On text documents
Posted May 14, 2012 16:08 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata
In reply to: On text documents
Parent article: Who owns your data?
Emulators can be rewritten and/or forward ported.
Remember the parameters of the problem. We're not talking in this thread about what society could do here; we're talking about a strategy one person could use to make his data live forever. (If we branch out into the larger question, then we can consider things like making laws that people have to make emulators available to other people).
The fear is that people won't care enough about old documents to make the substantial investment in that forward porting. We see backward compatibility broken all the time, so it's a valid concern.
Given that, a QEMU platform is surely a better guess at something the next Windows will run on than a VirtualBox platform. (If VirtualBox VMs become far more common hosts of Windows than x86 hardware, the opposite will be true).
A system based on a chain of virtualization, which relies on there always being N-1 compatibility (the world will never switch to a new platform that can't run the previous one as a guest) also could work, but I think there's a good chance that compatibility chain will be broken in the natural course of things.
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