Data does not last forever. If a DVD has a life span of approximately 100 years, a hard drive demonstrably gives up its ghost as soon as two to ten years. Data stored on it is then lost. GitHub has found a way to extend the life of digital data. To this end, the Microsoft subsidiary has now stored the code listed on its platform in the Arctic. There, it is expected to survive for at least 1,000 years. Also on board: AOE’s Open Source frontend framework Flamingo.
There are quite a few forgotten technologies from which the world would have benefited. Roman concrete or liquid salt reactors, for example. Microsoft subsidiary GitHub also sees a similar value in Open Source software and would therefore like to preserve it for posterity. To achieve this, GitHub uses polyester film spools printed with QR code. These are stored at a depth of 250 meters in a coal mine in the freezing Arctic of Spitsbergen. This should guarantee a lifespan of at least 1,000 years. Despite delays caused by the Corona crisis, numerous boxes of microfilm with code projects were successfully stored on Spitsbergen in the summer of 2020. Flamingo, a flexible frontend for AOE’s in-house, headless microservice-oriented commerce platforms, is also part of the so-called “Arctic Code Vault.”
Flamingo has been available on GitHub since April 2019. Flamingo consists of two main components that build upon each other. First, there is Flamingo Core, which is designed for the development of sophisticated web applications with custom frontends. The other is Flamingo Commerce. This component was developed to meet the requirements of E-Commerce applications. It can be easily integrated into headless E-Commerce backends.
Classified as priceless knowledge, Flamingo is now stored under hundreds of feet of permafrost in an Arctic vault to ensure that future generations can access it, even if civilization should perish within the next 1,000 years. In addition to recognition, AOE also received an award, the so-called “Arctic Code Vault Badge.” A prerequisite for archiving was that Flamingo had received at least one commit and one star between February 2019 and February 2020.
In addition, the archive on Spitsbergen is specialized in the prolonged storage of confidential data. The Vatican, for example, is said to have stored documents there. Also nearby is the “Svalbard Global Seed Vault”, an initiative of the World Trust Fund for Crop Diversity. Up to 4.5 million seed samples have been stored long-term in warehouses 130 meters above sea level. This is intended to ensure the preservation and protection of the diversity of species and varieties of crops. The project, launched in 2008, served as a model for GitHub’s “Arctic Code Vault.”