Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 790. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org  From: Francois Lachance
Subject: Thank you > Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on using academia.edu (36)  From: Gabriel Egan Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on using academia.edu (62)  From: Ian Johnson Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on preserving work (was: on using academia.edu) (36) -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2020-04-21 13:28:59+00:00 From: Francois Lachance Subject: Thank you > Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on using academia.edu Tim Thank you for your posting to Humanist about the porous relation between proprietary and open standards. You might be interested in my off-list reply to Gabriel yesterday. This in particular resonates with your call to be catholic in our tastes: Unfortunately I created the animation in a time before SVG and the Canadian situation at the time was not able to emulate the fine example of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, rightly insists on Open everything (Open Standards, Open Data, Open Access, Open Source) in all the projects Some day I hope to learn enough SVG to convert my little ditty ("Earth Washing") or team up with some skilled converters. I like you (I suspect) don't think that clean by emulator is the best way to go. Wholesale translation is the way to make the stranded assets not only readable and but also accessible. I think they might want to add Open Translators to their list. Or should it be Open Standards and Universal Translator? Thanks for making my thinking about this clearer. F ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ François Lachance Scholar-at-large Wannabe Professor of Theoretical and Applied Rhetoric http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance https://berneval.hcommons.org to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2020-04-21 12:58:38+00:00 From: Gabriel Egan Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on using academia.edu Dear HUMANISTs I agree with Tim Smithers that ". . . some good things do arrive first as proprietary products, PDF being one of them". But actually in the case of PDF I think the format became a good thing even before it became an Open Standard. A useful intermediate position for a format opens up when it is still proprietary but lots of different software manufacturers are making tools that are compatible with it. The really dangerous situation arises when a proprietary format is usable only with one software manufacturer's products, as with the Adobe's Shockwave and Flash formats. An object lesson here is the British Broadcasting Corporation's reliance on the proprietary Real Audio sound format for its Internet broadcasting beginning in 1996. It took a lot of time and money to unpick that foolish decision. The WAV sound format is also proprietary, I believe, but with so many software applications able to read and write WAV files this hardly matters. If you don't like one WAV-enabled tool, pick up another; no one company dominates the market for these tools. When PDF first became commonly used it functioned like a kind of digital rights management system in the sense that the creators of PDFs widely and correctly believed that files made in this format could not be edited by their recipients. This happened because Adobe made the PDF reader software free for anyone to download and charged a lot of money for the software, Acrobat, capable of writing PDFs. The sense of privilege amongst those capable of creating PDFs, notably publishers using them for proofs, was palpable, and for about a decade Adobe's business model for PDFs was built on this feeling. The greatest service done to the usefulness of PDF occurred before its transition in 2008 to an Open Standard, when in 2006 Microsoft's 'Word 2007' software offered an optional 'Save as PDF' add-on, which became a standard feature with 'Word 2010'. This broke the illusion that only institutions and corporations could create PDFs and, I suspect, it hastened the format's transition to an Open Standard. I get a similar smug sense of superiority surrounding the issuing of a DOI, which publishers seem to believe confers respectability and longevity on a digital object. In fact, even the scammiest of fake journals is able to register DOIs for its articles. See, for instance, DOI 10.33552/SJRR.2020.02.000540, the hilarious fake article "What's the deal with birds?" that Daniel T. Baldassarre managed to place with the 'Scientific Journal of Research and Reviews' (ISSN 2687-8097). Regards Gabriel Egan -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 2020-04-21 11:39:09+00:00 From: Ian Johnson Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.785: on preserving work (was: on using academia.edu) Francois, Gabriel, Tim, Could I go further and suggest that the important thing is not open standards per se but the separation of data and presentation. By all means use LockEmUpViz to explore your data, even to present results, but don't use it as storage even if you hope one day to persuade them to open the format. Manage data in a proper data management system, use any tool you like to get results (assuming you know/trust how it gets there) because research should be pushing the boundaries of the possible, but when it comes to thinking about he future save the data in a well-documented format, document the workflows, document the final look-and-feel, and in 50 years time someone's AI-powered personal assistant will be able to reproduce the product of your years of painstaking work in seconds ... To put that in perspective, an early 1970s database in my field was a flat fixed-width file (or deck of cards) on a mainframe with coded columns and a codesheet (inline or separate) into which you edited your analysis instructions, perhaps producing line printer character graphs (processing turnaround time 1 - 2 hours if you were not one of the lucky few with online disk storage and a terminal). Within a couple of decades that would be no more than a simple data file, easily migrated to an interactive analysis environment on the desktop, coloured graphs, pixel printing, even some mapping. Footnote: documentation standards often went downhill, because it became TOO easy to just create a new column and shove in any old text ... Regards Ian Ian Johnson | Honorary Associate Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Rm 445, Old Teachers College A22 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006 35, rue des Abbesses, Paris 75018 Mob: +33 6 95 34 14 66 _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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