News,  Updates

Ruffle Preservation Report #2

This is second report about the work the lab is doing to preserve born-digital literature created with Adobe Flash. 

Today the team (CMDC juniors Andrew Thompson and Arlo Ptolemy) finished implementing Ruffle on the works published in the Electronic Literature Collections, Volumes 1, 2 and 3. This week we will begin adding scholarly commentary to their intro pages to alert visitors about their accessibility. 

Sadly, of the 235 works published in the three anthologies, only 16 could be preserved with Ruffle. Some others appear to function, but when compared to their original files (using the Pale Moon browser on a Windows computer) actually showed problems. The sound files in Maria Mencia’s “Birds Singing Other Birds’ Songs,” for example, do not stop playing when the boxes to stop them are clicked; instead, they play until the file ends. Since controlling the birds’ songs is a crucial feature of the work, then the glitch with the sound is not an insignificant one. 

About the ELCs
Below is the final list of Flash works from the three volumes of ELCs that are now accessible. The URLs shown here refer to the works on the test site. Once we add the scholarly commentary, the works will be moved out of the test site and into the folders where they are accessible via their original URLs.

ELC 1: 12 of 26 preserved

“Accounts of the Glass Sky” 
M. D. Coverley

“Carving in Possibilities”
Deena Larsen and Matt Hansen

“Chemical Landscapes Digital Tales”
Edward Falco, Mary, Pinto, and Will Stauffer-Norris

“Code Movie 1” 
Giselle Beiguelman and Helga Stein

Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar

Reiner Strasser and Alan Sondheim

“Deviant: The Possession of Christian Shaw”
Donna Leishman

Robert Kendall

“ii — in the white darkness: about [the fragility of] memory”
Reiner Strasser and M. D. Coverley

Bill Marsh

Shawn Rider

“The Dreamlife of Letters”
Brian Kim Stefans


ELC 2: 1 of 20 preserved

“The Sweet Old Etcetera”
Alison Clifford


ELC 3: 3 of 114 preserved

“Ars Poetica”
Zenon Fajfer

“Ask Me for the Moon” 
John David Zuern

“Thoughts Go”
David Knoebel


Next up: Cauldron & Net, frAme

Table of contents of frAme Issue 3 built with Adobe Flash

The team started today on the 10 Flash works published in Cauldron & Net from 2000 to 2002. Mez Breeze’s “_Clo[h!]neing God N Ange-Ls_”, Thom Swiss’s “Shy Boy’; and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Camille Utterback, Clilly Castiglia, and Nathan Wardrip-Fruin’s “Walking Cure” are among these. Following this journal, the team will turn its attention to the six works published in frAme and the journal’s issue 3, whose table of contents was built entirely with Flash. It is a marvel.

Dene Grigar is Director and Professor of the CMDC Program. She specializes in electronic literature, emerging technologies and cognition, and ephemera.