Hidden Writing Archives

So, recently I realized that my website essentially hasn’t been updated since 2007. (I noticed last week that I had an announcement on there about the presentation I gave at FOSS4G… in 2006. As a current event. Yeah, my website isn’t particularly up to date.)

So, I’m working on moving bits and pieces of it to git, so I can track history and changes more easily, and also because I think that having it open presents no risk and provides opportunity for me to more easily track what I’m doing there in public. However, since the website has been essentially a dumping ground for my various crap for the past 8 years, I’m being a bit cautious about it, and moving things in one by one. (There is some content in my webdir which should not be publicly available — everything from passwords to old client content which is currently protected by password.)

In the process, I came across a collection of articles that … I might have written.

I say might, because I have no real memory of writing them. However, they have examples which use my name; they are written in a style which is semi-consistent with how i would write, and most importantly, they’re hosted under my formal/writing directory (which no one else has ever had access to), which is also explicitly prevented from being crawled by robots.txt. The modification dates on these files are in November 2005 (all on the same day; which likely means they were copied en masse from something even older).

They’re all of things that were of interest to me at the time — how to integrate RSS into IRC bots, how to parse mood information from LiveJournal RSS feeds, how to parse the LiveJournal live stream, etc.

The thing is… I have no idea why I have them. Or why I hid them.

At the time, I was working on getting contracting work — this was before I had started working for Ning, during a time when I was grasping for contracting work to make ends meet, having ended my commute back and forth to wedü. I guess this means that I was actually (essentially) unemployed for a brief period there… perhaps I thought writing articles like this was a good way to draw attention to myself. But then my question becomes… why did I hide them from my robots.txt?!

My biggest fear is that this content is actually stolen from somewhere else — the topics are general enough that it could be. However, given the specifics of the topics, I think that they can’t all be.

While I would believe that someone else could write some of those, it would surprise me that anyone else wrote all of those, and put them in one place. So I think this *is* writing I created… but I have no idea why. With no historical version control, I can’t refer to that (curse you, younger, more foolish self!), and at this point I’ve switched computers enough times that there isn’t much left in the way of detrious of conversation logs from that time; even my email records only go back to 2006 consistently. I think this was actually content that was probably created before transitioning my website to a hosted webserver; this was from the days when it just ran off the server at the apartment.

I’ve googled titles and snippets of these; I see no other evidence of them on the web. I think this means these probably are my original content. Given that, I think I’m going to go with: share and enjoy! I’ve put these into the github repo under formal/writing, where you’re free to do with them what you will. I may try to tidy them up… heck, I may even try to write a few more, because I actually enjoy the writing style.

I just… find it weird that I have this content that the internet at large doesn’t have access to which I apparently wrote 8 years ago and have absolutely no memory of… what a weird thing to find.

(If you have any memory of me writing these articles, why, or evidence I’ve shared them in the past, I’d love to hear it!)

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