GitHub takes the first steps to archive Open Source in the Arctic

by | Feb 5, 2020

ETIQUETAS: Hot news | Open source

During the GitHub Universe 2019 event, two new and interesting projects were announced: GitHub Archive Program and GitHub Arctic Code Vault. The GitHub team has set out to preserve Open Source software so that it can be used for future generations. To do this, they are creating a vault in the Arctic, and have already begun to take the first steps to archive active public repositories on GitHub.

Last Sunday, February 2, they took a snapshot of all repositories with the following characteristics:

  • Projects that have registered commits between November 13th, 2019, when Artic Code Vault was announced and on February 2nd.

  • At least one star and some commit during the last year.

  • At least 250 stars, regardless of when the most recent activity was recorded.

As they explain in their official blog, within each file they have included a guide to provide some context and direction to those who will consult in the future any of the files from around the world. It details the location of each repository and explains how to recover the data. It provides a general description of what the software is, an explanation of Open Source and its ethos, and a technical description of how to unpack the contents of the file.

To maximize the value of the archive for future generations, they have gathered an advisory board of experts in anthropology, archeology, archiving, history, linguistics, science and long-term projects. Last January they already held their first Advisory Summit and decided how to deal with visualization, metadata and redundancy of the archives.

This same week they have started the production of Artic Code Vault, which will take a few months to finish. The GitHub team will return to Svalbard in the spring to officially deposit the vault with all the repositories in the World Arctic Archive, an infrastructure built 250 meters deep in an Arctic mountain.
During the Satellite event to be held next May, they will share more information about this project and the importance of preserving the software created collectively so that it can be accessible by future generations.

Source: GitHub Blog

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