Open Source: Github completes archiving in ice


At its in-house exhibition Universe, code host Github announced the goal last year of archiving all of the platform’s public code repositories in a former coal mine in Svalbard. Like the Microsoft company on his blog, the code has now been put into storage after some delays due to the Covid 19 pandemic on July 8th.

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The code is stored on microfilm, comprises a total of 186 rolls and is to be stored in the former mine, which is still in the permafrost zone, for 1,000 years – an archive in the eternal ice. The source code comes from more than 100 million repositories and contains around 21 TB of data. Code from repositories that were considered active at the time of the snapshot on February 2 was copied onto the microfilm. To do this, the repositories had to have at least one commit in the previous year.

According to Github, several million people contributed to the archived code. All those involved will receive the so-called Arctic Code Vault Badge, which will appear as a highlight on the profile page of the contributors in the future. There are also some of the repositories with the corresponding contributions on Github that are now stored in the mine on Spitsbergen.

For the Arctic Code Vault, as Github calls the archive, the company has cooperated with the Internet Archive, among others, as well as with the Heritage Foundation software, which is supported by Unesco and whose main goal is to preserve software and its source code permanently for future generations. To ensure that the code now archived in the ice can also be used and understood in the future, Github a guide to that created in several languages, which is also part of the archive.

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