Notes from Megameeting 20th August 2007


John Garrett NASA
Katia Thomaz INPE, Brazil
Robert Downs Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), U Columbia
Bruce Ambacher NARA/ U Maryland
Simon Lambert STFC

All the discussion at this meeting was conducted by chat, so the following transcript of the meeting (with a few typos corrected) is complete.

BruceAmbacher >> (All): I will not be available 8/27 or 9/3
SimonLambert >> (All): It seems we might be a rather small group today - shall we proceed with B3.2 etc.?
JohnGarrett >> (All): Sure
SimonLambert >> (All): The logic of this section seems fine: B3.2 monitoring -> B3.3 does something as result of monitoring -> B3.4 shows it works
SimonLambert >> (All): But the intro to B3 emphasizes example of new file formats, while the detail of B3.2 is about obsolescence of existing RI.
SimonLambert >> (All): Is that a different situation, I wonder?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): I see it all in the context of monitoring and preparing for change if necessary
Katia Thomaz >> (All): hi.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): B3 general sends the reader to Appendix 5 for added details
SimonLambert >> (All): I also wondered whether there should be some clarification of terminology: policies/strategies/plans.
SimonLambert >> (All): A plan seems to be some intention you have to deal with a specific situation like a file format becoming obsolete.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): It possibly could be tightened but the overall theme is being watchful and prepared to meet any changes that could affect access to your information.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): B3.2 is ok for me. i agree of including designated community as david suggested.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Does anyone have any specific sentences/language they want changed? Katia just reminded us of adding designated community.
SimonLambert >> (All): Do we accept that B3.2 covers the case of e.g. new file formats - implicitly I suppose another format is obsolete.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I also agree with adding a phrase about Designated Community
JohnGarrett >> (All): 3.2 talks about using format registry to monitor obsolescence.  Will registries actually track that?
SimonLambert >> (All): That's a good point.
JohnGarrett >> (All): The appearance of new formats does not have to mean that old formats become obsolete.  At least not in the near term.
RobertDowns >> (All): I wonder whether planning for continuing professional development of staff is applicable for B3, generally, to ensure that technology and opportunities are monitored and  whether it might be  covered elsewhere.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Last paragraph in B3 talks about a plan/process for monitoring.  Staff is discussed elsewhere as I recall.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): bruce, what do you mean by B3?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): The introduction paragraphs labeled B3 Preservation Planning.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): ok.
JohnGarrett >> (All): Reading 3.2 again, I notice the need for 'notification'.  What is the intention there?  Who is being notified of the impending obsolescence?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Going back to OAIS, I think it is planning notifying processing staff of potential issue/problem
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Appendix 5 has repository requirements, activities, strategies .  It is 1 and 1/2 pages.
JohnGarrett >> (All): OK, I was just worried that it was becoming a required responsibility of the archive to let educate customers.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): the majorpoint is "subscription to a technology watch service"
JohnGarrett >> (All): I think we should probably make clear that notification is to Archive staff to more closely monitor or correct situation.
SimonLambert >> (All): Should B3.2 also cover more general rep info? e.g. the background knowledge of the DC?  Like when the standard textbook changes.
RobertDowns >> (All): However, the decision should be informed by the practices of the designated community.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): i think it depends on the plan
BruceAmbacher >> (All): What Simon is asking for is Appendix 2.
JohnGarrett >> (All): Yes I think it should cover also more general information.  Things like general context will change over time, but are harder to monitor well I think.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I agree, decisions on format changes should be informed by Designated Community.  May push for an earlier or later change of format, or change to a different format,  than would be expected with the general public.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Some of that detail is in Appendix 5.  We should make more references to App. 5 or reincorporate some/all of the text.  It was moved to focus on major theme in B3
Katia Thomaz >> (All): Representation information = structure information + semantic information
BruceAmbacher >> (All): The issue is how much change is internally driven and how much externally.  Repository may not be able to keep up with the DC desired changes and may have to adopt a slower, less expensive evolution.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): decision on format changescan come from designated community and repository staff
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Repository may face conflicting/competing DC desires
RobertDowns >> (All): Perhaps the evidence statement for B3.2 should have, at the end, "and practices of the designated community".
