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Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 00:17
I worry about digital extinction by loss of funding and closed websites.

Over time we, meaning all of us, have lost a lot of data, meaning writings, images, movies, libraries, you name it from failure to plan for extinction of resources.

This forum contains more info/data than any other source I know about LF photography.

How do we preserve it?

Have we forgotten the Alexandria Library fire (http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa-history-important-events/destruction-great-library-alexandria-001644)?

It seems we are doomed to repeat the past.

Wayne
12-Jul-2015, 07:33
There are a number of free website downloaders. Anyone can make their own copy of the entire website. I did that myself before the migration from Greenspun. Of course you'd have to continually update it to make sure it was 100% up to date, but even monthly updates would capture most of it. I think it would also be good to know there is an "official" backup plan.

Ralph Barker
12-Jul-2015, 07:58
We back up the data on a regular basis (daily). We plan to run "forever," but if the site were to shut down permanently, I'm sure we would make an effort to archive the data in some manner, somewhere.

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 08:53
Good to know Ralph, I am sure the website is backed up.

I will look into downloading a personal copy.

Old men like me, worry about the future and unknown unknowns.

I see gaps in Internet History and Internet Archive (https://archive.org/web/) does not capture everything.

Keep On, Keepin' On. :)

Ralph Barker
12-Jul-2015, 11:22
Good to know Ralph, I am sure the website is backed up.

I will look into downloading a personal copy.

Old men like me, worry about the future and unknown unknowns.

I see gaps in Internet History and Internet Archive (https://archive.org/web/) does not capture everything.

Keep On, Keepin' On. :)

I don't recommend trying to download your own copy of the forum. Doing so would put a significant burden on the server and uses a lot of bandwidth, both of which are donated resources.

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 11:59
I don't recommend trying to download your own copy of the forum. Doing so would put a significant burden on the server and uses a lot of bandwidth, both of which are donated resources.

OK, I will not. I doubt I would do it correctly anyway.

Dan Fromm
12-Jul-2015, 12:18
www.archive.org is already keeping and even updating from time to time a copy of http://www.largeformatphotography.info/ I just looked at it and everything seems to be there, including the forum. Last copy was made July 2, 2015.

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 12:20
www.archive.org is already keeping and even updating from time to time a copy of http://www.largeformatphotography.info/ I just looked at it and everything seems to be there, including the forum. Last copy was made July 2, 2015.

Good to know.

Thanks Dan.

Was this ever discussed before on this forum?

Mark Sawyer
12-Jul-2015, 12:30
Another aspect of digital extinction is that so many of the images here are hosted on outside sites. If Flickr, Photobucket, or other such sites go away, the images go with them. It would be such a shame if fifty years from now, as people huddle in their underground bunkers to avoid the zombies battling the terminator robots, they don't have access to wet plates of pixies... :(

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 12:39
Another aspect of digital extinction is that so many of the images here are hosted on outside sites. If Flickr, Photobucket, or other such sites go away, the images go with them. It would be such a shame if fifty years from now, as people huddle in their underground bunkers to avoid the zombies battling the terminator robots, they don't have access to wet plates of pixies... :(

Fairly often I ask people, not bots, to post in the 750 pixel size allowed here, to preserve our record. It would be nice if posters who want to show a larger image, do both methods.

A forum fitting image and an external link.

Very disappointing to search the forum, as we are constantly asked to do, and find the images lost forever. :(

Sal Santamaura
12-Jul-2015, 12:39
...Was this ever discussed before on this forum?I've been visiting here daily for a loooong time. I still view the forum exactly as it was presented on LUSENET, i.e. a listing of every post made, regardless of category. While not in possession of an eidetic memory, I don't recall seeing this subject covered before.

Sirius Glass
12-Jul-2015, 12:49
Why worry? If this enterprise shuts down it will be because there would no be enough interest in large format photography to support it.

