Forum - Time Capsule submission

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hewmac06
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Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by hewmac06 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:19 am

The Heritage Centre in the geographical area my form is about is asking for submissions for placing inside a time capsule. They say submissions can be via memory stick. I'm told the council have agreed to open the capsule in a few years and move info to whatever the modern medium is at that stage.

Over time I've been saving page images of the most interesting topics using the Chrome attachment and photoScape's Batch Editor. These I'll be submitting.

Would it be worth adding copies of my files and Database so 100 years from now there might be a chance they might be able to reproduce the whole forum?

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david63
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by david63 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:19 pm

hewmac06 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:19 am
Would it be worth adding copies of my files and Database so 100 years from now there might be a chance they might be able to reproduce the whole forum?
You would have to ask them - but the way that technology is moving I doubt that you would be able to read that data in 20 years time, never mind 100

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AmigoJack
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by AmigoJack » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:31 am

hewmac06 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:19 am
saving page images of the most interesting topics using the Chrome attachment and photoScape's Batch Editor
While I have no clue about the softwares you mention I assume by "images" you mean picture files: if those are in a broadly known format (JPEG or PNG) then those formats can surely be still decoded in 50 years. I can halfway assure this, as in today picture formats from the 70s are still supported by selected software.
hewmac06 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:19 am
copies of my files and Database
If by "files" you mean your entire installation (not only attachments): mostly yes, as they're more or less in plain text. Attachments depend on file types (I guess i.e. ZIP, JPEG and MP3 have more chances to still have enough knowledge left in 100 years to process them in contrast to i.e. RAR, 7Z, WEBP and DOCX. Database backup is plain text and understanding its logic in 100 years shouldn't be a problem. However, nobody knows if PHP or SQL in general is practiced/available in 100 years anymore to run your board.

As for this, an offline version (which purely works on HTML files) would be a much more robust approach for the future, at least for re-reading/browsing thru your board.

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John connor
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by John connor » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:10 pm

Flash storage won't last that long. Check out M-disk.

In fact, if a SSD doesn't receive power withen a certain amount of time, data can start to disappear.

I thought about doing this very thing except I will download all of Wikipedia and put it on M-disk.

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AmigoJack
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by AmigoJack » Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:21 pm

John connor wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:10 pm
Check out M-disk
More correctly and linked: M-DISC. In contrast to nowadays en vogue interfaces like USB and SATA (which are most likely outdated and unavailable in 100 years) a disc may be the better choice, although it's questionable if disc readers are still available in 2118 (and support both the structure and the file systems you're using). This problem is known to everyone who really thought about backup in full terms: keeping the data is not the only problem, but also being able to read and interpret it (speak: devices, software, knowledge).

John connor wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:10 pm
In fact, if a SSD doesn't receive power withen a certain amount of time, data can start to disappear.
Which is not only subject to time but also to temperature - since a time capsule is usually buried it implies that the ground has a lower temperature (which is better).

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EA117
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by EA117 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:05 pm

Yeah, the plain text of the database backup isn't bad, and is certainly one of the minimum things to go ahead and include. But its also a bit "phpBB-specific" in that the relationships between the tables, and the data contained in those tables, might not be so obvious to something that isn't phpBB.

One idea I explored -- but still didn't seem to be sufficient -- was to try and leverage the XML output that phpBB's RSS feed (/app.php/feed) generates. That gets us a lot closer to "ideal text archive" in my mind, because the data is already "composed" into more of a complete "message".

But it seems like it needs even more work than that; giving a better "all messages in a specific topic" relationship, as well as perhaps rendering the smilies and BBCode references as HTML or some other future-proof way, etc.

No, phpMyAdmin "export to XML" doesn't help, and is no different than the standard plain text database export. That's "XML description of the database tables." What seems like would be more desirable for this archiving purpose is something closer to "XML description of messages and topics".

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AmigoJack
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by AmigoJack » Mon Oct 22, 2018 3:37 pm

The database table column names are pretty straight forward, with very few exceptions. Attach one ZIP with the most recent phpBB installation and the future reader has everything he needs to trace names in all files and to figure out the relations - after all he will be interested in the most crucial tables only (forum, topic, post, user) and those are obvious to understand.

I'd also ask myself if it'd be really worth putting it into a time capsule to begin with - after all it should be about knowledge. I wouldn't want hypes and lifestyle (discussions) to give much value to be stored in long terms. More likely I'd store 100 GiB worth of music, because that kind of art can last for centuries (Bach, Mozart...) in terms of being interesting/well-received.

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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:22 pm

hopefully in 100 years the main interest won't be selfies and fb posts like: ok, I'm at the mall now.

not many forums/boards contain any info that would be of interest to anyone 100 years from now.

I agree with archiving music/literature/movies etc. but not bulletin boards.


robrert

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Mick
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Re: Forum - Time Capsule submission

Post by Mick » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:06 am

david63 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:19 pm
the way that technology is moving I doubt that you would be able to read that data in 20 years time, never mind 100
I doubt, even if you had the correct hardware and software, you will be able to read it. Half the time 3½” and 5¼” floppy disks couldn't be read between machines due to mechanical issues back in the day.
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