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Non-Standard Objects

While MINC specifies the structure and interpretation of a number of objects, MINC programs must operate gracefully with MINC files that contain non-standard constructs. This imposes two requirements on MINC programs. First, MINC programs must operate correctly on files which contain non-standard variables and attributes. Second, MINC programs must copy non-standard attributes and variables from the input file to the resulting output file without alteration.

This behavior allows the addition of arbitrary variables and/or attributes that extend the standard MINC namespace. As one small example, this has proven useful in database applications where a digital signature is added to the MINC file to provide a redundancy check on the data.

It is strongly recommended that any additional or non-standard informational attributes be placed under the ``info'' branch of the hierarchy. Specific programming interfaces exist to support this convention.

Robert VINCENT 2005-05-10