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Future-safing hosting.opml.org
By Dave Winer on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 at 11:38 AM.

A picture named clock.gifShortly after Frontier was released under the GPL in 2004, I started a project to create an OPML-based blogging tool. It was a rush project, back when I did those. It did a dynamic rendering of OPML files that were stored on a static server. It used a process called upstreaming to move content from the desktop to the server. So all you have to do was edit and save OPML files, one for each day, in a calendar-structured folder, to have your blog. I don't think a blogging tool had ever been configured that way before. It attracted a small community, one that eventually became embroiled. Growth stopped, people left, and I was stuck with a web app and a base of content.  #

At some point I turned off the dynamic server, to a few people's surprise, no doubt. But it wasn't something that had a future. And that's the lesson we've all learned. I've never pretended that there weren't two sides to the problem of depending on free services. I've been on both sides of it. I militantly avoid it now, instead insisting that people host their own servers. I've made it easy for them to do it, writing a tutorial, and building software based on that model. I think eventually it will catch on.  #

Anyway, back to the OPML-editor based blogging system of 2005.  #

I have an Apache server that I still must use to host scripting.com. The only reason for this is that it can't be a CNAME, and Amazon S3 buckets must be CNAMEs. An awful limit, as far as I'm concerned, and one that's costing me monthly in dollars, and in a much worse way, in added complexity. That's my enemy. I'm trying to make it so that my sites maintain themselves as much as possible. I won't always be here to do the work. And I'd like to see some of the content be long-lived. Like Stewart Brand with his 10,000-year clock. :-) #

Anyway, even though it will cost me a bit of money to move hosting.opml.org, I'm doing it anyway. It's in process of becoming an S3-hosted site. With their new feature that allows CNAME-based sites to be hosted there with index files, I can move this site. I wrote a howto explaining the process. #

I'm going to make the worldoutline software do something intelligent with these sites. If you have a site in there that's got content you'd like to view, it should be possible at some point. #

Now if there were just some place I could deposit a bit of money to be sure that the storage bill is paid on that bucket, for perpetuity. Seriously, I think that for content like this we're at the point where its pretty safe to say it'll be around as long as human civilization. Except for how to pay for its preservation.  #

Christmas Tree
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