We wish to provide support for as many file formats as possible. Over time, items stored in UVicSpace will be preserved as is, using a combination of time-honored techniques for data management and best practices for digital preservation. As for specific formats, however, the proprietary nature of many file types makes it impossible to guarantee preservation. Put simply, our policy for file formats is:
When a file is uploaded, we assign it one of the following categories:
By "support" we mean "make usable in the future, using whatever combination of techniques (such as migration, emulation, etc.) is appropriate given the context of need." For supported formats, we might choose to bulk-transform files from a current format version to a future one, for instance. Because we can't predict which services will be necessary in the future, we continually monitor formats and techniques to ensure we can accommodate needs as they arise.
In the meantime, we can choose to support a format if we can gather enough documentation to capture how the format works. In particular, we collect file specifications, descriptions and code samples and make those available in the UVicSpace Format Reference Collection below. Unfortunately, this means that proprietary formats with nonpublic materials cannot be supported in UVicSpace.
We will still preserve these files, however, and in cases where such formats are native to tools supported by UVicSpace, we will provide you with guidance on converting your files into formats we do support. It is also likely that the popularity of some proprietary formats (such as Microsoft .doc, .xls, and .ppt) will ensure their continued prevalence or at least the tools to convert such formats to new ones. Even so, we cannot guarantee this level of service, so we will still list these formats as "known," not "supported."
We understand that there are always more formats to consider, and we would appreciate your help in identifying and studying the suitability of support for formats you care about. If we can't identify a format, UVicSpace will record it as "unknown," aka, "application/octet-stream," but we would like to keep the percentage of supported format materials in UVicSpace as high as possible. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
In the table below, description is what most people use as the name for the format. Extensions are typical file name extensions (the part after the dot, e.g., the extension for "index.html" is "html"). These are not case-sensitive in UVicSpace, so either "sample.XML" or "sample.xml" will be recognized as XML. MIME type is the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) type identifier.
|Unknown||(anything not listed||application/octet-stream||unsupported|
|Postscript||ps, eps, ai||application/postscript||supported|
|Microsoft Project||mpp, mpx, mpd||application/vnd.ms-project||known|
|AIFF||aiff, aif, aifc||audio/x-aiff||supported|
|MPEG Audio||mpa, abs, mpeg||audio/x-mpeg||known|
|Rich Text Format||rtf||text/richtext||supported|
|MPEG||mpeg, mpg, mpe||video/mpeg||known|
|Video Quicktime||mov, qt||video/quicktime||known|
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For further information about UVicSpace and this policy, please contact UVicSpace staff.
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