Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Date: Thu Aug 12 14:44:42 2004

On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Steve Thatcher wrote:

> I did not say it was the primary purpose. The data blocks work hand in
> hand with the formatting information. It is fine to make a standard
> extensible, but what good does it do if the (I hate the use the word)
> file can't be gotten without jumping through major hoops because how the
> data was stored in the image file wasn't extended out to make blocks. If
> you have to iterate through formatting information to get data then you
> have to be intimately familiar with the disk format in use. It means any
> GENERAL utility to read an image file for data access will have to KNOW
> about all machione supported rather than just getting some type of data
> identifier and reading the data out.
> I think part of the problem here is that the word file is being taken
> literally to mean filename, size, data, etc. I am using in the context
> of a block of data. It has NOTHING to do with how the data is on the
> disk, where it is stored, the recording format, etc. It is just a piece
> of data...

One way to resolve this is to put comments in the image file pointing out
where a block of data ("file") starts and how long it is. This can also
be built into the spec as a tag, rather than relying on human readable
comments to effect this.

> I am talking about two separate sections inside the same image file. One
> of the sections contains data blocks. The other has specific formatting
> information and POINTS to the data in the data blocks. A utility program
> could then SIMPLY get any type of data out of the image file without the
> utility being out of date as soon as someone added a new physical
> format.

The spec COULD be made to allow for this, and I don't see a reason why
not. It's just an organizational attribute. I'll add it to the notes.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger                http://www.vintage.org
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Received on Thu Aug 12 2004 - 14:44:42 BST

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