Friday, 21 August 2009

Monday, 17 August 2009

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2009

Just back from the 2009 Balisage Symposium on Processing XML Efficiently and Balisage XML Conference : the presentations and updated papers will be published over the next few weeks. They were all very informative and to a high standard. Topics of particular interest included:

Performance of XML-based applications

One of the components of their XML-based publishing system discussed was the Schema, Addressing, and Storage System (SASS) - a data store that provides a unified view of metadata and content for publications they host which relies on the concept of storing metadata and related resources in a file-system based set of XML files along with the use of XQuery to feed these resources to an XSLT-based display layer.

XML in the browser

Explored how new XML vocabularies could be integrated into the browser. Thereby providing a new way forward for XML in the Browser.

Towards markup support for full GODDAGs and beyond: the EARMARK approach

Examined Overlapping markup and the utilisation of the standoff approach to markup to address the issues created by the purely hierarchical approach.

TNTBase: Versioned Storage for XML

Presented an open-source versioned XML database created by the integration of Berkeley DB XML into the Subversion Server.

Agile Business Objects Management Application for Electronic Records Archive Transfer Process

How XForms and Genericode are assisting the National Archives and Records Administration(NARA) in their goal to provide archivists with a modernised system with automatic workflow for the digital archive business process

A practical introduction to EXPath: Collaboratively Defining Open Standards for Portable XPath Extensions.

Covered the benefits to be derived from a Collaborative approach to the definition and implementation of standardised extensions in XPath which the core XML technologies such as Xquery and XSLT, Xproc, XForms would be able to utilise in a uniform way.

Automatic XML Namespaces

Explored the difficulties with Namespaces and proposed ways of addressing them.

Describing agents: EAC-CPF

Draft schema and documentation for Encoded Archival Context - Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families is now online.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The digital estate

A couple of weeks ago Dave Thompson at the Wellcome mentioned to me that he had been interviewed by the BBC's world service on the subject of digital wills - see a post on the subject on Wellcome's blog. I also stumbled on some interesting references relating to digital estate planning via the Law Professors Blog Network, which includes a blog dedicated to wills, trusts and estates.

Many of us have digital materials online (or offline) that we want to pass on to friends and family. By outlining where materials are and supplying account credentials, we can ensure this happens. It could be done in regular estate planning, or simply keeping a note somewhere safe (and telling the right person where to find it!). There are also online services springing up to help people make arrangements for passing on the relevant information. Research libraries have an obvious interest here; digital material is an important part of a person's archive, and unless someone knows it exists, where to find it, and how to access it there is little prospect of saving it for future generations.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Secure Delete

So, I have a bunch of files on one offline system. I transfer them to another offline system. They were on some media in between and that media is "walkable" and so I don't want those files to remain on that media for very long. I could just delete them, but probably better to securely delete them. Then if the media walks, inspite of my good intentions, locking it up, etc. the data doesn't. Hooray!