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Re: papers for archive.org

In theory, everything you said is true.
Yet, I'll wager that a good 95% of the scientific literature from the 16th 
Century is still awaiting conversion to a digital medium, and that doesn't even 
include a substantial part of the literature from the 17th-20th Century.  The 
date when that backlog will be converted is anyone's guess.

Converting PDFs into a "new improved" format is the easy part.  Converting 
everything that has already been put into PDF format is another matter entirely.

The various disciplines in the scientific community should convene a conference 
and "standardized" a version of PDF (I vote for ver. 5), and require that all 
archives use that format ad infinitum.  Adobe would be xxxxxxxx bricks over 
such an treasonous act by their own consumers, but legally the company would 
have no way to retaliate.  No one would be infringing on their business (they 
could still sell new versions).


---------- Original Message ----------
From: John Wilkins <john.s.wilkins@gmail.com>
To: dinosaur <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: papers for archive.org
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 12:15:23 +1000

On 28/04/2010, at 12:07 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 28th, 2010 at 11:49 AM, "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> 
> wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 Apr 2010, Phillip Bigelow wrote:
>>> 100 years from now, there had better be something that can read ALL
>> pdf 
>>> files, or this "archival" concept is a joke.
>> Adobe Reader 75.0
> 'Google Adobe Reader 75.0' more likely.

Having worked in electronic archiving at one time, allow me to say that data 
formats are transient anyway, and that material will be converted as a kind of 
standing wave of information from one older format to a newer one, so long as 
the formats are not proprietary and secret. PDF is relatively open, so except 
for the proprietary features for Reader 75.0, the content will be revised into 
some new format, such as EPub or DjVu periodically. Reliance on a single format 
is both fragile and unnecessary.

So if you put it out in PDF, expect it to be converted to some other format in 
due course.
John Wilkins, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Bond Uni 
"Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows 
suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'." 

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