Jpylyzer software finalist voor digitale duurzaamheidsprijs 11 Sep 2014

Vandaag maakte de Britse Digital Preservation Coalition de finalisten bekend die in de race zijn voor de Digital Preservation Awards 2014. Deze prijs is in 2004 in het leven geroepen om aandacht te vestigen op initiatieven die een belangrijke bijdrage leveren aan het toegankelijk houden van digitaal erfgoed.

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When (not) to migrate a PDF to PDF/A 27 Aug 2014

It is well-known that PDF documents can contain features that are preservation risks (e.g. see here and here). Migration of existing PDFs to PDF/A is sometimes advocated as a strategy for mitigating these risks. However, the benefits of this approach are often questionable, and the migration process can also be quite risky in itself. As I often get questions on this subject, I thought it might be worthwhile to do a short write-up on this.

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How to save a web page to the Internet Archive 02 Aug 2014

This short tutorial shows how to take a snapshot of a web page, and save it to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

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Why can't we have digital preservation tools that just work? 31 Jan 2014

One of my first blogs here covered an evaluation of a number of format identification tools. One of the more surprising results of that work was that out of the five tools that were tested, no less than four of them (FITS, DROID, Fido and JHOVE2) failed to even run when executed with their associated launcher script. In many cases the Windows launcher scripts (batch files) only worked when executed from the installation folder. Apart from making things unnecessarily difficult for the user, this also completely flies in the face of all existing conventions on command-line interface design. Around the time of this work (summer 2011) I had been in contact with the developers of all the evaluated tools, and until last week I thought those issues were a thing of the past. Well, was I wrong!

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Identification of PDF preservation risks: analysis of Govdocs selected corpus 27 Jan 2014

This blog follows up on three earlier posts about detecting preservation risks in PDF files. In part 1 I explored to what extent the Preflight component of the Apache PDFBox library can be used to detect specific preservation risks in PDF documents. This was followed up by some work during the SPRUCE Hackathon in Leeds, which is covered by this blog post by Peter Cliff. Then last summer I did a series of additional tests using files from the Adobe Acrobat Engineering website. The main outcome of this more recent work was that, although showing great promise, Preflight was struggling with many more complex PDFs. Fast-forward another six months and, thanks to the excellent response of the Preflight developers to our bug reports, the most serious of these problems are now largely solved1. So, time to move on to the next step!

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