[LINK] CRN: 'Aussie techies rally to save ... database'
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Sep 3 11:38:38 EST 2011
Aussie techies rally to save condemned education database
By Darren Pauli on Sep 2, 2011 11:40 AM (23 hours ago)
Educational resource set for scuttling.
The IT community has banded together to save thousands of educational
documents at risk under plans to scuttle a 10-year-old database.
The AEShareNet database was established in 2000 between state and
territory education departments to allow a wide berth of corporate,
state and non-profit organisations access to free and low-cost
Organisations as large as Qantas to regional colleges tapped into
some of the best training materials available to create internal
educational courses on a wide range of topics.
Content creators could post their materials under a series of free or
paid licencing models later made obselete by Creative Commons.
[The word 'obsolete' is incorrect. AEShareNet licences aren't even
obsolescent, let alone obsolete. CC arrived a few years after
AEShareNet licences were launched. What I said was that, after CC
had proven itself and gained momentum in the market, AESL intended to
work towards migrating AEShareNet licences into the CC framework.]
It contained what it claimed was Australia's largest catalogue of
The database was to be scuttled following a directive by the
Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment in March
(pdf) to close the educational support agency TVET Australia which
aborbed AEShareNet in 2006.
A statement posted on the AEShareNet website said the repository
would be scuttled on 16 September. Documents collected over its
decade of operation would also be lost, according to Roger Clarke,
AEShareNet chairman from 2000 to 2006, who rushed to save the
"The database was to be closed - all that work to simply disappear
off the web," Clarke said. "The statement did not contain any
information about any kind of transition for the resources."
"It was designed so that training packages did not have to be
reinvented so, for example, a well-written occupational health and
safety course could be dropped into teaching materials often for free
but now all of that framework was to be lost."
AEShareNet did not return SC Magazine's calls for comment.
Clarke asked for help to mirror the site over the Australian National
University's 18-year-old Link mailing list and help flooded in.
Internet service providers, the Australian National Library and
university researchers offered technical advice about how the
database could be copied and stored.
Clarke used Sitecrawler to scrape most of the content from the site
save for "non-crucial", ASP-coded documents stored in a database and
has hosted a mirror on his personal website:
He said he would welcome the opportunity to salvage the remaining content.
Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia
Roger Clarke http://www.rogerclarke.com/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science Australian National University
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