Feeds

Open access challenge to Google

Deja debacle springs some alternatives

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Your letters continue to stream in complaining about the loss of service resulting from Google's takeover of Deja's Usenet assets, and calls are spreading to make the archive publicly available.

Wired woke up and noticed there was a problem yesterday, too.

Its report will be wearily familiar to those of you who depended on the service until Monday last week, but mildly encouraging too. It cites users calling for the Usenet archive to be wrestled away from private ownership, and a new initiative to provide alternative access to the archive.

"I challenge Google to provide Deja's code and its oldest archives to the open-source community, and I urge others to echo that challenge," says an anonymous programmer who wishes to be known as "Deja Refugee", and who's planning an open source tools project to give people a better interface onto the database.

He (or she) may be bluffing, and he (or she) hadn't responded to our email at publication time. But it may prove to be an effective ploy. Google holds its open source values dear, so an open access movement, using open source tools could well spur the company to provide a user interface that users want, rather one that it thinks is cool.

If it's not too late, that is. Wired's Michelle Delio notes that Google has stopped using Deja's article number tagging, so recreating those thread views could now be difficult.
And it was with some sense of er, déjà vu, that we read a user cited in the article who suggested the Usenet archive be handed over to the Library of Congress. Where did he get such a whacky idea from? Actually, we floated it last week, although we were taking up a proposal from Netizens author Ronda Hauben who'd been anxious about the fate of the archive before Google took it over.

"I'm enraged that it has been taken from me. It's as if a private firm bought and then closed down all of Manhattan's public libraries for a few months simply because they wanted to rearrange the bookshelves," says user who supports the remedy we originally suggested here here last week.

From experience, your correspondent believes that Being Nice To Librarians is a mandatory life skill. We'll try and find out if Deja Refugee's alternative - constructive belligerence - is making any headway with Google later today. ®

Related Stories

Netizens blinded by 'half-assed' Google stunt
Deja UI too costly to save, Google boss tells Reg
Readers Letters My Google Usenet - wrong or right?
Google saves Deja.com Usenet service

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.