Re-tailoring FITS

Re-tailoring FITS

File Information Tool Set (FITS) is the Harvard Library's "Swiss army knife" for file characterization. Created originally for use with the library's Digital Repository System (DRS), it's been made available as open source, and several other institutions have made use of it. The OPF online hackathon last November included some work on it, and recently the Google Code repository ( which is the official home of Harvard's FITS was cloned to a Github repository ( as a possible step toward more community participation. There was more work on FITS at the March hackathon in Leeds, including initial work on integrating Apache Tika.

I've started work under a SPRUCE grant to continue improvements on FITS and have forked it to another Github repository ( for the duration of this work. (The older "openfits" repository which I created in November should now be considered deprecated; the new one is a fresh fork.) Part of this project is to get community input on what will improve FITS and, if time allows, to work it in. Among other things, I'm looking for input into what FITS video metadata should look like. There's already been some discussion of this on my own blog ( Feel free to try out the changes as they're committed to the repository and to comment on any aspect of the project.

I'm a former software developer for the Harvard Library and currently have some sort of status as an inactive temp employee, but all remarks here are my own and not those of any part of Harvard University.


1 Comment

  1. benfinoradin
    April 3, 2013 @ 1:44 pm CEST

    Echoing Ross Spencer and Kevin Glick's comments on the file formats blog, using the output of Mediainfo as the baseline standard of what to include in FITS video characterization would be an utterly huge improvement.

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