A file format wiki

Last November Jason Scott and Dan Tobias led a one-month intensive “Just Solve the Problem” group effort, bringing in numerous people in the digital preservation world, to crowdsource information about file formats. By the end of the month there was a lot of information, but of course only so much can be done in a short time. After November updates went largely, but not completely, quiet.

This wiki has now become a permanent one, with a new URL. Here’s the announcement.

In a recent article in the Code4Lib Journal, I discussed the shortcomings of past approaches to building a file format registry. GDFR and UDFR were funded for a limited amount of time and had very ambitious designs, and they weren’t able to keep going. PRONOM has been more successful but also has trouble keeping up. The archiveteam.org format wiki uses existing tools and dispenses with formal structuring beyond what a wiki provides, and it could prove more viable in the long run. It’s also uneven and perhaps always will be, but it can keep improving as long as there are contributors.

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