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

David Giaretta david at giaretta.org
Tue Aug 8 13:54:29 UTC 2017

"Understand" has always been tricky, which is why we included "use". 


For example given a digital object which is an encoding of a piece of music,
it should be possible to USE it to play that music by ensuring there is the
appropriate RepInfo e.g. a piece of software. 

Understanding the music may be trickier to define.


My hope was that by adding "Preservation Objectives" the Archive could be
clear about what it meant when it claimed to be preserving the object. 


Don, I think one has to read whole sentences and put the definitions in
where appropriate rather than just talking about common usage of words.


My aim was to allow an Archive make clear claims about what it is doing, and
allow such claims to be verifiable - which will be important for the ISO
16363 update.  




From: MOIMS-DAI [mailto:moims-dai-bounces at mailman.ccsds.org] On Behalf Of D
or C Sawyer
Sent: 08 August 2017 14:01
To: MOIMS DAI List <moims-dai at mailman.ccsds.org>
Subject: Re: [Moims-dai] Suggested text for "Preservation Objectives"




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
<mailto:garrett at his.com> > wrote:



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


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,



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
<mailto:moims-dai at mailman.ccsds.org> >
Subject: Re: [Moims-dai] Suggested text for "Preservation Objectives"




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





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