code flow museum

The Question of Conservation

There are a number of questions around the conservation of Web-based art works and projects. Here is an overview of some of the most frequent problems that need to be addressed if an older page is to be made accessible to today's viewers. The list is not exhaustive, and you will find further details on their conservation on the main pages of each of the projects hosted by the code flow museum.

Javascript: Browser Compatibility

With browsers complying with standards the way they have traditionally done, and some still continue to do, it is rather unlikely that any javascript code written years ago for a specific browser will still work on today's browsers. They need to be reprogrammed in browser-independent code, i.e., using the tricks of the trade to fool each of the non-compatible browsers to run through slightly different code, making use of known bugs in each of the browsers.

Flash: Faster Computers

But even Flash pages, which are supposed to be platform independent through plugins adapted to each of the platforms, may not provide the viewing experience now that they did seven years ago. The reason here lies somewhat more hidden. In principle, a Flash movie has a value programmed in, indicating how many frames per second should be played - by default 12. Ideally, this would mean that the movie would play today at the same speed as in 1999 when it was written. In actual fact, this is not always the case. Computers at the time were slower than today's, and it was not unusual for a Flash movie to play with substantially less than 12 frames per second. As a consequence, a movie that was playing at adequate speed at the time may play way too fast today - exactly the speed that the programmer had indicated, but not the speed that it was indeed playing then. Since the Flash source code is often no longer available, such conservation work involves reverse engineering the generated movie, fine-tuning the source, and generating the movie again. See the different project pages for a detailed description of what has been done to conserve each of the works or pages.

External Links: Referenced Page No Longer Online

An additional category of interventions required consists in catching references to external pages that no longer exist, and redirect the link to a page explaining what the external link represented - or to a copy of the page if available.

Absolute Links to Relative

Links to other pages within the same site no longer work when it is moved to the museum if they are absolute (i.e., they reference the original domain that used to host the site). Such links need to be changed to relative links within the site.