FW: HTML and archiving documents

Subject: FW: HTML and archiving documents
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 08:46:18 -0600

Geoff Hart asked me to forward this to the list:

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Geoff Hart [SMTP:geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca]
>Sent: Monday, March 30, 1998 2:32 AM
>To: Huber, Mike
>Subject: HTML and archiving documents
>As Mike Huber noted, the greatest strength of producing docs in HTML
>is that the files are in ASCII, and will last (i.e., be readable)
>virtually forever. All you need is a good word processor and a bit of
>skill with macros to convert them into the wordpro's native format,
>formatting intact. Not necessarily a trivial task, but a good deal
>easier than working from some unknown flavor of MSWord that was
>supported for only a single service release.
>One solution we've adopted at FERIC is to archive all our old
>documents on a recordable CD along with the full version of the
>operating system and the wordprocessor that we used to create the
>files. So long as the OS still runs on future hardware, we can always
>reopen the files and export them in any suitable format, from ASCII
>to WordX. If we can open the files directly with our current
>software, so much the better; if not, we can always reinstall the OS
>and the software. I doubt we'd ever encounter a situation in which we
>couldn't reinstall the OS to get at the files, at least not for a
>good 10 years from now. (I'm saying "10" based on the number of 286
>PCs and 68030 Macs still working productively 10 years after their
>introduction.) In my context, I'm dubious about how useful most of
>the information will be in 10 years, but I'm enough of a packrat that
>I tend to keep it anyway, just in case.
>Caveat: In some industries, such as mechanical engineering, you do
>indeed have to archive the information for 20 years or even longer.
>[Warning: The next info. comes from a 3-year-old
>conversation with a colleague, so the principle is correct
>but the facts are likely a tad shakey.] The aerospace industry, for
>example, commonly keeps _all versions_ of its airplane docs archived
>until there are no longer any of the planes flying anywhere in the
>world. That's in case they ever need to go back to original documents
>for the sake of a lawsuit, post-mortem safety analysis, repair of an
>antique machine, etc. I've heard (anecdotal) that heavy equipment
>manufacturers do much the same thing.
>--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
>geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

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