pef vs dng

Graydon oak at
Wed Oct 7 21:07:07 EDT 2009

On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 12:31:57AM -0400, Doug Franklin scripsit:
> Graydon wrote:
>> Well, coming up on 4 decades, we have roff, and all its various --
>> nroff, troff, groff -- descendants.  The examples in the original Bell
>> Labs papers work with current shipping open source groff.
> OK, that's one. ... out of how many?

I mention it merely to raise the counter-example to impossibility.

> And let's not forget, how'd you store that *roff input file?  Paper
> tape?  Punch cards?  14" open-air disk packs?  9-track tape in any of
> three or four different densities?  8" floppy disks in any of a dozen
> or  more formats?  5.25" floppies in even more formats?  1.44"
> floppies in a  handful of formats?  Any of fifty or more varieties of
> "consumer" tape  products? ...

Copy all your digital files forward; this is the way, the truth, and the
life with digital files.

> For paper, you need the paper.  For any digital storage medium, you
> need  an entire, *operational* system including peripherals and
> software.

For paper, you need paper, reasonably humidity, dark, lack of ants,
termites, wasps, weevils, and silverfish, and the blessed absence of
fungus.  For truly long-term, you need the blessed absence of oxygen and
atmospheric sulfates.

It's not an easy problem; all things come in time to die.

-- Graydon

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