The idea behind DigiPresHack is to have recurring events in hackathon style where we build up the information we need to do digital preservation better. These could be regular fixtures alongside conferences (iPres, IIPC GA, IDCC, etc.) but would also have a strong remote-participation element. There would be three main outcomes:
- More information documenting more formats, risks and other preservation issues.
- Better tools.
- More individuals with the skill to contribute to the above.
i.e. there would always be an educational/introductory strange to help people learn about the issues and learn how to contribute to the registries/data sources.
These are tasks that only require basic technical skills and a willingness to learn how to document their findings. We would perform basic tasks where we create test files and check how they are rendered.
- Making example test files.
- Checking if existing files still render in different software versions.
- This could also include using the UKWA format index to hunt down the more obscure formats.
- Taking screenshots.
- Adding test files to a suitable corpus (e.g. OPF format corpus).
- Adding documentation to File Formats Wiki where it concerns formats and access etc.
- Adding documentation to COPTR where it concerns running preservation tasks (rather than access)
Goal is to better understand formats and software dependencies and document genuine preservation risks.
Improving tools, making new ID signatures in forms suitable for PRONOM etc.