Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

From: Steve Thatcher <melamy_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Thu Aug 12 15:17:28 2004

comments below...

best regards, Steve Thatcher

-----Original Message-----
From: Vintage Computer Festival <vcf_at_siconic.com>
Sent: Aug 12, 2004 3:44 PM
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk_at_classiccmp.org>
Subject: RE: Let's develop an open-source media archive standard

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 agree comments could help explain how to get info out of the image file, but if you don't create data blocks in a fashion that implies knowledge of the file system, then you can not just simply point at the data block and say how long it is. If you are talking about my propsed concept then you can just point at a data block and go get it.

> 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 utility being out of date as soon as someone added a new physical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.

*** great, I would hope that people who are archiving disks will use the data blocks rather than embedding the data in the physical format. It just makes life easier for everyone.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
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Received on Thu Aug 12 2004 - 15:17:28 BST

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