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Re: papers for archive.org

On 28 April 2010 23:25, Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:
> In theory, everything you said is true.
> Yet, I'll wager that a good 95% of the scientific literature from the 16th 
> Century is still awaiting conversion to a digital medium, and that doesn't 
> even include a substantial part of the literature from the 17th-20th Century. 
>  The date when that backlog will be converted is anyone's guess.
> Converting PDFs into a "new improved" format is the easy part.  Converting 
> everything that has already been put into PDF format is another matter 
> entirely.
> The various disciplines in the scientific community should convene a 
> conference and "standardized" a version of PDF (I vote for ver. 5), and 
> require that all archives use that format ad infinitum.  Adobe would be 
> xxxxxxxx bricks over such an treasonous act by their own consumers, but 
> legally the company would have no way to retaliate.  No one would be 
> infringing on their business (they could still sell new versions).

This would be great.

But better still would be the adoption of the PDF/A subformat
which is defined specifically for long-term archiving, and is
implemented from Acrobat 5 upwards (and in most of the alternative PDF
reading programs).  Best of all, it's defined in an ISO standard, and
so not under the control of a commercial company with an unavoidable
profit agenda.

(Bizarrely, the standard is not freely available -- you are supposed
to pay for downloads.  But I think we all know that there are easy
ways to read most documents that you want to read.)

> <pb>
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: John Wilkins <john.s.wilkins@gmail.com>
> To: dinosaur <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Subject: Re: papers for archive.org
> Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 12:15:23 +1000
> On 28/04/2010, at 12:07 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 28th, 2010 at 11:49 AM, "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> 
>> wrote:
>>> On Tue, 27 Apr 2010, Phillip Bigelow wrote:
>>>> 100 years from now, there had better be something that can read ALL
>>> pdf
>>>> files, or this "archival" concept is a joke.
>>> Adobe Reader 75.0
>> 'Google Adobe Reader 75.0' more likely.
> Having worked in electronic archiving at one time, allow me to say that data 
> formats are transient anyway, and that material will be converted as a kind 
> of standing wave of information from one older format to a newer one, so long 
> as the formats are not proprietary and secret. PDF is relatively open, so 
> except for the proprietary features for Reader 75.0, the content will be 
> revised into some new format, such as EPub or DjVu periodically. Reliance on 
> a single format is both fragile and unnecessary.
> So if you put it out in PDF, expect it to be converted to some other format 
> in due course.
> --
> John Wilkins, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Bond Uni
> john@wilkins.id.au
> "Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows 
> suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'." 
> <http://xkcd.com/552/>
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