[rfc-i] Digital Preservation Considerations for the RFC Series -- draft-flanagan-rfc-preservation-00.txt is posted

Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) rse at rfc-editor.org
Wed Sep 10 08:34:22 PDT 2014


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On 9/9/14, 8:04 PM, John Levine wrote:
>> As per usual, top-to-bottom reviews* are more than welcome, but
>> if you have a particular issue you would like to see discussed in
>> more detail by the community, please pull it out into its own
>> thread on this list.
> 
> Hi.  I think the analysis is fine as far as it goes, but it misses 
> some stuff.  In particular, it seems to me that it's at least as 
> important to save the format and tool documentation as the
> software because a significant way to recover ancient stuff is to
> reverse engineer the tools using more modern technology.

Hi John,

I'm reviewing the draft, and wondering if the problem is that I'm
specifying xml2rfc as the tool to preserve over a more broad "whatever
tools are required to verify the XML source and render the publication
formats"?

I have added a point in the "Particular preservation efforts" list to
include mention of preserving documentation as well.

Will this revised text work alleviate your concern?

- ---
Given the need to balance cost and complexity with retention of
information for historic, legal, and informational purposes,
preservation efforts should focus on the XML canonical format, the
PDF/A-3 format, and the xml2rfc tool and its documentation.  All other
formats and the overall computing environment should be stored as
described in "best effort" data retention, which should in turn be
described in the appropriate vendor contract for the RFC Publisher.

Particular preservation efforts should be made by:

  * choosing a format designed for archiving (PDF/A-3)
  * embedding the canonical XML format within the PDF/A-3 file
  * adding a digital signature and checksum for the canonical XML and
the PDF/A-3 files
  * retaining all major versions of the tools and the associated
documentation used to acquire and ingest an RFC
  * partnering with other digital archives around the world to mirror
copies of the target data
- ---
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