-2

Technology and information systems change and evolve rapidly. What seemed impossible or at least futuristic a few years ago is normal today - and might itself look outdated in a few more years. Mobile gigabit Internet accessibility with ultra-low latency was beyond being possible 10 years ago, when the first versions of LTE were yet to be made available yet today, 5G is promising exactly that. In 10 more years, we might look at 5G and smile at those low transmission speeds and how exited we were.

Unfortunately, not all systems are documented as well as an international standards such as 5G. Specifically, proprietary standards are often not well documented - if at all - and often forgotten soon after the company behind it discontinues the product.

Examples are proprietary communication protocols for the early Instant Messenger applications from the early 2000s. Early AOL software. The first online social network sites. Napster. And the like.

While thearchive.org does an amazing job to preserve information on websites for later years, functionality and links on the saved sites is mostly faulty. Similarly, Stack Exchange's "Retro Computing" does a good job, but focuses topic-wise mostly on hardware- and programming-related issues.

I think that a vault for the "historic Internet" should be built that discusses, documents, and preserves versions of web-based software, websites, and protocols. This would include detailed collections of screenshots, HTML/CSS, description/documentation of the services, and the like.

| |
  • 3
    Do you have a ready community willing to put in the effort to create and maintain this site? – Mast Jun 30 at 12:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .