Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Archiving the Forums?

Just what it says.
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jlev
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Archiving the Forums?

Post by jlev » 09 Aug 2016, 21:40

Hi duerig and all other site admins,

First, thank you so very much for your ongoing work running the site. This website, and the forums in particular, are, in my mind, one of the lasting gems of the internet. That's not only for the current value of the discussions happening here, but also for the historical value.

I'm wondering whether any ongoing work is being done to archive the materials on this site in a lasting way. For example, beyond daily or weekly backups that you might have as site admins, is there any ongoing process in place to put copies of the site materials in the hands of long-term archivists (for example, through submitting periodic database dumps to the Internet Archive, or through spidering the site and turning it into a locally-viewable HTML zip file / tarball)?

I see this being useful for two reasons: first, in case some sort of catastrophe happens in which all of the servers crash at once, or the domain name gets hijacked somehow. Second, to enable research on what's happened here (I do a lot of text mining in my research, for example, and could see other researchers wanting to know how communication networks here have looked over time, what phrases come up most frequently, etc.).

If there isn't a process in place, but you'd be open to the idea, I'd be really happy to help with this. I'm currently finishing a doctorate in psychology and will thereafter be starting work at a university library, and so could also facilitate working with university institutional repositories, if that would be preferable to using the Internet Archive's services.

Thanks for your consideration!

-Jacob

dtic
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Re: Archiving the Forums?

Post by dtic » 13 Aug 2016, 09:24

Not an admin. Aren't the automatic internet archive wayback machine snapshots sufficient? https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://ww ... org/forum/

jlev
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Re: Archiving the Forums?

Post by jlev » 13 Aug 2016, 23:07

I would say not, for two reasons. First, they don't catch everything / they don't always spider the entire site. Second, if the admins are amenable to enabling research on the site, it would be much more straightforward to just make everything accessible directly (this could be automated, too -- there wouldn't need to be constant human action), either through partial database dumps (no user email addresses or passwords, etc.), or through an already-spidered version with all links turned into relative links (such that the site could be viewed in an offline mode on someone's local machine); I suspect that the Wayback Machine is even more difficult to spider, especially if posts include links that resolve back to this domain name (vs. the Wayback Machine's cached versions). That's my thought, but hearing input like yours, dtic, is also why I started the conversation :)

On another note, I've really admired your work here on the forums!

duerig
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Re: Archiving the Forums?

Post by duerig » 14 Aug 2016, 23:03

I help Scann manage the forums. If somebody was interested in getting periodic backups of the current database (or just the post tables), I think we could pass it along pretty easily. The final say is down to Scann, though. And there would have to be somebody who wanted the backups. :-)

-D

jlev
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Re: Archiving the Forums?

Post by jlev » 15 Aug 2016, 20:12

Hi, duerig! Ha, in that case, I'd like a copy! :)

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