How Open Source Failed Me

For about 2 1/2 years now my wife and I have been keeping a blog for our son Jace. Over at JaceDaniel.com  (notice how all the post images are broken when you go there)  we document the life of Jace and post pictures for 2 reasons:

1. So we can easily share with family
2. Now, 20 years from now, and hopefully forever Jace will have an online “baby book”

In my mind, number 2 being the most important. Why number 2 is such a big deal to me is because my Mom put together and kept 5 baby books for me, from birth to about 13 years old, and those baby books mean a lot when you get older and want to reflect on your past. I want to do the same for my son.

In pursuit of the same but a little more cutting edge than the modern day scrap-booking, I figured the online blog format was the best way to go but needed an image sharing solution. I chose DasBlog for the blog and nGallery for the image sharing solution. Both open source.

DasBlog rocks, it’s a great piece of software with truly dedicated and talented people. nGallery on the other hand… Well it was a great piece of software, it did exactly what I needed but then it was taken over by Community Server and now it is NOT part of the open source/free world.

So here is my issue. This last week I upgraded JaceDaniel.com to DasBlog 2.0  which uses .Net 2.0 but my open source nGallery uses .Net 1.1. I am unable to get both the .Net 2.0 and .Net 1.1 applications  to play nicely in the same sandbox. Even with their own vdirs and application pools. So, now I have a blog/baby book with broken references to a .Net 1.1 nGallery picture gallery. Trying to keep up with the latest in technology hosed me. Suck. So much for a baby book to last decades.

The reality of it is that when I started the blog I didn’t put much thought into how to make an online application/baby book last forever. I am now…I need a solution. Something that will be there when my son is old enough to care. Even if I found a way to fix the problem at hand I am still worried about the future.  What if DasBlog sells out and 10 years from now I’m forced into .Net 8.0 with no backwards compatibility? Screwed again.

What do I do?

Pay for a service? How do I know if they’ll be there in 20 years?

Build and manage my own applications? I don’t have the time.

Am I stupid to put our precious memories on the Internet?

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