[rfc-i] Can the web be archived?

John Levine johnl at taugh.com
Fri Jan 23 07:06:47 PST 2015

>Relying on a search engine may of course be just as unreliable as
>relying on a link, so I don't know what the ultimate answer is.

We want something that will provide access to materials in a stable
way for a long time.  That's the definition of a research library.
Running a research library is (as Heather knows in far more detail
than we do) a large and expensive job, not one to be taken on lightly.

It's not a bad idea to include more hints in references so people can
work around bit rot, and otherwise make it easier to find material if
it's online somewhere.  But I wouldn't ask the RSE to archive
referenced material unless we had a long term plan to fund and manage
the archive.  The Internet is full of dusty unmaintained archives, and
the last thing we want is yet another one.


PS: For an example of a funded archive, see www.inboxproject.com.
There were too many abandoned archives of spam related legal materal,
so I arranged with the Cornell Legal Information Instutute to run a
subarea on spam law and rounded up some sponsors to pay for it.  I was
lucky since the LII already had the infrastructure, and I happened to
know the guy who runs it.

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