These are references for the project in general. Other sections may contain their own reference subsections.
Related projects and inspirations
- The Internet Archive (https://archive.org/) is working to preserve and provide access to all knowledge. They also have been working to innovate in other areas, such as by encouraging the development of Distributed Web technology, affordable housing, and an alternative credit union.
- The GNU (https://www.gnu.org/) and
- KDE (https://www.kde.org/) communities have produced a large number of successful free/libre/open-source software packages, which are already in use to facilitate development of this project.
- The Wikimedia movement (https://www.wikimedia.org/) has produced a wide range of libre-licensed educational information, including the structured knowledge database Wikidata. The knowledge the Wikimedia projects has created is similar in some ways to some aspects of this project, and would be useful to use in developing this project.
- MusicBrainz (https://musicbrainz.org/) is a libre-licensed structured database of music and musicians. It is the original inspiration for the structured data aspects of the information technology environment for the Ember project (DDC).
- Apache Wave (http://incubator.apache.org/projects/wave.html) partially inspired and influenced the communications approach for DDC (mixed-media, everything-is-a-document/everything-is-a-string, collaborative networking).
- BabelStone (http://babelstone.co.uk/) has many articles discussing challenges in using various writing systems in information technology systems. These articles influenced my interest in the availability of tools with better typography capabilities.
- ArchiveTeam (https://www.archiveteam.org/; http://fileformats.archiveteam.org/) works to preserve documents that were stored using the Internet and cloud services, and has articles and information about the massive losses of history and knowledge that have coincided with the use of these technologies. Frustration with these issues inspired the use of append-only storage as a core design parameter of DDC.
- Free Software Foundation (https://www.fsf.org/) promotes principles of freedom as used in and by this project.
Evidence of various problems this project aims to remedy
- Digital Amnesia (2014 film) (https://archive.org/download/DigitalAmnesiaDocumentary/DigitalAmnesiaDocumentary.HD.mp4) is an informative and accessible introduction to a few of the immense modern losses of and threats to historical knowledge.
- Madge, Robert. "GDPR: data portability is a false promise" (https://medium.com/mydata/gdpr-data-portability-is-a-false-promise-af460d35a629). 2017 July 4, in MyData.: This article discusses how corporations, when charged with preserving individuals' electronic information, cannot be relied upon to make it easy to transfer to other information technology environments; even if the data can be exported, which is rarely available as a lossless option, it cannot necessarily be transferred to other services due to the lack of standardization. At a minimum, lossless information exporting should be available, with documentation of the format in which it is exported. Google Drive, for instance, does not provide any lossless, documented, supported export format. They offer some supported and documented formats, but they are not lossless (particularly significant is the absence of export of document revision history, despite that history being stored and exposed via the user interface). Some success has been reported with retrieving their native format, but it is not documented, supported, or easily accessible (https://webapps.stackexchange.com/q/45562; http://features.jsomers.net/how-i-reverse-engineered-google-docs/).
- "National Museum of Brazil fire" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Brazil_fire). In Wikipedia. This tragedy exemplifies how organizational apathy to cultural preservation can cause devastating losses.
- Browne, Malachy. "YouTube Removes Videos Showing Atrocities in Syria" (https://web.archive.org/web/20171004135730/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/world/middleeast/syria-youtube-videos-isis.html). 2017 Aug. 22, in The New York Times. As corporate-mediated platforms become primary communications media with increasing reliance on them, the effects of using a privately managed platform without the traditional legal protections of press freedom become increasingly pronounced.
- ArchiveTeam. "A Million Ways to Die on the Web" (https://www.archiveteam.org/index.php?title=A_Million_Ways_to_Die_on_the_Web). This article discusses some of the threats to the preservation of Web-based media.
- The practice of "wiping" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiping; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_missing_episodes) historic broadcast media (radio and television) shows is illustrative of popular attitudes towards historical preservation: when value is not recognized at a given moment, things are wantonly neglected or destroyed without regard for what value they may hold in the future. Similarly, many films are lost, especially those that were stored using fragile and flammable nitrocellulose film, in the absence of comprehensive systems in place to ensure their preservation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_preservation; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_film; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrocellulose#Film).
- "Slack's bait and switch", in Opkode (https://opkode.com/blog/slacks-bait-and-switch/), as well as this discussion in response to it, and especially this comment; also this article, and this page, this page, and this other page from Slack themselves. The popular Slack messaging app is designed to capture its users' data, without allowing it to be easily exported: a Slack user cannot export (or even view) all the data they have access to. This prevents people from practically preserving their data stored using Slack. Their business model relies on capturing users' data, and holding it hostage until organizations need it enough to pay them for it.
- Snapchat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapchat), like Slack, is a company that predicates its entire business model on the wanton destruction of history: it provides a communications tool that is marketed upon the premise that messages sent with it are forgotten. It is unconscionable that the attitude even exists and found acceptable, never mind that it is widespread.
- The Adobe Illustrator vector drawing program doesn't have a smudge brush, although Adobe Photoshop does. There isn't a technical barrier to this (a smudge brush could be implemented by having a final pass over the rasterized artwork applying the equivalent Photoshop transformation), but because a smudge brush is a raster-centric concept, it is not provided even though it would be useful.