Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

From: John Foust <jfoust_at_threedee.com>
Date: Wed Aug 11 06:53:35 2004

At 12:08 AM 8/11/2004, Ethan Dicks wrote:
>Extensible is good... one of the advantages of the Amiga IFF structure they
>chose to emulate/use as a starting point, is that according to the spec, the
>structure, tag formats, checksums, are all described in advance; what is
>malleable is that if your application doesn't understand a tag, you are
>obligated to ignore it, not puke 'cause it's in an unknown format.

In theory. It does little good if your app depends on something
that's not there, or if the truly vital bits are skipped by your

>are similar in that regard, a structured collection of (binary) records.
>All programs know the structure, but not all programs can interpret all
>record types.

Yes, uhm, I wrote what were among the first color PICT image translators
on non-Mac platforms, licensed to ASDG and NewTek for their
paint programs, and another B/W version to SPC for an early version
of Harvard Draw. :-)

>These days, of course, XML can serve much the same function, plus have
>the advantage of being printable. You could end up with files that could
>never fit on the medium they describe,

Yes, and after a bit of browsing on that CAPS-Amiga site, I was amazed
at the XML and debugging work they've done to preserve copy protection
on obscure games. They were also quite aware that their data format
work would be able to record other disk formats. The site was a bit
over-grown, though, and I never found the spec itself.

- John
Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 06:53:35 BST

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