[Moims-dai] Suggested text for "Preservation Objectives" concept.

D or C Sawyer Sawyer at acm.org
Tue Aug 8 13:01:21 UTC 2017


There is much that John has said below that I agree with, including his suggestion to downplay client systems in the manner proposed, and for the same reasons.  However his disagreement with my interpretation of requirement #4 brings up a point that I wrestled with.  There is a difference between  ‘understanding a music file’ and ‘understanding a music file in the context that it was performed’.  Assuming the music file is the Content Information, the addition of the context (aspect of PDI) certainly adds an element of understanding to the preservation of the Content Information.  However I still disagree that most people would say that to play a music file is the same as understanding that music file.  This equates ‘play/use’ with ‘understanding’ and does two things: it allows the requirement to ‘understand’ to become virtually anything one wants, and it puts the focus back  on what the Consumer is going to do with the file rather than what the Archive needs to do to preserve the file with enough Rep. Info. that the music can be reproduced (rendered) with sufficient fidelity to the original over time.

I have suggested, by implication of my document’s proposed set of requirements on an Archive (at the end of the document), that the minimum the Archive needs to do to preserve this Content Information (apart from its context, etc.) is to ensure that the digital representation of the analogue sounds remains understandable to the Archive (or to experts it can assemble as needed).  This gives it the ability to migrate it to new forms of digital representation if needed.  At this point one could get into a discussion as to how well one digital representation compares with another, and what would be the significant properties that need to be preserved, but that is not the point I’m addressing.  I’m emphasizing my view that what is important for preservation (of this Content Information) is the Archive’s ability to understand and maintain the digital representation, and not any Consumer’s ability to ‘understand’ or ‘play’ or ‘use’ the Content Information. This latter is an Access and use of the DIP issue, which is addressed in Requirement #6.  Stated another way, I’m arguing that it is always necessary for the Archive to understand the Rep. Info (or to be able to access experts who do), but only sometimes is it also necessary to ensure there is understanding of the result of the application of the Rep. Info. to the Content Data (i.e. the Content Information).  A prime example of the latter is research results submitted for preservation such as images intended to convey some findings.


ps  Unfortunately I’m unable to join the telecon. I hope I’ve conveyed my views sufficiently clearly to be useful.

On Aug 8, 2017, at 1:58 AM, John Garrett <garrett at his.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I generally agree with Don’s analysis of the situation. 
> The primary thing I disagree with is Don’s interpretation that for example a music recording is not understandable in any normal sense and is therefore incompatible with mandatory requirement #4 and OAIS archives.  My understanding of what “understand” a musical recording is that I can play/use that recording.  I think the same could be said of any type of “art”.  What does it mean to understand an of (or an original) painting?  And does that definition of understand change when you’re viewing a Rubens vs. a Fra Angelico vs. Van Gogh vs. a Picasso vs. a Rothko, etc?
> I would also disagree his discussion of copyrighted works that do not allow changes.  I think MR#4 and OAIS Archives appropriately include and address them also.  I think in many if not most cases you may not want to make changes to the original work even in the long-term.  That does not mean that additional “metadata” can’t be added to address the need to continue to understand that item.
> I definitely agree with Don that the Independently Understandable requirement exists not only at deposit time but is a continually evaluated requirement.  
> One new view I’d add at this point.  I think one problem is that in the updates we are emphasizing use by client systems too much.  And we are viewing client systems as actors completely separated from the actual persons they are acting for.  “Client system” is only used 4 times in OAIS in definition/text describing Consumers and Producers.
> For example:
> Producer:  The role played by those persons or client systems that provide the information to be preserved.  This can include internal or external OAIS persons or systems.
> I suggest we change to:
> Producer:  The role played by those persons, or client systems acting for those persons, that provide the information to be preserved.  This can include internal or external OAIS persons or systems.
> I think adding this phrase in the 4 spots will allow us to no longer have to have discussions about systems not being able to understand.
> I also think this helps to keep the distinction between that OAIS is interested primarily in preservation of the information and is less interested in access and tools for use of the information.  Access and use is certainly important for archives, but is not the primary focus of an OAIS. New tools can be developed to support access and use of information if it is preserved and understood, but the information will not be accessed if it isn’t there any more because it wasn’t preserved.
> We can discuss this more at DAI webex later today.  
> Peace and joy,
> -JOhn
> From: MOIMS-DAI [mailto:moims-dai-bounces at mailman.ccsds.org] On Behalf Of D or C Sawyer
> Sent: Monday, August 7, 2017 3:18 AM
> To: MOIMS DAI List <moims-dai at mailman.ccsds.org>
> Subject: Re: [Moims-dai] Suggested text for "Preservation Objectives" concept.
> All,
> I’ve generated a short document that details my conclusions, both positive and negative, along with my analysis leading to my conclusions.  I’m not comfortable with the approach that mixes ‘understand’ with ‘use’, as I discuss.
> Cheers-
> Don
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