Dan Fromm
12-Jul-2015, 12:57
Another aspect of digital extinction is that so many of the images here are hosted on outside sites. If Flickr, Photobucket, or other such sites go away, the images go with them. It would be such a shame if fifty years from now, as people huddle in their underground bunkers to avoid the zombies battling the terminator robots, they don't have access to wet plates of pixies... :(

Mark, I don't know what archive.org saves from photo hosting sites. If you find an image on one that you want to have around for quite a while, take its URL and ask archive.org whether it has it. If it doesn't and the hosting site allows it, you can ask archive.org to keep a copy. And it will.

I've been working on an e-book, The Great Mexican Cookbook in the Sky (working title and inside joke, not how I'll publish it if I can ever get the copyright clearances I need). The times being what they are, many of my references are on the 'web. I've taken pains to make sure that archive.org has all of them that can be archived.

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 12:57
Why worry? If this enterprise shuts down it will be because there would no be enough interest in large format photography to support it.

This forum is a labor of love of LF, only charity supports it now.

It only needs one person.

Dan Fromm
12-Jul-2015, 12:58
Why worry? If this enterprise shuts down it will be because there would no be enough interest in large format photography to support it.

I want him to live forever but sooner or later QT will die. And then what?

Wayne
12-Jul-2015, 13:35
I think Mark addressed that already. Bunkers, zombies, robots, pixies live only in fairest memories.


I want him to live forever but sooner or later QT will die. And then what?

Ralph Barker
12-Jul-2015, 16:55
This forum is a labor of love of LF, only charity supports it now.

It only needs one person.

Actually, it doesn't need humans at all. It only needs for the servers and the Internet to keep running. Some day, the few remaining humans may huddle around small fires and tell stories of large format photography and the beauty of images that were possible. ;-)

Randy Moe
12-Jul-2015, 17:04
Actually, it doesn't need humans at all. It only needs for the servers and the Internet to keep running. Some day, the few remaining humans may huddle around small fires and tell stories of large format photography and the beauty of images that were possible. ;-)

Yes, and they could be doing chemical photography, as it has no need for electronics.

Perhaps our last database, almost like Lascaux. (http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/lascaux/)

StoneNYC
12-Jul-2015, 21:23
I think the question stated has been on my mind as well but no one is asking the REAL question because it's morbid...

Is there a WILL that designates ownership of the site/hosting/domain/etc should the original creator join Ansel...?

That's the question I have, is there an official and legal contingency plan?

I've had to deal with this a lot the past year... And all I've learned is that people who don't leave a will make life for everyone else VERY difficult, and if you really care about those in your life, you'll make a will for THEM, grieving while dealing with financial and responsibility burdens that could easily have been settled with a will is not fun and makes your memory of the person potentially bitter.

My 2 cents.

rdenney
13-Jul-2015, 08:39
This is a completely valid question. I have made a number of posts in another forum under the notion that it was owned by a guy that I like. Well, then he upped and sold it to a company that does forums commercially, and now I feel as though all I have contributed to that forum is under risk of disappearing. As soon as that forum provides commercially unproductive, they will close it without a backward glance.

We are partly protected by our own obscurity. Though I know that QT has been offered substantial sums for this forum in the past (and he has always rejected such offers, of course), I also know that large format photography is becoming more of a niche, and is therefore becoming less commercially attractive. This wasn't the case with the other forum I mentioned.

Our trust in QT's gracious support is well-founded in long experience, of course. But I think I'll bring it up with the other mods after we work our way through the For-Sale Forum thing.

Rick "who has seen lots of good stuff disappear" Denney

jp
13-Jul-2015, 08:54
Site shutting down seems unlikely in the short term, but like a will or living will, everyone should deal with it and have that stuff thought over and a plan executed somehow.

archive.org is pretty cool. I've had a behind the scenes tour there from an industry acquaintance who works/volunteers there. It did real well in the dot com boom for support, but has been sort of a really big shoestring operation since compared to the rest of silicon valley area. It needs some more financial support if we really want to depend on it as a site backup. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for it. It is possible the information could be removed from archive.org or other caches by a future owner of the data, due to existing process or future "remove my data from the Internet" laws under consideration in European countries.

Having a blog of your own lets you own/keep more data. Some of the camera/lens history researchers here do that. Not suggesting putting instruction on your own site at the expense of the forum, but enhancing the forum by participating in the forum and extending it's knowledge to very niche blogs relating to that participation.

