DPF Manager becomes ArTIFFact Control

9 Oct 2020

Following on from a previous successful collaboration with the Open Summer of Code initiative, where students set up the foundations for CultURIze, this summer we went back to work together again. On the programme this time: safeguarding the continued existence of DPF Manager together with the Open Preserve Foundation (OPF) and four junior developers.

Every summer, Open Knowledge Belgium organises its Open Summer of Code, a successful programme where students and non-profit organisations develop prototypes for innovative tools together. Following on from the development of CultURIze , this is our second successful collaboration.

DPF Manager is a validation tool with a user-friendly graphical user interface which checks whether TIFF files satisfy the TIFF file format specifications and preservations standards. If your file doesn’t satisfy these requirements, the interface also lets you know why not. It’s a product that was created as part of the PREFORMA project, in which three small IT companies each developed different digital preservation tools. Two validators are still being actively developed and implemented. The company behind the third tool, DPF Manager, decided not to continue with the new product at the end of PREFORMA, however, and the code has therefore been temporarily transferred to OPF.

DPF Manager + JHOVE = ?

This all took place three years ago, and the code has not been worked on since. But now the Open Preservation Foundation wants to integrate DPF Manager in JHOVE, a command line tool with a very simple graphical user interface. This integration will mean that the set of rules which DPF used to check the TIFF files can be applied in the JHOVE application – giving it the same validation quality as DPF but with a clear graphical interface which makes the TIFF file validation highly accessible.

In order to guarantee this successful integration with JHOVE, we launched a project with Open Summer of Code for students to develop a new interface for DPF Manager which plugs into the new JHOVE TIFF module. The students conducted user tests and interviewed people in the heritage sector about using the new interface to make sure it’s accessible and understandable. This helped them to develop a new user interface and style guide, and come up with a new name. The future version of their prototype is called ArTIFFact Control.

The aim is to progress this prototype further and set up a project with OPF to develop the new graphical interface. This is scheduled for 2021.