Feedback requested on a collaborative digital preservation tool registry

Feedback requested on a collaborative digital preservation tool registry

As I have previously blogged, our community's attempts to share knowledge and experience of digital preservation tools has been a triumph of good-willed enthusiam over coordination and collaboration. Rather than pooling our tool knowledge we have spread it around the web in list after list and registry after registry. The result is not particularly helpful. Finding the right tool for the job, remains a challenge. COPTR (Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry) is an attempt to address this challenge by collating the contents of existing registries and then replacing them with a new community owned registry.



This registry will not belong to any individual organisation, instead it will be owned and supported by the community. It will be wiki based, making it easy for anyone in the community to contribute. And it will provide a feed of data for anyone wanting to exploit the registry information in creative ways.
This effort has the support of the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation initiative and is backed by an initial group of organisations who have agreed to contribute their registry data.
A demonstrator for COPTR has been produced and is available for viewing here. Feedback on this demonstrator, offers of support, or contributions of registry data would be greatly appreciated and should be posted as a comment on this blog, or emailed to "p (dot) r (dot) wheatley (at) leeds (dot) ac (dot) uk" as is appropriate.



  1. mauricederooij
    May 30, 2013 @ 6:34 am CEST

    What is your idea about hosting COPTR? Although it is owned and supported by the community there must be at least one body hosting it. There is a risk here, if the body is not willing or able to host it anymore, for example due to high traffic bills.

    In my opinion the wiki database should be shared in order for community members to synchronise it every so often to their own instance. More ideally the wiki database uses a master-slave method for realtime syncing. That way it should be possible to loadbalance the wiki between different instances.

  2. ross-spencer
    May 29, 2013 @ 11:17 pm CEST

    Hi Paul,

    I'll provide some positive and hopefully constructive feedback in a different thread as I think of it but the first real question that comes to mind reading these two responses, however, is what about Just Solve It? – Isn't there already a lot of the work in that Wiki to turn it into a tool registry as well? 

    Just Solve It: Software



  3. paul
    May 29, 2013 @ 3:19 pm CEST

    And I forgot to say thanks for pointing me to your tool list! I've added it to my meta tool list….

  4. paul
    May 29, 2013 @ 2:58 pm CEST

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for adding your thoughts!

    Here's my index of the best tool pages. In my opinion, most of them aren't very good. There is loads of duplication between them. Some have very little detail. Most are really out of date. Few provide any useful interface for quickly browsing to what you're interested in. Trawling that lot for a useful tool would take a long time. This isn't a criticism of those that have helpfully shared what they know about tools. But it does suggest that individually we don't have the necessary effort to build a good tool registry. If we worked together, I'm confident that the situation would be different.

    What was the problem with UDFR and GDFR? Wasn't it an ease of use thing, rather than the issue of centralisation? Lots of people contributed to Just Solve

    Clearly just creating yet another registry won't solve the problem, as you illustrate with the standards diagram. That's why we want organisations to do this, and already have some initial committers signed up to do just that.



  5. garymcgath
    May 29, 2013 @ 2:41 pm CEST

    Having been burned on GDFR and UDFR, I'm wary of centralized solutions. This XKCD cartoon provides a warning about what usually happens when trying to consolidate standards. Is spreading knowiedge around the Web really a bad thing? It allows more people to contribute than are likely to with any one registry. What could be more useful with less ongoing effort is a well-maintained index of the best tool pages.

    Having said that, I'll add that you're welcome to use anything you find worthwhile in my own list of software for extracting format information .

Leave a Reply

Join the conversation