[Top] [All Lists]


2005-11-22 09:16:10
The ability to read a collection of material at some date in the future
is purely a function of critical mass.

CERN has several Tb of data on obsolete magnetic media, the probability
of it ever being read is small, the data formats are complex and hard to
read, interpreting the data would require knowledge of the details of
the experiment.

The CERN data is of archival interest only, there will no doubt be the
occasional grad student that needs to look at the data but no more than

The idea that society will forget how to interpret HTML or PDF within
any timescale relevant to the IETF is distinctly odd. If people have
forgotten how to read HTML in 100 years time you can be certain that
nobody is going to care what the IETF was doing at the time.

-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org 
[mailto:ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org] On 
Behalf Of Julien(_dot_)Maisonneuve(_at_)alcatel(_dot_)com
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 5:27 AM
To: Douglas Otis
Cc: ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: Re: ASCII art

Douglas Otis wrote:

I have various documents more than twenty years old that used the  
popular word processors of the day to introduce graphs and 
With perhaps the exception of nroff, few of these documents can be 
recovered due to the obsolescence of the word processor.  At times, 
printing a page involves recreating an obsolete operating system's 
font libraries.  Not everyone has adopted the use of a graphical 
outputs, but use simply ASCII as sometimes afforded 
portable devices.  
While perhaps future graphical renderings will adopt persistent 
conventions, but will the application that generates the 
output still 
be available?

This issue of formats is a non-issue for a sizeable 
organisation like the IETF. It is always possible to migrate 
endangered formats to more modern versions using the many 
translation tools available, it just may cost a bit of 
manpower/money if done in due time, and more if done later. 
Many other organisations already do so, why would the IETF be 
exceptional there ?
And even then, 20 years ago you could use PostScript 
documents that are perfectly readable today, just like I 
expect PDF to stay for a very long time, at least as a 
readable format.


Ietf mailing list

Ietf mailing list

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>