Defining Disk Image Dump Standard

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Thu Jun 1 13:10:36 2000

On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Pete Turnbull wrote:

> That's part of the reason I think an encoded format is a bad idea. Hans'
> suggestion of a tagged format using XML (or something else) is much better.
> It allows for decoding without referring to a central archive, and it's
> much more flexible and extensible. Sure, it takes more space, but is that

But a lot more volumnious. But this is just my prejudice speaking. Even
though I find HTML useful, I hate it.

> a problem? The tags don't all need to be ASCII text, things like the
> sector size could be integers, and field lengths could be limited. I'd
> envisage something like nested objects (borrowing from Sellam's slightly
> later mail):

I don't like the idea of storing the actual sector data as text though. A
single floppy disk could turn into a megabyte or more. I guess in this
day and age it doesn't matter much anymore but when I was growing up you
had to make every byte count, and I know more than 95% of us here can
relate to that.

> The nesting tagging allows you to specify things like RX02 floppies, where
> the headers are FM but the data is MFM. It also allows you to specify

Weird. This is something new to me. But do we really need a markup
language to describe this? Instead we can add a Sector Descriptor Header
(we were heading in this direction anyway) and have a byte to describe the
sector header format and the sector data format for each sector.

> different sector sizes on different tracks, or data written in the headers
> that doesn't match physical track/sector/side on the original. It also
> means that if the database is lost, damaged, incomplete or otherwise
> inaccesible, an archive can still be understood, and there's no chance of
> inconsistency because two people tried to add new formats at about the same
> time, or someone rolled their own.

I agree with that. Human readability is definitely a compelling advantage
as is the elimination of the need for a centralized database of system

Well, this is certainly something to consider. A hard-coded format or a
markup format?

Sellam International Man of Intrigue and Danger
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Received on Thu Jun 01 2000 - 13:10:36 BST

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