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TechWeb11.SeminarioMSMr1.1 - 23 May 2011 - 13:03 - FabioVitalitopic end

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What constitutes successful format conversion?

Michael Sperberg-McQueen

Black Mesa Technologies

Tuesday 24 May 2011, h. 11:00,

Aula Seminari Nadia Busi, Ground floor
Department of Computer Science
University of Bologna
Mura Anteo Zamboni 7
Bologna

Many people have observed that information for culture or commerce often has a useful lifetime of decades or centuries, while current computer application programs and file formats have lifetimes far shorter. In consequence, the conversion of information from one format to another is expected to be a crucial activity for digital libraries and for any organization with a long-term digital archive. For culturally important information, it will be important to develop strong confidence in the correctness and completeness of the format conversion. How can that confidence be achieved? What would it mean to prove a format conversion correct? Could correctness be proven or tested? This talk proposes an answer to these questions in terms of formal semantic specifications of markup languages. The task of proving a format conversion correct is similar, in some ways, to the task of proving a program or a data representation correct, but they differ in some ways.

Michael Sperberg-McQueen has been for more than twenty years involved in the specification of data formats and standards for document representation: editor in chief of the Text Encoding Initiative (1988-2000), co-editor of the W3C XML 1.0 specification, chair of the XML coordination group at the W3C, co-editor of the XML Schema 1.1 specification, member of the XML Query and XML Processing Model working groups at W3C. Michael Sperberg-McQueen is now doing freelance consulting.

-- FabioVitali - 23 May 2011

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