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Re: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)

From:Sai Emrys <sai@...>
Date:Friday, June 27, 2008, 19:12
On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM, Nomad of Norad -- David C Hall <
nomad-conlang@...> wrote:

> What about mirroring of an existing site onto the LCS site? At that, I've > noticed that some wikis contain direct copies of articles from wikipedia > proper, which apparently they update automatically as that article changes > at wikipedia. It might also be worth creating, as well, a Wayback sort of > thing, independent of, as a hedge in case (God > forbid!) ever goes byebye, >
That depends. Running a spider to get content without the cooperation of the existing host is a pretty major undertaking. If however the existing host / user cooperates, it's not hard at all; you either save the site as a zip/tar/whatatever and unpack it on our servers, or just use rsync over ssh w/ a cron job (or any of a large number of other strategies) to make a real mirror. I suppose somewhere along the line it'd be useful to develop some kind of
> open-source dictionary-builder app, something that would do for dictionaries > and language-guides what wikipedia has done for encyclopedia media, and > make/offer it as the standardised program at LCS. >
I know for sure that someone (Henrik?) posted about exactly this not too long ago. I don't know whether that dictionary protocol has a good frontend interface, and I don't think it can *build* one so much as *store* it, but still... this I think is something that is vastly more an issue of community uptake than of availability. If simple pragmatics like storage space, accessible servers, etc are an issue, we can probably fix that. If it's a matter of deciding on a standard to use, getting people to adopt it, developing pretty front ends, etc though - that's up to y'all.
> Another thing just crossed my mind: There have been radio ads lately for a > program that automatically duplicates the contents of your computer onto a > personally-accessible site online, so you can restore data after an HDD > crash or something. It occurs to me that LCS could provide a > personally-accessible mirror of the contents of a user's selected local > folders, maybe even something that provides so many levels deep of a backup, > so you could go back to a folder corresponding to a week ago, that is a > separate image than that which was changed yesterday, and allowing the user > to set an arbitrary number of back copies (i.e. 7 folder-copies back) and > dumping the oldest copy/ies as the newest copy comes in. Perhaps > maintaining it, or the oldest ones, as a zip file or set of zip files. >
There are many applications that will allow you to do this relatively easily using SCP or SSH. Our host is compatible with this type of solution. I can't recommend a Windows-based program though, as I almost exclusively use Kubuntu (albeit considering moving to OSX).
> We could provide some sort of open-source mirror-the-folder(s) program that > is provided with the LCS membership, with the included benefit that if you > die, you can specify (at your discretion) that those folders and zips be > opened to the public for perusal or otherwise be preserved for posterity. >
So long as the legal ramifications are considered, this could happen. (E.g. one would tell us ahead of time, and ensure that we're contacted in the event it's necessary; preferably one would already have put up a usable website that's just not publicly accessible, so we can just flip a switch and make it public. We don't really have the resources to do website creation & maintenance. The idea being here that the folder you keep your works-in-progress in,
> where your conlang scratchpad files are, and so on, would be preserved so > that you, and/or future generations, can see the bits and pieces of your > language as it developed, and/or the bits and pieces that didn't quite make > it to the dictionary-site yet... so that that stuff won't die when you do.
I'd suggest that this sort of thing could be well done using one of the blog-like CMSs. E.g. in my case, I use LiveJournal extensively. Many of my entries are locked. I have instructions left, in a form verifiable to be mine and duplicated offline, for some parts of it to be made public on my death. For the server admins, this would be as simple as a single SQL query to just make those items public. However, if I may be so bold: why the worry about deferring this until after you're dead? Why not live openly *now*, while you're still around to collaborate and explain and present? - Sai


Nomad of Norad -- David C Hall <nomad-conlang@...>