Currently, the only values allowed for "_Encoding" are "ISO-8859-1", "ISO-8859-15" and "UTF-8". A missing "_Encoding" attribute defaults to "UTF-8".

(This 2017-03-02b version is the consensus revised proposal from Chris Barker, Heiko Klein, and Bob Simons, with further changes requested by Jonathon Gregory.)

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