Digital content — from word processing files to websites to video games — offers preservationists challenges that go beyond those encountered when preserving books, manuscripts, and photographs. Unlike these relatively self-contained items, digital content is linked inextricably to the machinery and programs used to present it.
Bill McCoy’s article, “Takeaways on the Future of Documents: Report from the 2015 PDF Technical Conference,” offers some interesting thoughts on the future of PDF. I can’t find much to disagree with. PDF is in practice a format for reproducing a specific document appearance, and that’s becoming less important as the variety of computing devices increases. He makes a point I hadn’t thought of, that the “de facto interoperable PDF format” is well behind the latest specifications, which may explain why I haven’t seen complaints that JHOVE doesn’t know about ISO 32000 PDF!
Downloading an object over the internet through a standard web-browser is a mechanism that is ‘less-than-optimal’ for the delivery of archival objects. Download of objects will not preserve the file-system metadata of the object. Tools like Wget can do this, but do we want the same behavior of the browser? On answering that, do we also need to create mandatory new requirements in future digital preservation systems? The repatriation of modified dates with born-digital records, for example?
The veraPDF consortium is pleased to announce the latest release of the veraPDF PDF/A validation software and test-suite currently under development.
Highlights for this release are:
- validation of all conformance criteria for ISO 19005-1 (PDF/A-1), conformance level b;
- a complete PDF/A-1b test corpus, including 200 new test-files:
- PDF features reporting; and
- a cross-platform installer.
Prototype features include:
- PDF metadata fixing;
- validation model and rules for PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-2 & PDF/A-3;
Friday 20 November, 14:00 GMT / 15:00 CET
In connection with TRACKS, PACKED vzw organizes a free workshop on sustainable digital preservation for artists and arts organizations. In preparation of the workshop, PACKED vzw started to make an overview of the iMAL archive with the help of a volunteer.
TRACKS-workshop (Bert Lemmens & Sanne Van Bellingen)
Libraries are at a crossroads when it comes to offering e-books. Major publishers have draconian policies where they sell books to libraries at a 500% markup or impose limitations have 26 checkouts before the library has to buy the book again. In a few short years libraries are spending double or triple the amount on digital and something needs to be done to convince the publishers to ease up. The only way libraries can be saved is throwing down with Amazon.
The growth in the capacity of the research community to collect and distribute data presents huge opportunities. It is already transforming old methods of scientific research and permitting the creation of new ones. However, the exploitation of these opportunities depends upon more than computing power, storage, and network connectivity.