Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Wed Aug 11 15:27:32 2004

On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Cini, Richard wrote:

> >>XML is platform neutral because it's basically ASCII, right?
> Yes, true, but I think of XML more as a Web technology requiring a complex
> parsing engine. I'm not a Web programmer so my thoughts on XML are probably
> somewhat broken.

I was deadset against it myself until Hans pointed out its virtues
(mainly, human readability).

It's not necessarily XML, though it may eventually end up as such. Right
now I just see it has a system of tags for specifying characteristics and
segmenting data.

> Another comment was made about the difference between what's actually on the
> media versus what the CPU actually sees. We would thus need to capture the
> raw data stream from the "heads" side of the controller in order to
> regenerate a usable original media from the metafile.

If you're thinking in terms of having the original hardware around to
write the imagefile back to its original media (like I have), then getting
the data at a logical byte level is adequate. It depends on what your
eventual goal is for the image. Is it just to capture the data on the
medium so that it can be accessed in the future without regards to whether
the original hardware still exists? Or do you intend to be able to
reconstruct the physical medium at some point?

The spec should be able to handle either case.

> For emulator use, we can grind this metafile through a translation program
> to get the bytestream. OR, the metafile could contain both types of data
> (using the container file and metadirectory idea from earlier).

Or it could specify what data it contains, and then you would use it as

> What we really need is PDF for magnetic media :-)

And other media as well (paper, plastic, etc.) That's what we're tyring
to do here. Hopefully we don't end up with something as bloated as PDF
however :)

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Wed Aug 11 2004 - 15:27:32 BST

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