While the idea behind the project is to go back in history to preserve the work of individual developers, students, and lesser known developers and their open source projects. Now, the project has expanded with donations to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in England, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and the Stanford Libraries in California; and also, storing a copy in the library at GitHub’s headquarters in San Francisco.
And GitHub will be preserving its most popular repositories by the “stars” given by the community, which include projects like Ruby and Go programming languages, with Linux and Android operating systems.
Open source Archive beyond the GitHub Arctic Code Vault
The Archive program includes the storage of a code archive in the Arctic World Archive in Svalbard, Norway, about one mile away from the famous Global Seed Vault, by storing 21TB of repository data and 186 reels of piqlFilm in a decommissioned coal mine in the permafrost this summer.
In partnership with the Long Now Foundation, the Software Heritage Foundation, the Internet Archive, Arctic World Archive, and Microsoft Research, the program aims to preserve both “warm” and “cold” versions of code to ensure multiple copies and formats are preserved, also known as the Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe (LOCKSS) approach by archivists.
And the overriding idea is to preserve a moment in time, where open source will become the premier mode of software development, and chart the cultural significance of the movement.
Whom are the Archive Program meant to serve?
The archive program is being meant for two sets of people, namely: historians and future software developers who are curious about how a software was developed.
And each donation is encased using a combination of AI-generated art and 3D printing, with all the archived code having technical guides to QR decoding, character encodings, file formats, and other critical metadata; so that future developers can easily decode it.