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Humanist Archives: April 28, 2020, 8:08 a.m. Humanist 33.803 - proprietary formats

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 803.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2020-04-28 02:47:46+00:00
        From: Jonothan Halfin 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.797: proprietary formats

To all,

It seems from my admittedly narrow standpoint as a graduate student
that the plethora of open-source coding software available today makes
the determination of whether older archived digital media is still in
a usable format rather a moot concern.

I use LibreOffice which is freeware open-source, for all word
processing, PowerPoint/slideshow, database construction, or
spreadsheet construction needs for work, for academic pursuits and for
leisure interests. It is not the only open-source freeware available,
but I prefer it as it has a unique ability to save and retain files in
whatever format one requires, as well as opening and viewing them. (Or
editing them, if desired.)

With Acrobat Reader DC or Acrobat Reader XI, the ability to fill and
sign, to highlight and to sort via highlights into a table of contents
for notations, along with the ability to insert notes or grammatical
corrections, allows the end-user of this freeware to manipulate any
.pdf file desired with ease.

For graphical work, GimP is likely the best open-source freeware
available and allows one to turn any graphic and/or freeze any video
frame and turn it into a graphic, and then embed it, in any possible
graphic use file type one desires.

With such powerful freeware open-source tools available, it makes
little difference in any research I have done to date, whether the
source material I am seeking is archived in .pdf, in .doc, in .xls, in
.ppt, in .jpg, in .tif, in .png, in .gif, in .wpd, in.ps, or in.txt or
(or for that matter, any other commonly used file format.)

Perhaps there is a solid need for archived material to be in a common
format for the archive for where it is stored. Certainly, there is
also a good use for archives to maintain stored materials in multiple
file formats. As for myself, I appreciate it when the files are not
only in a .pdf but also in .epub or a .mobi file as well, for this
eases use on handheld devices.

Jonothan Halfin

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