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Hi Elizabeth,

Your question is actually a hot topic right now on the PREMIS Editorial 
Committee :-) 
We are indeed working on making environment descriptions more efficient in 
PREMIS. This will be included in PREMIS 3.

Angela made a presentation of those PREMIS 3 features during the latest 
PREMIS implementation Fair at iPRES, here is the link: 
http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/pif-presentations-2013/02PREMIS-Dappert-Data_Model_Changes.pdf
.

Two important things about this before anything:
        - rest assured these new features will be completely optional. 
Implementers will be absolutely free to discard those evolutions it if 
they do not need to record environment descriptions;
        - this is still a work in progress and some decisions might 
change.

In a nutshell, in PREMIS3:
        - Environments will be described separately (instead of being 
embedded in an Object description as it is done in PREMIS 2) so that they 
can be shared across different objects. 
        - Those environment descriptions (PREMIS objects in their own 
sake) would be related to the objects they support with dependency 
relationships.
        - The parts of an environment (e.g. software application, plugin, 
operating system, hardware, etc.) could be described separately and 
related to the other environment components through dependency 
relationships.
        - Those environment descriptions could also be linked, among other 
things, to agents. This way, an agent involved in an event (e.g. creation) 
can link to the precise description of the environment involved in the 
action.

As to the current version of PREMIS, there is indeed no perfect way to 
proceed:
        1/ creatingApplication has very few semantic units
        2/ an environment with a purpose of "create", though not 
explicitly considered in the Data Dictionary, is an option, but you have 
no semantic unit for the creation date (since it has not been designed for 
creation environments in the first place)
        3/ a creation event related to an agent being the creation 
environment, has too few semantic units to capture your needs (only name, 
type and note) so you have the same problem as in 1/
        4/ a creation event in 3/ related to several agents, each one 
being a particular part of the creation environment (hardware, software, 
etc.), which would mean in some cases having finer-grained agentTypes than 
software or hardware (e.g. software application / software plugin etc.)

I am unsure which one of the 4 above is best, each one has its 
shortcomings.

Hope this answers your questions! Feel free to ask away if this is not 
clear or if you have any other questions.

Kind regards,
Sébastien











Message de : "Roke, Elizabeth Russey" <[log in to unmask]> 
                      17/10/2013 17:13

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[PIG] Recording creation environment



Hi all--

I'm looking for examples or advice on how others have recorded complex 
creation environments within PREMIS.  We're currently building 
functionality in our Fedora repository to store disk images for our 
digital archives work and need to record the original software/hardware 
configuration within the metadata somewhere.  I realize that 
<premis:environment> is designed to store how objects are rendered, not 
how they were originally created.  But we need more detail than 
premis:<creatingapplication> allows since we're recording operating system 
and original hardware.   I'm hesitant to store this type of information in 
an event-agent relationship because of the complexity.  I've also heard 
that there will be a revision of PREMIS at some point and I want to be 
sure whatever we decide to do can be easily mapped to the new schema.

I'm also open to non-Premis solutions if anyone has any suggestions for 
recording this type of information in some kind of standard way. 

Thanks,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth Russey Roke
Digital Archivist
Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL)
Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
404-727-2345


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