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Thread: How far back
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Old April 11th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #4
Steve Price
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 75
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Hi Ed

There are several reasons.

1. One of our goals is to become a useful reference source for our main target constituency, collectors of antique rugs and textiles. Most threads simply lack the content that is likely to be of long term interest to those people.
2. Server space is inexpensive, and we have lots of it. But it isn't free, and what we have isn't unlimited. Since we typically have many images in our discussions, archiving all of them would greatly increase the amount of server space that we occupy.
3. Archiving threads, especially long threads, is fairly labor intensive. I archived a thread with 70+ posts yesterday; it took about an hour. Our message board software would let us keep threads indefinitely, in principle. But - and it's a big but - it would keep them as part of an ever-expanding MySQL database, and databases crash from time to time. The things that are archived are first converted to static web pages (HTML pages). Not only are they extremely stable, I am able to keep full backups of all of them on my hard drive and can restore any or all of them on the same server or any other server even if the one we're on crashes totally or if our web hosting service gets bought out by one of the many unscrupulous web hosts and we opt to change hosts. One of our former hosts refused to give us FTP access to our site when we told them we were leaving.
4. There are already other sites that, in my opinion at least, fulfill any reasonable desire of folks who want or need extremely wide ranging databases of rug images and descriptive information. They provide a valuable service.

The decision of which freestanding discussions get archived is usually just my judgement of the potential interest of the content. Any reader is invited to request archiving of a specific thread. I don't get many such requests, but have never refused to honor one.

Regards

Steve Price
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