Github Arctic Code Vault
I made it into history!
Somewhere in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago of the Arctic, Github is archiving terabytes of open-source code stored onto special film which could last up to a thousand years through the Github Archive Program. A snapshot of public repositories hosted on Github with contributions from millions of developers from across the globe will go into it. As per Github’s official page for the program, repositories with the following criteria were taken into account:
The 02/02/2020 snapshot archived in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault will sweep up every active public GitHub repository, in addition to significant dormant repos. The snapshot will include every repo with any commits between the announcement at GitHub Universe on November 13th and 02/02/2020, every repo with at least 1 star and any commits from the year before the snapshot (02/03/2019–02/02/2020), and every repo with at least 250 stars.
The idea is similar to The Golden Record sent aboard the Voyager in an attempt to store and communicate the story of our world to extraterrestrials using a phonograph record. It involved an interesting amount of research and collaboration from several countries. Learn more about the history, manufacturing, and what went onto the record from NASA’s website here.
While it might sound like someone at Github experiencing an existential crisis came up with the idea, storing as much history as possible for the future is unarguably a good idea. Historians from the future can gain valuable insights into us from our open-source code only if we are able to preserve it. If you’ve read it this far, definitely check out the Github Archive Program official website for more interesting info about this and future efforts to store open-source projects.
The developers behind the code that made it into the 02/02/2020 snapshot were awarded an Arctic Code Vault Contributor badge on their Github profiles. If you see it on yours, congratulations your code made it into the snapshot. If you don’t — start contributing to open-source projects and who knows your code could make it to our next galaxy!