Wining (sic) ’bloggers

Last Sunday Dave Winer did it again. Not content with being a frequent target for those with no sense of perspective, he’s really gone for it.

Dave used to run a free hosting service for Manila Userland ’bloggers. Now, as is his right, he’s decided to knock it on the head for various reasons. So far, so good. But he really screwed up in that the withdrawal of service was made in one fell swoop, with no warning, nothing. If you own a site which he hosts, you have to log a comment on his site and he’ll hopefully send you a back-up:

Sometime after July 1, 2004, I will export all the requested sites, without their membership groups. You can then download them and do with them as you wish. I won’t export them before July 1, and this is a one-time offer.

I don’t recommend following the comments against this link unless you can take a lot of profanity and stupidity: some people have gone absolutely crackers over the whole situation.

Summary: what Dave is doing is perfectly reasonable in principle, but he’s definitely going about it all wrong. A little notice is not too much to ask. That said, what really makes me laugh is the sheer hostility from those expecting a free ride into perpetuity — much like the recent furore over MovableType (and before that, when Apple started to — gasp! — charge for .Mac). OK, so he’s taken your site off-line with no warning and no re-direct. He currently ownz your precious content, and that’s pretty stiff. However, if it’s that precious, you should (a) have a local back-up and (b) consider paying for some proper hosting with service level agreements and the like. Those whingeing about “fascism” or wishing horrible injuries and death on Winer just look incredibly foolish, although by the same token, I can’t see the man himself being taken particularly seriously again after this sorry episode.

Oh yes, as one would expect from that most litigious of societies, a lawyer with a proposed class suit has also chipped in. Good grief, as if life wasn’t short enough already!

Via Rogers Cadenhead.


  1. I definately concur with the local backup stuff. I had a dodgy webhost once for my PHP/MySQL site who would occasionally "reinstall MySQL" and lose all the databases in the process. After learning the hard way, I now (despite now being on a proper webhost) have a cron job that every midnight does a mysqldump, gzips it, and emails it to me.

    This could be an interesting project, an Agent that generates a DXL of a Notes database and emails it - for when replication is not a viable backup option :) It would also be a short project…Marcin#
  2. Marcin, I happen to have just that code. It sniffs the entire server and creates a document per database found. On that document you would find all the database details, plus three DXL files attached (ACL, documents, design elements). Obviously you can also choose to just do design DXL etc. I will share some more pretty soon on my site if you're interested.Ferdy Christant#
  3. This is definitely where a Domino blog has the advantage over other systems. Replication is one of the jewels of Notes that constantly gets overlooked. Have a local replica that replicates in the background on a regular schedule and you never have to worry about such things.

    And exactly when is replication not a viable option??? Not run into a scenario like that yet.

    Sean---Sean Burgess#

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