2010.01.15 13:40 "Re: [Tiff] eta for bigtiff support?", by Phil Harvey

2010.01.21 01:48 "Re: [Tiff] eta for bigtiff support?", by Gary McGath

We helped drive the BigTIFF effort, we helped with technical issues, we contributed continuously, and said we supported the design/effort. Are you expecting a SuperBowl ad and press release?

I think I need to reply to this in a bit more detail to make the issue clear. There are various format registries around, which include data on what the authority behind a format is. This information is significant for preservation purposes, since people need to know what the definitive source of information is.

Adobe is the definitive source behind TIFF, which is already a problem from a preservation standpoint, since they haven't touched the standard in years, and there are de facto changes which have to be taken into account. JHOVE attempts to stick by the standard, but in some cases has had to accept other data types, which have proven to make more sense than the original. These changes have not become part of Adobe's TIFF standard simply by being discussed here. That's a problem for long-term clarity in just what constitutes well-formed and valid TIFF.

Folding BigTIFF into the standard, and claiming that it's part of the Adobe standard because of discussions on a mailing list, will fly even less. Quite simply, no registry is going to regard discussions on a mailing list as a corporate endorsement of a standard. They aren't going to be moved by ridicule.

Gary McGath
Digital Library Software Engineer
Harvard University Libraries, Office for Information Systems