12.80 FYI France Resource List: "How to Digitize a Nation..."

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us

An Online Essay,

with Selective and Partially - Annotated Lists of Resources, Online and Off-

(The essay and its notes and references and links are presented in 7 files,
"fy1280a-g.htm", designed for use online or for printing and reading offline.)

Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: kessler@well.sf.ca.us. The text contains a selection only: additional online digital information resources develop in France every week, on the Minitel and the Internet -- one can be sure only that there are more, not fewer, than what follows online in France now.

Here this file is one of a number made available -- hopefully attractively, all in one place, and relevant to libraries and online digital information work in France and Europe -- as part of FYI France (sm)(tm), an online service to which anyone can subscribe by postal mailing a check for US $45 payable to Jack Kessler, to PO Box 460668, San Francisco, California, USA 94146 (site licenses also are available): please write your email address on the front of your check. Please email suggestions for improvements to me at kessler@well.sf.ca.us .


How to Digitize a Nation...

France: National Patrimony, "Foreign" Digits

by Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us





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"Digitization" is a moving target, in France as it is elsewhere. The techniques and the people and the organizations and the projects involved -- and the standards and the goals and the fears and the aspirations -- all change, rapidly, on a nearly continuous basis.

The target in focus for my purposes here, however, at least is French. This may give some of what I will be describing here something in common.

Then again it may not. France has been famous for centuries for asserting its individuality. But if one believes half of what the "Europe of the Regions" people say and advocate, that French uniqueness today is under siege: there are people in Lyon now who say they have much in common with Frankfurt -- there are people in Grenoble and Sophia Antipolis today who feel they have more in common with Cupertino than they do with Paris.

This sort of thing has been said before, though. For a thousand years, French individuality has succeeded in asserting and occasionally in re - asserting itself, various pan - European trends and occasional cataclysmic events notwithstanding. French topography, culture and people are resolutely different: different from the rest of Europe, perhaps, but certainly and here importantly different from the Anglo - American cultures which have spawned the current "hi - tech" revolution.

So, even in these days of the "European Union" and the "Euro", the French approach may have something to say that is unique: particularly to a technological revolution like "Digitization", bound as it has been culturally to its Anglo - American and English - language origins, and interested as it is now in expanding its reach beyond those cultures.

The most general idea here, then, is not so much to focus on France and the French, but to look at "digitization" from a non - anglocentric point of view. The French are the leaders in this, so far, in the non - English - speaking parts of the planet. A look at what is being done in France -- and how it is different -- might be a useful and even necessary prelude to "scaling up" the Internet, and other digitization applications, to an international world.

From here you can Continue Reading This Text , or

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M. Eiffel

Copyright © 1992- by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved.
W3 site maintained at http://www.fyifrance.com by Jack Kessler.
Document maintained by: Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us
Last update: November 29, 2007