Auto-Archival

Programming - Mar 31, 2024

I’m sure most of us have used the ol’ Wayback Machine to access some site that’s gone offline. I don’t actually know how it decides what sites to archive and when, but you can tell it to save pages. There is UI for it right on its homepage.

Also, there is a little trick…

That’s still a bit manual though.

Brian Kardell was given access to some kind of secret API that allows submission of pages, and he built a public service around it anyone can use. Here’s his blog post on it. You hit the endpoint with some JSON in your choice of a couple of formats and it’ll do the rest. The idea is that other systems would use this for submissions. Imagine a WordPress plugin that hit it when you hit submit or update on a post. Or a Netlify build plugin that pinged this as you deployed.

I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between this service and the URL technique from Zeldman’s tweet, but I gotta imagine an API-based submission service is more reliable.

The big idea is that you’re telling this service to archive your page forever, which is the mission of the Internet Archive. So, should your site ever go away, the content lives on. So you’d better want that before you do this!

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