This weekend I’ve been playing a bit with Xena, a preservation application from the National Archives of Australia. It takes the unusual approach of “normalizing” files by putting them into an XML wrapper that contains metadata.
Macintosh installation from a DMG file is a very nice touch, but the application’s error messages aren’t high on user-friendliness (and I’ll admit JHOVE isn’t great in that department either). One hint which can get new users a long way is that reading the Help documentation, in particular following all the steps under “Getting started / Setting up plugins,” is mandatory. It would be nice if they’d mention that in the Readme file. Since at least some of the plugins shouldn’t be needed if you aren’t analyzing files of a specific type (e.g., the FLAC plugin for audio), it would be nice if their absence didn’t cause an error.
When launching the application, I got the error message “Cannot find default plugins directory. Try running Xena Lite from the same directory as xena.jar.” There’s no Xena Lite in the installation, but I solved the problem by going to the application directory that held Xena.app and entering the following command line:
ln -s ./macx86/plugins plugins
This is for the Mac version; a different directory would be applicable for a different operating system. I’m puzzled why it made me do this, but it made the error message go away and got
Tools > Plugin preferences working again, which it had been before. Odd.