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 08:59
Seems this question has been asked by our Founder. Patron and Benefactor.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?5549-THE-FUTURE-OF-THIS-FORUM-PLEASE-READ&p=35672&viewfull=1#post35672

Sal Santamaura
13-Jul-2015, 09:10
Seems this question has been asked by our Founder. Patron and Benefactor.

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?5549-THE-FUTURE-OF-THIS-FORUM-PLEASE-READ&p=35672&viewfull=1#post35672Nah, not really. I participated in that thread way back when. It was concerned primarily with where the forum would move, not with what would happen if it were to stop operating completely.

Also, the patron/benefactor is Brian Reid:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/credits.html

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 09:21
Site shutting down seems unlikely in the short term, but like a will or living will, everyone should deal with it and have that stuff thought over and a plan executed somehow.

archive.org is pretty cool. I've had a behind the scenes tour there from an industry acquaintance who works/volunteers there. It did real well in the dot com boom for support, but has been sort of a really big shoestring operation since compared to the rest of silicon valley area. It needs some more financial support if we really want to depend on it as a site backup. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for it. It is possible the information could be removed from archive.org or other caches by a future owner of the data, due to existing process or future "remove my data from the Internet" laws under consideration in European countries.

Having a blog of your own lets you own/keep more data. Some of the camera/lens history researchers here do that. Not suggesting putting instruction on your own site at the expense of the forum, but enhancing the forum by participating in the forum and extending it's knowledge to very niche blogs relating to that participation.

Yes, but so many of those helpful blogs and websites are long gone. We see broken links here and there all the time.

Heck, B&H has better historical info than some sites.

How many generations will they last...

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 09:22
Nah, not really. I participated in that thread way back when. It was concerned primarily with where the forum would move, not with what would happen if it were to stop operating completely.

Also, the patron/benefactor is Brian Reid:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/credits.html

Pardon my ignorance. Nobody ever mentions him. Why?

rdenney
13-Jul-2015, 09:42
Pardon my ignorance. Nobody ever mentions him. Why?

I suspect he rather prefers it that way.

Rick "glad Tuan didn't follow the majority view in that ancient thread" Denney

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 09:49
Sal, you named him. :)

Sal Santamaura
13-Jul-2015, 10:00
Sal, you named him. :)I simply quoted from the "Credits" section of this site's "About..." page, which names him. :)

Since the last time I clicked on Brian's name in that "Credits" section, he's deleted all content from the linked reid.org page. Anyone wanting to know more about him can read his Wikipedia entry:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Reid_%28computer_scientist%29

paulr
13-Jul-2015, 10:00
There was a culinary forum full of incredibly useful information which I often used as an archive. It was owned by a guy named Fred (that's the extent of my knowledge of him). The forum vanished without warning one day, and not long after, the chef whose contributions I valued most died in a motorcycle wreck. Tons of knowledge, up in smoke.

I've checked archive.org, but as far as I can tell, they've just preserved random samples of the site's content.

jp
13-Jul-2015, 10:03
Yes, but so many of those helpful blogs and websites are long gone. We see broken links here and there all the time.

Heck, B&H has better historical info than some sites.

How many generations will they last...

If it's compromising and undesirable information, it will be around forever. If it's useful and good info, it may quietly disappear.

BrianShaw
13-Jul-2015, 10:07
maybe someone should think about writing a book to preserve the useful information. a book might have a higher survival rate than the internet. there is a lot on almost every internet forum/blog that is just chatter and maybe not worth preserving even today.

Oren Grad
13-Jul-2015, 10:10
I've checked archive.org, but as far as I can tell, they've just preserved random samples of the site's content.

This is what I've seen as well in my efforts to use it over the years. Their bots do not cope well with complex, highly dynamic content. I don't intend that as a criticism - that's a huge technical challenge, what they have achieved is a monumental contribution even with its limitations, and I'm very grateful for it. But it's not a general solution to the archive problem.

Sal Santamaura
13-Jul-2015, 10:16
We back up the data on a regular basis (daily). We plan to run "forever," but if the site were to shut down permanently, I'm sure we would make an effort to archive the data in some manner, somewhere.