Simon Lambert >> (All): That looks good to me.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): But a repository could do that without formal connection to DC or documented consultation.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): TRAC tried to set up the general path for preservation planning, knowing such details would be worked out between repository and DC.  It was trying to set up process, not each specific path.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): ok to me too.
RobertDowns >> (All): Should the repository have at least a plan for engaging the community to inform their decisions?
Simon Lambert >> (All): I think so - the present text seems to place too much emphasis on purely technological obsolesence.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): it must be included in other item
Simon Lambert >> (All): Katia, what do you mean by "other item"?
BruceAmbacher >> (All): B4 is preservation maintenance.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): items of section A, for example
Simon Lambert >> (All): OK, A3.5 is relevant: "feedback from producers and users is sought and addressed"
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Several times we have looked at an item without knowing what items are around it to further develop the process
JohnGarrett >> (All): Decision of what to do in regard to format will ultimately remain with the repository.  The extent of holding may make it difficult for repository to convert holdings even if DC changes their preferred format.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): i agree
RobertDowns >> (All): If engaging the community on technology evolution issues is part of preservation planning, they might see the change coming and be able to plan for it.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): So, do B3 and its subparts, plus Appendix5, set up an adequate preservation planning process or do we need to add something?  If so, where?
Simon Lambert >> (All): I think that one key point is to work the DC judiciously into B3.2.
RobertDowns >> (All): I agree
BruceAmbacher >> (All): DC is referenced twice in second paragraph
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Obsolesence and understandability are both stated in terms of the DC.  
JohnGarrett >> (All): I'd like to see first sentence of 3.3 reworded a bit.  If you read it the wrong way, it says repository will make its change in unexpected ways.
Simon Lambert >> (All): Re 3.2 and DC: may be enough just to add ref to DC in evidence - just to make it explicit.
JohnGarrett >> (All): I thought maybe the comments had been directed at adding something about DC in the checklist entry.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Would something like this do?  "evidence of monitoring designated community changes."
BruceAmbacher >> (All): John, I see what you are saying but would that appear too restrictive - that other needs/issues/views would not be considered?
Katia Thomaz >> (All): monitoring environment changes, including dc
JohnGarrett >> (All): I don't necessarity see the need to add it to the checklist.  I think it would make it too restrictive.
RobertDowns >> (All): Including the reference to the DC in the evidence should be sufficient
BruceAmbacher >> (All): John, the rest of B3.3 explains "unexpected ways" but we should have someone wordsmith the first sentence.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): and there is another point: is not only techological obsolescence but semantic obsolescence too
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Katia, I think semantic is covered in B5 Information Management.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): remember rep info = structure info + semantic info
Katia Thomaz >> (All): B5 is about descriptive info
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Yes but doesn't preservation planning deal with structure and B5 with the semantic in terms of metadata, referential integrity and continuing understandability?
Katia Thomaz >> (All): i don´t think so...
Katia Thomaz >> (All): and if it is true, we must change rep info to structure info
Simon Lambert >> (All): Bruce, I don't know if you think this is reasonable but maybe you could write a short summary to the list about your view of the relations between B3/4/5, as a basis for discussion at the next Megameeting.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): I am just trying to remind folks, as David and Don can attest, that TRAC was develloped over a two year period and we struggled, as we are now, with just how comprehensive any one item should be.  We need to look from both "tree-level" and "10,000 feet" at the same time, knowing what issues are in other sections and subsections.
Katia Thomaz >> (All): for this reason, we must think a lot before changing things in TRAC
BruceAmbacher >> (All): It might be helpful to look at just the Criteria Checklist without any supporting text to see the flow and which parts to not flow as you (any of us) think it should.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): Simon, do you still want a writeup?  I must sign off.
BruceAmbacher >> (All): I will not be available for the next two calls (8/27 and 9/3)
Simon Lambert >> (All): Bruce, I think your last suggestion is a good one.  We will obviously need to return to this section at the next meeting.  But given you're not available then an email clarification would surely be valuable.
JohnGarrett >> (All): Bye, I'll be here next week, but not available on 9/3
BruceAmbacher >> (All): ok
Simon Lambert >> (All): Bye all, I will create page for minutes and make agreed change (only one I think!) to working document.
RobertDowns >> (All): Bye
Katia Thomaz >> (All): bye all and have a good week.

-- SimonLambert - 20 Aug 2007

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Topic revision: r2 - 2008-02-13 - KatiaThomaz
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