Interchange File Format is a generic container file format originally introduced by the ?Electronic Arts company in 1985 (in cooperation with ?Commodore) in order to facilitate transfer of data between software produced by different companies.

Relevance to Permacomputing

IFF helps minimize problems such as new versions of a particular program having trouble reading data files produced by older versions, or needing a new file format every time a new version needs to store additional information.

It also encourages standardized file formats that aren't tied to a particular product. All of this is good for endusers because it means that their valuable data isn't locked into some ?proprietary standard that can't be used with a wide variety of hardware and software. Above all else, endusers don't want their work to be held hostage by a single corporate entity over whom they has no direct control.

IFF helps to break this needlessly proprietary stranglehold that developers have exerted upon endusers' works.