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commit 32ccbd7c9c6e9cc28f6a3fdaa7db933227fa10d8 (patch)
parent 8ba21a2421b8ab2c2857d56ee119dfc1a3dc9104
Author: Alex Karle <>
Date:   Sun, 21 Nov 2021 14:08:02 -0500

gopher: Add phlog entry on the archive-ability of plaintext

Just some afternoon thoughts!

Agopher/phlog/012.txt | 43+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mgopher/phlog/index.gph | 1+
2 files changed, 44 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)

diff --git a/gopher/phlog/012.txt b/gopher/phlog/012.txt @@ -0,0 +1,43 @@ +Optimizing for Archival +----------------------- +Sun Nov 21 13:56:35 EST 2021 + +--- +Written on my desktop while Jennie mod-podge's the puzzle +we put together last weekend for framing. +--- + +If you've read any of my previous posts, it's no secret that +one of the reasons I'm really enjoying phlogging is the +plaintext content. I wanted to call out one of my favorite +side-effects of plaintext entries: ease of archiving. + +Browsing gopherspace, it's clear that plaintext is among the +most suitable formats for long term storage. Look at's +treasure trove of historical documents. Or all of the IETF +RFC's. Plain ascii-encoded files seem to be a guaranteed way +to ensure your content is not only readable in the future, +but easy to archive for that future. + +This is actually one of my biggest beefs with mdoc(7). It's +a great semantic language, but it's not really that legible +in its raw form. It's a safe bet for archival--given that so +much of our historical manuals are written in it, it seems +that interpreters like mandoc(1) will be around for a while; +however, it's still dependent on external tools for proper +viewing. + +Same with HTML--you need a browser or interpreter to read it. + +I think this is one of the strengths of markdown--even in a +post-HTML future, the markdown source will be archived and +readable. However, I kind-of like explicitly scoping the +content to _just_ ascii and not focusing on *any* other +presentation format other than the source. It's all too common +to get markdown files that are illegible because the author +cares more about the way GitHub renders it than the way +it looks in an editor (unwrapped lines, massive amounts of +image URLs, non-prettified tables, etc). + +I take comfort knowing I'll be able to `cat` this file +two decades from now and still remember what I was thinking :) diff --git a/gopher/phlog/index.gph b/gopher/phlog/index.gph @@ -14,6 +14,7 @@ [0|Atom Feed|/phlog/atom.xml|server|port] +[0|[2021-11-21] Optimizing for Archival|/phlog/012.txt|server|port] [0|[2021-11-21] Lowering Barriers to Writing|/phlog/011.txt|server|port] [0|[2021-11-17] Adding a Feed for the Phlog|/phlog/010.txt|server|port] [0|[2021-11-15] Going Live on the Weblog|/phlog/009.txt|server|port]