Naar aanleiding van de blog van gisteren met David Rosenthal’s commentaar op deze blog, kreeg ik een reactie van René Voorburg, betrokken bij het project webarchivering van de KB. De reactie paste niet in het ‘reactie’-vak van de blog, dus publiceer ik hem hier graag als gastblog:
[Citaat van Rosenthal uit vorige blog:] "My statement that significant formats have not gone obsolete over the last 15 years is not a theory but a *fact*."
[Commentaar Voorburg:] That sounds like circular reasoning. Perhaps 'significant formats' are defined as formats that have not gone obsolete?
I have some personal experience with files gone obsolete or not being able to use older files anymore. In each of these cases I seriously tried to fix the problem but didn't keep a record. So unfortunately my experiences are lacking detail and preciseness, but perhaps sharing them will be of some anecdotal value. The relevant context is that at home I used Apple Systems 7 up to 9, moved to MacOSX, then used Linux as my primary OS for about a year and then switched back to MacOSX. At work I've used anything from DOS up to Windows XP. I am a pretty knowledgeable computer user, for example experienced in various programming languages.
- At a certain moment in time I discovered I couldn't open some pictures I shot years before with one of the first digital camera's, the Apple Quicktake 150. I couldn't open them with any multiple format handling image programs (Graphic Converter, I recall).
- The images I shot with the Quicktake 150 that I did manage to open nowadays all seem to have a faulty (or is it?) embedded color profile. Colors have become way too much saturated. I recollect the colors used to be normal.
- I have (deleted in the meantime) some movies I wasn't able to play anymore (because they were encoded with a Sorenson-codec I didn't have access to anymore, this was on Linux). I don't know if these would have been accessible on current day MacOSX systems.
- I've lost mails or parts of mails that were saved in a proprietary mailbox used (only!) by Microsoft Outlook for Mac when trying to migrate to another more common system (mbox).
- I've experienced that newer versions of MS Word on Windows weren't able to open some files that were created with an older version of MS Word for Windows.
- It is still quite common that I can't use a website because it was created for Internet Explorer which I don't (always) have access to.
Perhaps in a professional environment all these issues could have been overcome. In hindsight every solution is easy but hindsight usually means you are too late already …
René Voorburg, KB web archiving project
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