Of course, it is simply not feasible to put all the text of my knowledge and others' knowledge into a text based website. It would be hugely too volumnous.
What PERMANENT is trying to do is cover the basics for newcomers, essentially an on-line eBook, and then provide clickable links to advanced and specialized resources in an organized, systematic and fairly complete way, as references.
In a way, this is a website for CEO's, managers, and newcomers first and foremost, though it also points specialists in the right direction for additional information.
We try to be as complete as possible in our organized outbound links. We also try to be open and fair to everybody as a truly not-for-profit, non-self-aggrandizing operation, to maximize the chances of getting our species off the planet.
However, we understand the importance of trade secrets and financial sustainability of the various entities, so we usually don't publish information openly when people request that we keep it secret, or when common sense would indicate that it should remain secret even when the source does not request so. Likewise, we are not out to be the first to report things, nor to gain attention in questionable ways such as first revelations of secrets or sensationalism. We published information selectively with a lot of consideration and patience.
If we fail to mention somebody or give credit where it is due, please send us Feedback. It is usually simply because of time constraints and focus on other things which can result in oversights. Feedback is often deeply appreciated.
The website re-launched in 2012 has been entirely overhauled in structure, but most of the content is the same, with some edits, plus a lot of additions to cover what has happened over the period of 2002-2012. Some things were deleted in order to reduce the volume on the website.
To keep the website a manageable size for both newcomers and myself, when important things are added, I try to balance it by deleting things of relatively low importance (and leaving external links when I can). Many of the old pages remain untouched and unreviewed, so there is still a lot of material pending editorial work, and obsolete stuff pending deletion.
To understand the PERMANENT website, it is good to know a brief history of the website:
Text content from earlier writings dating back to 1983 went into a Bulletin Board System (BBS) in 1985 (when I first started to use computers), and all work from 1985 up to 1996 was ported from BBS to the permanent.com website when the latter was founded in 1996, the early years of HTML.
The website was developed in phase 1 from 1996 thru 2002, using 1990s website programming technology.
Actually, running out of money wasn't the only problem in 2002. The website also needed an overhaul, to be reprogrammed into a modern new content management system (CMS). Maintaining the old website, such as adding a new page, or moving some things around as it grew, took way too much time because the website was manually coded page by page, which was far too time inefficient.
There was a period of several years, 2002 thru 2009, where I just read professional publications but didn't put the information into the website.
I had employee programmers propose things, but none were approved for the longterm future due to some shortcomings in design, until I finally sat together with a friend and employee who really understood how to best design a content management system, whereby we started to hammer out a good custom CMS starting in 2006, which we called TreeCMS.
Publications Database Update
Parallel to the BBS and the website, PERMANENT has maintained its own internal library and database of relevant professional papers and reports going back to 1985, plus a database of contacts to professionals. During the web phase 1 from 1996 thru 2002, this meant moving the old databases (dBase, others) into an online web database which was IBM Lotus Notes (considered a leader at the time).
The IBM Lotus Notes database kind've died in the market, while SQL has become the leading database format, especially the open source MySQL, so I've ported the PERMANENT database into MySQL and set up a PHP front end.
In 2012, I was able to port most of the data from the 1998 Lotus Notes database into the 2012 MySQL database. Then, I added some recent records, mainly for testing and to help me develop some features.
I still have a few thousand publications to add, which I've just been keeping in an Excel spreadsheet. It's not suitable to put my Excel spreadsheet online, plus other people would find my Excel system a bit difficult to figure out, so these references will be added to the online database in 2013.
This is a separate database from the website TreeCMS. However, the two can cite each other.
As this is an entirely volunteer process, with nobody paying me, I have to spend half my time running my businesses, and then make time for PERMANENT whenever I can.
(I've also taught myself some programming, as I like to design my systems and public interfaces, and can usually do things faster myself than explain it to a programmer, but if a good programmer with good design abilities came in to help out, that would significantly improve productivity.)
The reality is that PERMANENT would develop a whole lot faster and better if there were sponsorship. Without sponsorship from any other organization or individuals, our species must take its risks in the space race against time.