Preserving digital data is becoming a more important issue
with the growing amount of data that only exists in digital form. But
not only static documents that can have representations in paper or
analog tape have to be kept accessible, also interactive forms of data
have to be preserved. Interactive fiction, also known as video games,
and digital art are just two forms of interactive content that have to be
kept alive for historic reasons. Business and scientific applications have
to be preserved as well to have data in databases or in documents which
can´t be altered for authenticity reasons accessible over a long term. But
also documents can contain input fields and interaction ranging from
simple formulas to full-fledged interactive 3D-animations and beyond.
Emulation is one of the strategies to keep applications for old hardware
usable on modern systems. As it is not the only strategy to deal with the
digital preservation of complex content, we have to be able to evaluate
the different preservation strategies.
This paper identifies significant properties of the different types of interactive
objects that are analyzed in order to determine optimal preservation
solutions. Then various migration and emulation strategies for preserving
complex objects over a long term are shown. We discuss methods
to automatically test alternatives also by utilizing characterization languages.
Then we outline what further steps have to be taken to verify
the significant properties and define features that have to be extractable
from environments to support automatic testing.