...http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?5549-THE-FUTURE-OF-THIS-FORUM-PLEASE-READ&p=35672&viewfull=1#post35672


...glad Tuan didn't follow the majority view in that ancient thread...Yeah, I had a minority opinion then too. But, as Ralph points out, nobody should worry that all those "classifieds" posts will someday disappear. :D:D:D

rdenney
13-Jul-2015, 10:37
Yeah, I had a minority opinion then too. But, as Ralph points out, nobody should worry that all those "classifieds" posts will someday disappear. :D:D:D

Actually, you had the minority view that Tuan ultimately followed: Find a server and host it ourselves. The majority opinion would have merged this forum with Photo.net.

It wasn't until later that we started ignoring you.

Rick ":)" Denney

Sal Santamaura
13-Jul-2015, 10:44
...It wasn't until later that we started ignoring you...Since I'm apparently on the moderators' ignore lists (someone must have reported my most recent post), does that mean I can post anything I want and never be deleted? ;)

rdenney
13-Jul-2015, 10:58
DELETED

Rick "no" Denney

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 11:10
wasn't me :)

Corran
13-Jul-2015, 11:16
It seems like a lot of (perhaps younger) folks are using Facebook and other social media more and more for discussion and dissemination of information (and photo sharing). Whether or not that is a good thing is another question, but I wonder if anyone will really care in, say, 10 years, if the forum is no longer active? Assuming the forum itself is available through various online archives, probably most questions that could be asked, have been asked, and could therefore be Googled.

I find the value of this forum more as a place for casual discussion in the moment. Any questions I have about a piece of gear or how something operates is generally answered by a Google search and a 6-year-old thread somewhere! :)

rdenney
13-Jul-2015, 11:23
It seems like a lot of (perhaps younger) folks are using Facebook and other social media more and more for discussion and dissemination of information (and photo sharing). Whether or not that is a good thing is another question, but I wonder if anyone will really care in, say, 10 years, if the forum is no longer active? Assuming the forum itself is available through various online archives, probably most questions that could be asked, have been asked, and could therefore be Googled.

I find the value of this forum more as a place for casual discussion in the moment. Any questions I have about a piece of gear or how something operates is generally answered by a Google search and a 6-year-old thread somewhere! :)

Being active and being available is two different things. One way to deal it it would be to include a comprehensive HTML database on a DVD that anyone could run using a browser, made and sold to people as a parting gift if the forum were forced to close for any reason.

But to your comment, I'm not planning to be dead in ten years so I will still want to have it available to me. Google is one of those external services that we might also take for granted.

I suspect that much of what is on Facebook will be cause for later shame, but hopefully this forum maintains a higher signal/noise ratio. We might lose a lot of images, but the images have always been under the control of their owners unless they elect to attach them to the post to serve them on the forum server.

And it's not like this stuff goes stale. I still refer to photography books published half a century ago and they are still relevant for many of the topics we discuss.

It is something I've noticed that there is a hole in the collected knowledge available on the Internet between the 50's-70's and the middle 90's. Newer stuff has always been discussed on the web, and older stuff is antique, with knowledge maintained and shared by enthusiasts. But stuff in the middle isn't old enough to be antique or new enough to have always been on the web, and still mostly exists in paper form. Future generations researching stuff will want what we have, because there are fewer books being written about stuff like this.

Rick "certainly still referring to stuff from ten years ago" Denney

Randy Moe
13-Jul-2015, 11:26
All that is LF has not yet been written.

As time passes film, paper and chemistry will become harder to obtain, there will always be someone with a new idea on how to produce LF prints.

LF printing will not stop, methods will change as they have for almost 2 centuries.

Old_Dick
13-Jul-2015, 11:30
I copy and paste technical threads that find useful in to a file, sort of a cheat sheet. I have many from Doremus and others, thanks. I periodically tar them up and email them to myself as a backup. If anyone is using Unix/Linux, here is the command. tar --no-recursion --exclude='ALL.TAR.bz2' -cvjf ALL.TAR.bz2 ./*

Corran
13-Jul-2015, 11:34
Rick, Randy, you're right. I was being a little too hasty. There's also a big difference in demographic though between the members here and the film enthusiasts I interact with personally on a day-to-day basis, and at least from my perspective here, they don't give a hoot about this forum or the information it contains. They'd rather ask the professor or me or someone on Facebook. But then here I could start rambling about education, politics, and those young whippersnappers and such but I will spare everyone :D.

