A CLI, client-side script, and browser plugin for stopping the internet from slowly dying
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rotgone : Internet Archive your links or rot in posterity

Just after starting this grand endeavour I found out about [Gwern's complete solution][https://hackage.haskell.org/package/archiver].

I wrote a bash script for myself anyway. The text following is here to show how excited I can get by An Idea:

The average hyperlinked page is available for less than 100 days after first being linked. So a notable fraction of the context and value of published web content is decaying, over short timeframes. In fact, a given set of links should mostly be gone within 10 years.

Link shorteners are another serious threat to the link ecology, since, if the shortener goes down, all that meaning is lost even if the pages are still live.

rotgone finds and replaces fragile links in your files: it substitutes in the Internet Archive (IA) link, adding the page to IA if it isn’t yet archived. There’s a node CLI and will be a client-side rewriter in vanilla JS. Maybe a browser plugin, as a doomed outreach attempt.



\# Look in a file for links,
`rotgone /path/to/file.html`

\# Archive a whole site
`rotgone /path/to/whole/site/posts `

\# Update all linked pages in `file` on the Internet Archive:
`rotgone --rearchive /path/to/file.html`


  • --rearchive. Searches input file for links and saves the current version of all linked pages to IA, even if there before.

  • --rerot. Removes IA links, thus returning the page to original vulnerable links.

  • --dryrun.

  • --longen. expand shortened links, replace with original or archive


Just add rotgone.js in your code like so:

 <script src="/js/rotgone-passive.js"></script>

On page load it will fire a request and rewrite your hrefs with IA.

(The IA's page-save service is slow, bless them, ~10s per page: try it yourself: "http://web.archive.org/save/{your url}".)

Development Schedule

v1 : rotgone-cli

(node cli for running on your site source before build.)

  • v 0 : Write tests.
  • v 0.1.1 : Functioning command line. Looks up all links over API, replaces if hit found. HTML input.
  • v 0.1.2 : Add Mdown support.
  • v 0.1.3 : Add whole folder support.
  • v 0.2.1 : Add flag: -d, --drydrun
  • v 0.2.2 : Add flag: -h, --help
  • v 0.2.3 : Add flag: -r, --rearchive
  • v 0.2.4 : Add flag: -rf, --rerot
  • v 0.2.5 : Add flag: -l, --longen
  • v 0.3 : Add progress report: “m/n checked”.
  • v 1.0 : apt or npm package

v2 : rotgone

(js script)

  • v 1.1 : passive client-side version: rewrite links on load
  • v 1.2 : active client: save all
  • v 1.3 : clever toggling
  • v 2.0 : spread the word

v3 : rotgone-browser

(Browser plugin tuned for Blogger and Wordpress post editors.)