[buug] archiving postings

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Aug 16 23:46:56 PDT 2010

Quoting Paul Ivanov (pi at berkeley.edu):

> > preserve an independent copy of one's postings for reference and
> > archival purposes[1]
> did you mean to include a link there? was just curious about what that
> might have been.

Hi, I did -- but I wasn't actually sure it would be of interest.

Here's an example of sorts:  Back in 2002, I'd been invited to
participate in a private newsgroup, linux.astcomm.net on NNTP server 
news.astcomm.net (now long defunct).  Because I was using a good netnews
client, I had automatic local copies of my postings -- which was a good
thing, because a number of those threads were ones with long-term value
that I had use for in the future.

About six months later, I found myself drawn into an inadvertent
disagreement over a point of technology with the proprietor of Advanced
Systems Technology Communications (ASTcomm), owner/operator of the NNTP
server, that turned acrimonious for reasons I didn't understand until
later:  He'd been talking up the merits of Real Networks's Helix Server,
Helix Producer, and RealPlayer software as the only practical and
cost-effective means of doing streaming media.

I did not agree, gave counterexamples of alternative software that is
open source, does not suffer the disadvantage of vendor lock-in, isn't
from firms with track records of spying on customers, builds on actual
open standards, and even scales better.  He heatedly claimed I was
completely wrong; I showed particulars to demonstrate that I was not --
and he summarily ordered me off his NNTP server, to my amazement.

What I hadn't figured out was that his _clients_, to whom he'd sold the
expensive, proprietary Real Networks solution, were reading the thread,
and that accordingly I'd embarrassed him and shown him to have given
them really bad business advice.

Anyway, getting back to the local copies of postings:  Having that local
copy, I was able to very easily concatenate them and turn them into a
Web page for reference:


A short while later, the guy took down the NNTP server, so it's doubly a
good idea I had that.

By contrast, it's real work to keep an independent archive of Web-forum
postings you think you might want to keep around even if, say, the Web
forum itself folds up its tents in the night without notice, as so many do.

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