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Persistent URL http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/50801
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Record Id 50801
Title Towards a Methodology for Software Preservation.
Abstract Software is a class of electronic object which is by its very nature digital and which is often a vital pre-requisite to the preservation of other electronic objects. However, software has many characteristics which make its preservation substantially more challenging than that of many other types of digital object. Software is inherently complex, normally composed of a very large number of highly interdependent components and often forbiddingly opaque for people other than those who were not involved directly in its development. Software is also highly sensitivity to its operating environment as a typical software artefact has a large number of other items upon which it depends including compilers, runtime enviroments, operating systems, documentation, and even hardware platform with its built in software stack. So preserving a piece of software may involve preserving much of the context as well. Handling these challenges is therefore a major barrier to the preservation of software. So much so that often, the preservation of software is seen as a secondary activity, less critical that the preservation of the data it manipulates. However, in many cases, such data is uninterpretable without the software to handle it; and recreating software from partial information can be a near impossible task. In this paper, we outline some methodological considerations on software preservation, and describe a framework for software preservation which can be used in conjunction with the OAIS standard to preserve software. We then describe a case study and the use of the SPECS tool - a prototypical system we have designed to record preservation properties of software in a development process.
Organisation ESC , ESC-IM , STFC
Keywords digital curation , digital libraries , software preservation , OAIS
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Language English (EN)
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Paper In Conference Proceedings In 6th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPres 2009), San Francisco, USA, 5-6 Oct 2009, (2009). IPres2009_Matthews_swpres.pdf 2009