Dan Fromm
13-Jul-2015, 13:29
In the long run we are all dead. And in the long run everything on the Internet will be forgotten.

If not forgotten, so hard to find as to be, practically speaking, non-existent. We can rage against the fading of the light but that won't light candles.

More seriously, posts on this forum and articles on the site contain a mixture of information that's safe to act on, non-information that informs no decisions or actions, and misinformation that isn't safe to act on. I don't think that any of us knows enough to curate it.

What we should do is accept reality and stop asking other people to fix it. If you (singular, but directed at more than one person) don't like reality you'll have to try to fix it yourself (singular again but directed at more than one person).

Re fixing our little reality, sorry, collection of knowledge, that's why I compiled my list of references and made sure that all of them are archived. That's why I make sure that references in my cookbook -- I'm still working on it, still adding references -- that can be archived are archived. Don't gripe, light a candle.

Michael R
13-Jul-2015, 13:50
Well said.

analoguey
14-Jul-2015, 03:49
A personal archive sounds good. Ralph, which type of archiving were you referring to when you said it will tax the system? A personal archive, building up over a month or so should be fine isn't it?
(I used to mostly redirect the threads I liked, learned from into my email, but lately have had too many threads to search well enough on Email compared to the forum itself.

sepiareverb
14-Jul-2015, 04:52
maybe someone should think about writing a book to preserve the useful information. a book might have a higher survival rate than the internet. there is a lot on almost every internet forum/blog that is just chatter and maybe not worth preserving even today.

Been done. (http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/print-wikipedia-project-reaches-final-entry/?ref=arts)

Iluvmyviewcam
14-Jul-2015, 06:35
I worry about digital extinction by loss of funding and closed websites.

Over time we, meaning all of us, have lost a lot of data, meaning writings, images, movies, libraries, you name it from failure to plan for extinction of resources.

This forum contains more info/data than any other source I know about LF photography.

How do we preserve it?

Have we forgotten the Alexandria Library fire (http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-africa-history-important-events/destruction-great-library-alexandria-001644)?

It seems we are doomed to repeat the past.


Great point!

A lot of stuff disappears overnight on the web. Get to work archiving it.

I was looking for Gandolfi's site a while back and it disappeared. Some of his work is archived as early year archives here

http://web.archive.org/

type in

http://www.emilschildt.com/

His sites archives are in the early section before the Asians took it over.

Some of Gandolfi's work is archived on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/search/Emil+Schildt

This underscores the important of spreading work across broad areas of the net for free...it helps to archive it.

Sad, but Tumblr changed and cut the search results once Yahoo took it over. Gandolfi does have some books on Blurb, so glad he did archive on paper.

Ralph Barker
14-Jul-2015, 07:06
A personal archive sounds good. Ralph, which type of archiving were you referring to when you said it will tax the system? A personal archive, building up over a month or so should be fine isn't it?
(I used to mostly redirect the threads I liked, learned from into my email, but lately have had too many threads to search well enough on Email compared to the forum itself.

My concern about system load was prompted by the idea of a few thousand users deciding to use some sort of "site sucker" application at the same time. Although I'm not actually familiar with any such apps, any sort of mass data dump while the forum is active would likely cause issues, particularly if multiple people happened to be doing it at the same time.

Randy Moe
14-Jul-2015, 09:01
Been done. (http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/print-wikipedia-project-reaches-final-entry/?ref=arts)

Not quite done, that's a mock up.

Library of Congress is big, but big enough?

Are we in there...

Started with 6000+ books from Thomas Jefferson after the last library was burned.

https://www.loc.gov/about/history-of-the-library/

BrianShaw
14-Jul-2015, 11:30
LoC might microfilm it... or digitize the paper-version of the site. :o