adam farquhar's Blog

During the past couple of weeks, there have been some thoughtful and well-informed discussions about Fido, Droid, Pronom, and file format identification in the comment stream of this blog.  They make interesting reading. In a recent comment, Shaun Zevin raises some points about the algorithmic complexity of the Droid and Fido pattern matching. From the […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

4th Dec 2010  12:17 PM  15874 Reads  No comments

I’m not at the OPF Hackathon this week in the Netherlands, and I’ll admit to being slightly envious of those who are!  The idea behind the Hackathon is to bring practioners and developers together for some intense exchange of goals and ideas, collect use cases, show each other tools and approaches, and do some quality […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

17th Nov 2010  10:01 AM  11243 Reads  No comments

Content is King.  The key to a good file format registry is not software; it’s not user interface; it’s not governance. The key is content, content, content.  We will all win if we have a registry whose content is usable, accurate, and comprehensive. I have a challenge for developers in the digital preservation community: can […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

10th Nov 2010  10:02 AM  16032 Reads  No comments

Fido is a simple format identification tool for digital objects that uses Pronom signatures. It converts signatures into regular expressions and applies them directly. Fido is free, Apache 2.0 licensed, easy to install, and runs on Windows and Linux.  Most importantly, Fido is very fast. In a subsequent post, I’ll describe the implementation in more […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

3rd Nov 2010  7:57 AM  31925 Reads  No comments

A couple of people have asked me if my experiments with Pronom and Fido would have been easier if Pronom had been available as RDF or LinkedData.  The short answer to this question is ‘no’.  Let me explain why. Parsing the Pronom XML is actually very easy.  The schema is straightforward and easy to understand.  […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

1st Nov 2010  12:05 PM  11855 Reads  No comments

Last time, I discussed Pronom and Droid. We had a quick look at the compiled (nearly unreadable) pattern information that the Droid signature file holds and the uncompiled (but still hard to read) representation that is stored in Pronom. In this post, I’ll run through the Pronom pattern language, show how to get access to […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

27th Oct 2010  10:03 AM  12659 Reads  No comments

Pronom and Droid, developed primarily at the National Archives (TNA) of the United Kingdom, have been a key contribution to the digital preservation community. Pronom is a registry of information about file formats. The TNA provides access to the Pronom registry on-line at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/PRONOM and maintains the information. Droid is a software application that uses […]

By adam farquhar, posted in adam farquhar's Blog

22nd Oct 2010  8:58 AM  13146 Reads  No comments