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Re: [xml-dev] The year is 2027, and we need to examine archived XML documents from 2007 ...

Xml is text. Archival text storage is a well understood issue. Rag paper 
in a proper climate has a demonstrated life of centuries, which can be 
reasonably extrapolated to millennia. And you get to store not only your 
metadata but your decoding instructions the same way.

Len Bullard wrote:
> That was the kind of problem that led me to SGML originally.  NASA could not
> recover Mariner data.   The US Army was still selling HAWKs with carbon
> copied documents typed in the late 50s and so on.   From the time when
> hardware was so diverse that software had to bridge the chasm until now,
> there have been very dramatic improvements.  At every meeting, the phase
> 'long lifecycle' was heard.  The fortunate occurrence was the conjunction of
> long lifecycle and interoperability in the same discussion as people began
> to realize the low hanging fruit with the most sugar was data portability,
> thus markup, despite the hairy near run beginning came to the fore.  At the
> same time, hypertext was a fad, then a possibility and now a necessity as
> the problem of intersystem controls was realized and solved, once again,
> with data portability (aka, loose coupling) emerging as the low hanging
> fruit.
> So today we are in pretty good shape with the complexity of operation
> possible over the web testifying that we can do what we thought two decades
> ago would not be done in our lifetimes.  On the other hand...
> The challenge is still that as we can do more, we do more.  When we were
> working on the US Navy MID, John Junod asked about virtual reality and the
> team thought that so far in the future, we wouldn't discuss it.  Less than
> three years later, VRML was born.  Now we have Second Life, et al and
> Serious Games plus real-time visualization, so the scope of reuse and the
> range of presentations keeps increasing.   Integration is deeper and more
> co-dependent. We also are doing more server-side representation (eg, ASP
> user controls) that have an XML representation but where the metaMeat isn't
> what we need.  The beef is in the code behind and the information is not
> declared; it is computed.
> As that happens, the ability of XML to be the sole bridge is diminishing
> because the dreaded 'S' work really is a problem in that true
> interoperability and long lifecycle semantics remain the challenge for the
> 2027 or 2127 timeframe.  We are pushing more and more complex relationships
> into ever smaller devices with different kinds of storage models.  Getting
> it out in 20 years may be precisely the same problem you have with your mag
> strips and I have with my 9-track tapes. 
> Medium is mechanical and XML isn't much help there.  Or is it?
> len
> From: Paul Kiel [mailto:paul@xmlhelpline.com] 
> From a long term storage view - and for an archivist, that means 2127
> instead of 2027, xml is still ideal.  And the possibility that parsers may
> or may not be around in 2127 is perhaps even expected.
> One must also think in terms of the physical memory.  I found an old "mag
> card" in a collection of materials back in my archivist days.  It was
> basically a punch card sized strip of magnetic material.  No one could read
> it.  I even called the local IBM site (who logo on the card told me they
> manufacturer of the card) and they could not read it either.  So I was faced
> with either throwing out the data or paying a company an exorbitant amount
> of money to try and find equipment to read the thing. 
> Paul
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