Hello folks,

I'd just like to add my support to Marks comment that it is not necessarily
the technology that is the key issue in deciding 'whats best', but the
organisation and structure of the data.

Most of the software referred to is capable of storing, basic processing
and some sorts of export of data. However, for that data to be useful in
the long term (ie when your project is finished) or to anyone else, who may
have their data structured in a different way, then agreed standards become

This area is the subject of a separate discussion list (FISH) that might be
of interest to britarch subscribers, at
There is also a web-site for FISH, the Forum on Information Standards in
Heritage, at

One particular approach that discussion there should be focussing on in the
next few weeks is the use of XML (eXtensible Markup Language - an evolution
of the HTML that is used for websites) as a format for exchange of
structured information between a variety of different software and
information structures.

Edmund Lee
Data Standards Supervisor
Data Standards Unit
English Heritage