I was saving a webpage last year, and I thought, “this hasn’t seen an upgrade since they added to save as complete that puts all the assets in a directory, what am i gonna do with a file and a directory? Put them in another directory? Why don't they have it just run all the pictures through ttnypng/jpeg, base64 encode them, compress the styles, and idk what to do with the javascrtpt, but I'm gonna go see if it had been done as an extension.” And when I could not find such an program, did I go read mdn and try to figure out how to write addons? Nope, but gildas here seized the opportunity to write perhaps the most significant piece of software this decade. Our great-grandchildren, if they have a habitable world will read the internet of the past, displayed in near perfect representation of the web we see today.
Centuries from now when the aliens arrive to find the charred ashes of our civilization. They might also find data crystals containing our web archive. And these pages, with their simplicity, are much more likely to be deciphered allowing our legacy to live on. And when our descendants, if they were lucky enough to find shelter from the coming inevitable extinction level environmental changes. the unrelenting drall of capitalism, having torn through every resource capable of sustaining life and turned it into money for jeff bezos, the koch brothers, elon musk, rick scott, and the rest of those depraved billionaires. all frantically grabbing at everything they can. Inexplicably driven to take whatever is left, and willing to snuff out all life save the chosen few to do it.
Their nouveau-eugenics standards, though completely without basis in reality, are backed by the controlling interest in reality bought and paid for by the harvest of their death machines and OUR collective toil. Legitimized by the unquestioned fairy tale of the "man who took all the risk" , we will see our scientific progress slow to a crawl while the rich divert more and more into their plans to launch themselves into space before another generation is able to usurp their social status.
And when our descendents crawl up from their subterranean shelters, will they have continued to learn about the once living world above? Or will they be driven by superstition and other simple operants? Now that I've seen SingleFile | Save a page as a single HTML fileby gildas I have hope for the former. This is, all seriousness - really, one of the most important pieces of software written, ever. Like a scribe in the library of alexandria, writing, storing and sorting the collective knowledge of humanity while the machines of death encroach. Knowing it’s just a matter of time before it all catches up, that the most they can hope for is that something other than the lust for wealth will be remembered of our people.
Will we just sit back and think to ourselves how nice it is that there is something like that, or will we take an active role. Will we work together to use these tools to ensure copies are made and cataloged properly? Will we take a few dollars and send them to developes like gildas, so they might dedicate more of their time to creating the tools of our salvation, or will we send them to jeff bezos because we wanted that new phone that has a 200MHz slower processor than the one from last year, but they put a new skin on the homescreen and added some "security" feature we don't really understand, but it sounds cool.