IFF addresses these needs by defining a standard file structure, some initial data object types, ways to define new types, and rules for accessing these files. We can accomplish a great deal by writing programs according to this standard, but do not expect direct compatibility with existing software. We'll need conversion programs to bridge the gap from the old world. IFF is geared for computers that readily process information in 8-bit bytes. It assumes a "physical layer" of data storage and transmission that reliably maintains "files" as sequences of 8-bit bytes. The standard treats a "file" as a container of data bytes and is independent of how to find a file and whether it has a byte count. This standard does not by itself implement a clipboard for cutting and pasting data between programs. A clipboard needs software to mediate access, and provide a notification mechanism so updates and requests for data can be detected.
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