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Fiche de veille (Projet de recherche) :

The UVC (Universal Virtual Computer) for Images

Titre du projet de recherche
UVC for Images
Lieu du projet de recherche
National Library of the Netherlands, Den Haag
Mode de participation
1- Conservation des arts médiatiques

Veilleur : Corina MacDonald

The life span of a digital object is bound by its dependency upon a complex and rapidly changing technological environment. One of the most impelling long term digital preservation strategies is that of emulation, enabling digital objects to be retrieved in their original form in the future regardless of inevitable software and hardware changes. However, one issue with the emulation strategy has been the question of how to design an emulator that will be capable of running on future unknown configurations. Raymond Lorie’s proposed Universal Virtual Computer aims to resolve this issue by developing a conceptual machine design which can be implemented on current or future platforms.

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) in collaboration with IBM undertook a project to develop a Java-based UVC for Images, intended to demonstrate the feasibility of the UVC approach and to potentially provide the groundwork for a preservation strategy for the KB e-depot. Although there were serious performance issues, the UVC was functional and was able to emulate files in JPEG and GIF formats. Support for more formats is readily possible once the decoders are created. The UVC-based preservation approach utilizes a combination of emulation (via the UVC itself) and migration (via the logical representation of file formats in technology-independent schema).

The UVC for Images can only support the preservation of static content file formats, not those with dynamic content or behaviours. Even so, it is an interesting step towards a preservation model that is technology independent. Future development of the UVC will require performance improvements, as well as ongoing activity to create and share format decoders. The UVC demo tool can be downloaded and installed at home.

Liens :

UVC for Images
[Online] (Page consulted on March 14, 2007)

Download Demo
[Online] (Page consulted on March 14, 2007)

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