We can’t let the Internet Archive do all of the work.
I’ve recently been reading a lot about the Small Web lately. While I don’t think that we can get there 100 percent, I think it has some good ideas.
One of those ideas is that we should set our sites up in a way to prevent link rot. The suggestion proposed by the Small Web folks involves proxying, but since my blog is just a list of HTML files I’ve found a better solution: just copy the files to a location on the disk and point a new domain there.
I’m announcing 2023.notgull.net. It is an exact copy of this site as of this morning, down to every individual HTML file. From this point on, it will not be modified. It will be an exact time capsule of this site as it was in 2023.
In addition, I am also announcing 2024.notgull.net. At this point, it just redirects to notgull.net. However, at this time next year, I will do the copy again.
2024.notgull.net will become a time capsule, and
2025.notgull.net will become the redirect. As above, so below.
The goal is to prevent one of the main causes of link rot: stuff being moved around. When you link to my blog, make sure to link to
<current_year>.notgull.net instead of just
notgull.net. At this point, the link will never rot, and the context will never* change.
Of course, there’s no guarantee of this from my side. I could easily delete articles, change things and make a fool out of anyone who links to it. But I won’t. Scout’s promise. Even with tools like the Wayback Machine, you have to trust that they don’t modify it on their end.
Unless, of course, there’s some urgent correction that needs to be made in order to prevent the spread of misinformation. Keep in mind that it’s just files. They can be edited, hopefully for better rather than for worse.
I’m aware that this measure doesn’t prevent the more extreme causes of link rot. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and cloud costs could go unpaid, and then this server goes down along with this history system. That’s a bridge I’ll burn when I get there. I’m relatively healthy, I’ll live for another sixty years give or take a few.
This measure doesn’t apply to
src.notgull.net, by the way. That’s Gitea, not a scattershot collection of HTML files I can easily copy. So that’s not affected for now.
That’s all I wanted to say, just to announce this measure. I’ll also take the opportunity to say thank you for your continued support. Since I started this blog early this year, more and more people have been reading it. It’s gotten to the point where people I know in real life have commented on my articles.
It’s honestly a little surreal to see my blog posts making the rounds on HackerNews, Mastodon, Reddit, and probably other places I’m not aware of. It’s also quite exciting. Here’s to another year of Rust, async runtimes, and webfiction!