The central piece to a data-first methodology is, in my opinion, having a file server.
The reason for this is that you’re going to want to access your data anytime, anywhere: streaming your music to your work PC, your movies to your iPad, or accessing your documents from your phone. You need a secure and reliable to way to store and serve that data, and this is best done with a file server.
(if you’re already about to ask why I don’t just use iCloud or something, you may need to read my introduction post again)
Let’s look at the basics for getting a file server after the break.
PieCrust reached the big milestone of version 1.0 without much fanfare – and this post won’t be any different from the other release announcements. After a few release candidates I figured I would never be quite satisfied, so why not just keep going with the releases and not pay too much attention to the first digit.
You’ll see releases 1.1.0 and up coming soon, with the usual bunch of fixes, changes, and new features. The only difference is that the version number will now reflect better what’s going on, since I’ll be loosely following the semantic versioning specification. In a nuthsell, the digit being incremented reflects whether a release is a bug fix, a non-breaking change, or a major and/or breaking change.
The one big new thing that comes with version 1.0 is an installer script, along with a
.phar binary, to make it easier for people to use PieCrust if they don’t want or need the source code. Head over to the PieCrust documentation for more information.
For the rest of the changes, keep reading.
The question has come up a couple times already via email or Twitter, so here’s a quick recipe to write a nice looking archive page for your PieCrust blog.
There are 2 main types of blog archives: monthly archives and yearly archives. We’ll look at them one at a time after the break.
I like to think I’m being careful and responsible with my data, especially when
I look at what most people do with theirs, so I thought I’d start a new series
of posts on the subject.
“Data-first” is about choosing applications, services and devices based,
first and foremost, on the data that you will get out of them, or the data they
accept as input. It’s important because, at the end of the day, once you’ve
quit your apps and turned off your devices, your data is the only thing that’s
left, and the only thing from which you’ll start again tomorrow. It’s also the
only thing you’ll have when you decide to switch to different applications,
different OSes, or different devices.
Who is this for?
Some companies – Apple, Google, Amazon, or Microsoft – want you to trust them
with your data. Trust that they will keep it available to you as the
technological landscape around us changes. Trust that they will keep it stored
for the next 50 years or so. And that they’ll always be there to unlock the
files for you. And that they’ll pass it all on to your kids when you die.
If you can trust at least one of them, “data-first” is probably not for you.
Instead you’ll choose the path of least resistance where all you have to do is
tap a button on your iPad or Kindle Fire, watch that movie or read that book,
and forget about it. Did you just rent or purchase? Do you own or merely lease?
Does it have DRM? What about maybe switching to another eco-system in the
future? Who cares! I applaud your ability to not worry about such things. Be on
your way, you blissfully lucky person, I wish you well.
If you’re like me, however, there’s no way you can think that way. Being French
means, at best, having a… let’s say: a “healthy” distrust of governments and
corporations. Even if I trusted a company right now (which I don’t), I have
no guarantee that the next CEO or board of directors are not going to screw
their customers over. And this is important when you want to keep consuming
your data for a long time. Am I ever going to stop re-watching “Who Framed
Roger Rabbit” or “The Shining”? Or stop re-reading any Alan Moore comic?
Probably not. And how long is “Game Of Thrones” going to last? Another 6
years, maybe? Remember how things were 6 years ago? Yeah, that was when
people were eagerly waiting for the first iPhone to be released, and Netflix
was still about mailing DVDs to people.
So no, I will not trust anybody but myself to manage my data for the next 50
years, let alone the next 10.
What is it for?
Keep in mind that the “data-first” approach has nothing to do with services
and applications where you’re not supposed to keep any data. This includes
iTunes rentals and subscription based services like Spotify or Netflix. I have
absolutely no problem with those, which I use extensively.
What it’s for is any data you’ve chosen to purchase (videos, music, books,
whatever), or that you have created or shared (emails, IMs, or other social
media bullshit). That’s what we’ll be talking about.
“Data-first” posts will be tagged with the eponymous tag, so keep an eye on
it for case-by-case studies.
JManga, a digital manga service created less than 2 years ago by 39 of the biggest publishers in Japan, is shutting down in a couple months. Most cloud services related fears became a reality when it was clear no refund or backups would be offered. Check out their “Urgent Message” for more details, but believe me when I say it can’t get any worse:
It is not possible to download manga from My Page. All digital manga content will no longer be viewable after May 30th 2013 at 11:59pm (US Pacific Time)
Everybody then wondered what would happen if ComiXology went down. And funnily enough, just the day before, ComiXology had experienced a massive blackout which left people unable to read any issues they didn’t have in their cache.
Rich Jonston from Bleeding Cool concludes:
This is the moment when the real winners are comic stores… and pirates.
As I said before, and as many others said before me: own your data. Cloud services are fine by me as long as there’s a way to easily backup my stuff on my file server, thank you very much.