From IndieWeb

Building for the Long Web was a session at IndieWeb Summit 2016.

Notes archived from: http://etherpad.indiewebcamp.com/2016longweb


  • emmak
  • tantek.com
  • isgeek.net
  • yourmom.io
  • cassie.wtf
  • ...


Build the web

Iron Gaul Ink; primative technology but very durable. Magna Carta, Constitution of US

Adding to that: They would scratch back the ink to reuse the velum, but the traces are still there for archeologists to recover the image of the previous text.

Emma: Unix account, "as an alumn, you'll have this account forever". A couple of years later, they deleted it and I was so made. Applies more broadly than personal blogs

Comment (Lloyd): Interested in finding meaning in the long web. Just end up with a pile of data, no schema.

yourmom.io: As someone with a historian past, the amount of data on the web that is stored in a fragile, ephemeral way is shocking. Less worried about the unstructured aspect, historians are good at dealing with that.

JJ: Wish it was not a problem that only nerds have (awareness). Make this a normal concern

Open Question: I use plugin "amber" for WP which sends to Internet Archive, wayback automatically.

Look at what happened with Geocities shutdown. People involved who weren't archive.org

Salt: What happens when some maintainer say bzip

Tantek: Like what happened with code.google.com?

Will: The projects that weren't migrated by their maintainers to github went into cold storage, and the urls will persist.

yourmom.io: but data has always been lost (in the past). We make best faith effort, some of our data that the future will want will be lost.

JJ: Incremental noise. New data: I now have my sleep patterns. My kids will have a copy of their DNA on their terrabyte keychain.

Will independent sources exist?

Salt: If you own your data, can you opt out of the long web.

Sandro: not just my stuff, but the things I like, and, popularity increases the number of copies (Sub resource integrity - https://www.w3.org/TR/SRI/)

edrex: merkle DAGs allow verification of data, including dependencies.


  • git
  • IPFS
  • camlistore


  • emmak: I'm using static content for my site

a number of attributes useful for long web

  • aspects: inspectability - can I look at the data and understand it
  • durability - how resistant to corruption is it
  • portability - my site is on amazon web services, who knows where it will be in five years

eventually I'll have to migrate it if it's a chore to import it all, that's going to jeopardize preserving that data

  • redundancy. I'm storing my data on both s3 and git. the copy on github has a timeline, if I screw something up, I can go back.

edrex: "git repo is like the zip file of our generation"

JJ: Github getting away from just code, more to helping people collaborate

Tantek: I do static content too, still compile but source is microformats HTML

Common: mysql doesn't get archived, and you get an error (which is then archived) https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Database+Error%22+%22Error+establishing+a+database+connection%22+-fix+-wordpress+-website+-login+-help+-account+-join+-atg+-scary+-problems+-mining

Another aspect: EU Right to be Forgotten

yourmom.io: Google has been taken to court about not being able to comply with it

Google in contempt of court in france

JJ: Technology is moving faster than Moral framework

yourmom.io: and legal framework

We're culturally almost used to generational data loss (VHS, tapes, etc)

edrex: DRM'd Walled gardens (esp younger generations) with user generated content

Sandro: Archiving my kids' Minecraft worlds

Salt: how to save just the good stuff?

William: I loved digital photography when i had sight. I didn't always know what was good. My friends and relatives would find gems later. I appreciated the large memory card.

JJ: Traveling, I take lots of pictures. Looking back reminds me of places, experiences

edrex: "We are creating these empathetic entities that are non-human"

Tantek: How are people preserving their private data for the longweb?

JJ: URLs done the right way as an important contribution to the long web (Tim Berners-Lee)

See Also