Version 1 (modified by markh, 6 years ago) (diff)


Terms of Reference for the CF Data Model


The purpose the scope and terms of reference for the CF data model were agreed in #88.

Scope, Terms and Conditions

  1. The CF community will adopt a data model as part of the CF Metadata Project.
  2. The data model will be a complementary resource to the:
    • CF Conventions Document
    • CF Standard Name Table
    • CF Conformance Requirements & Recommendations
    • Guidelines for Construction of CF Standard Names
  3. The data model will be maintained by the community, using the same mechanisms as are used for the conventions, conformance and standard_name documents.
  4. A version of the data model will be published at the same time as or as soon as possible after each version of the CF conventions, consistent with that version and having the same version number, beginning from version 1.5.
  5. Discussions of proposed changes to the CF conventions should consider consistency with the data model. If inconsistencies exist, these should be addressed, either by altering the proposal or by proposing a change to the data model.
  6. Equally, consideration of the data model may motivate changes to the CF conventions. In this case proposed changes to the conventions will be discussed and agreed using the current mechanisms.
  7. The responsibility for maintaining the data model and for its consistency with the CF conventions will belong to a new committee, but anyone may propose changes to the data model in the same way as changes to the CF conventions.
  8. The scope of the data model is to define the concepts of CF and the relationships that exist between these concepts.
  9. The data model provides a logical, implementation neutral, abstraction of the concepts defined by CF.
  10. The data model does not define the interface to CF.


The data model is believed to offer the following benefits:

  • Providing an orientation guide to the CF Conventions Document
  • Guiding the development of software compatible with CF
  • Facilitating the creation of an Application Programming Interface which 'behaves/feels like CF' and is intuitive to use.
  • Providing a reference point for gap analysis and conflict analysis of the CF specification
  • Providing a communication tool for discussing CF concepts and proposals for changes to the CF specification
  • Setting the ground work to expand CF beyond netCDF files.