Follow

I saw someone say "The internet is forever" earlier and it kind of hurt.

The internet is barely for now, Data disappears all the time. Sites go down, DMCA takedowns. No seeders. No funding. Never archived. Harddrive failure. Redesign that breaks legacy URLs.

The internet is for never.

@ajroach42 Yes, the internet is very ephemeral. Unless your stuff is on archive.org or Wikipedia it will probably disappear within a few years if it's not actively maintained.

@ajroach42 If you have any data worth anything, you'd back it up, not only once, not only twice, not only 3 times at the minimum, you'd back it up as many times as you can, and you'd distribute those backups across the planet, to as many people as you can, using as many different services as you can, surface web, Tor hidden services, Lokinet, FTPS, HTTPS, every protocol, every available piece of hosting software; you'd make sure that the data is decentralised across as many jurisdictions as possible, on as many different devices as possible, in the hands of as many different people as possible.

The only defeat is the defeatist mindset.

@ajroach42 on the internet, anything can be forever or can disappear in an hour, and you can't rely on it doing any of those in particular

@ajroach42

That's the core reasons for Internet archives/web archives, aren't they ?

@ajroach42 @lienrag Not to mention -- someone has to run those web archives. Those organizations can and do run out of funding/get shut down/can just stop working. They're private businesses.

@Unairedspecifics @mdm @lienrag and the fact that this is often necessary feeds back to the original point.

@ajroach42 @Unairedspecifics @lienrag Also, one person making their own backup is still leaving it up to a single person to manage the data. There's backups of things I made just 10 years ago that I've already lost. :P

@mdm @Unairedspecifics @lienrag The thing that gets me is trying to find software and information for the HP Omnigo.

It was released in 1995 and sold through 99 or so. It sold well, there are thousands of them. Lots of software existed for them, drivers, custom firmware, development kits, etc.

Nearly every download is a dead link, even in the archives. The software is just missing.

Or in German.

But mostly missing.

@mdm @Unairedspecifics @lienrag That's not *that* long ago. The internet archive existed. Some of the web pages even still exist, but the linked executables are gone.

@ajroach42

That's the goal of Software Heritage if I'm not mistaken ?

@ajroach42 @Unairedspecifics @lienrag Ugh. Companies doing that, when they've had continuous web presences since the 90s, bothers the hell out of me.

How hard is it to make sure your links stay valid?

Weirdly enough -- the only two websites that seem to make keeping links valid a priority is 1) bbc.com and 2) cnn.com. I have links to news articles in blog posts that are nearly 20 years old, going to those two websites, that _still_ work.

@ajroach42 what lasts and what doesn't seems inversely related to how much you want it to last.

@ajroach42 I'm not sure if any trustworthy studies have been made, but some estimates a couple of decades ago put the average time until a website disappears under six months. I would guess that time hasn't gotten longer.

@jaranta @ajroach42 I suppose one of the main reasons is money. Hosting a simple static page costs money - domain, hosting/server and maintenance. We don't donate money to every site we visit, so...

Actually, I shut down several pet projects and got emails from users after that wondering why I did that. The reason was simple - money. No one of them agreed to donate to keep projects alive.... But they found personal email of developer from git logs :shrug_akko:

@ajroach42 Exactly what it says on the tin. A search engine for things that aren't ad-ridden bloatscript spyware.

@ajroach42 internet is huge and we take for granted that someone is always holding a copy of the lost memory.

@ajroach42 we'll have to accept that the web is an ephemeral medium. I occasionally like to donate some spare cash to archive.org/donate I also made it a habit to get sites I care about archived there.

@ajroach42

Internet is a permanent state of transience. It is forever like it is until tomorrow, then it is a new kind of forever again

@ajroach42 And that, my friends, is why Wayback Machine exists.

@Neonriser except that, as I've said elsewhere, even the way back machine can't save everything.

Stuff disappears all the time. Or they don't allow the way back machine to scan it to begin with.

And archive.org might run out of funding one day, and then what?

@ajroach42 we all have to archive things on our own, if all else fails. We can download HTML, css and JavaScript files and take screenshots or make videos to record how they looked and acted during our time.

@ajroach42 in YouTube’s case, we might have to download as much videos as possible and put them in our own archives.

@ajroach42 and in the most extreme case, we might have to put all of our coding into a plastic strip that is capable of lasting over a thousand years, then put it into a durable container and send it to a cold, abandoned mine like what the GitHub team did to theirs.

@ajroach42 @Neonriser
Exactly.

I started to write my own crawlers circa 1995 but I saved only a few major sites en toto over the years. I settled mostly for using Scrapbook X to save pages of interest.

I've started to build a curated collection now using next-generation tools. I hope to snail-mail 100s of copies out before I pass away. Offline devices can't be taken down. Link me to copies of science-paper archives, leaked data, and/or your own creative works to go into the River of Time.

@ajroach42
Publish like it will be online forever, backup like it will go down tomorrow. :)

Sign in to participate in the conversation
R E T R O  S O C I A L

A social network for the 19A0s.