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April 29th, 2017

Ostatic and Archphile Are Dead

OStatic ceased publication without warning or explanation in February. Archphile yesterday announced on Twitter that its “officially dead.”

Ostatic, the once popular website for news and information about Linux and open source, has disappeared from the face of the earth. Also gone, Archphile, an Arch Linux-based distro targeting audio playback quality for ARM devices.

I’ve been meaning to write about the demise of Ostatic for a month or so now, but it’s not easy to put together an article when you have absolutely no facts. I first noticed the site was gone a month or so back, when an attempt to reach it turned up one of those “this site can’t be reached” error messages. With a little checking, I was able to verify that the site has indeed gone dark, with writers for the site evidently losing access to their content without notice. Other than that, I’ve been able to find out nothing.

Even the site’s ownership is shrouded in mystery. The domain name is registered to OStatic Inc, but with absolutely no information about who’s behind the corporation, which has a listed address of 500 Beale Street in San Francisco. I made an attempt to reach someone using the telephone number included in the results of a “whois” search, but have never received a reply from the voicemail message I left.

Back in the days when FOSS Force was first getting cranked up, Ostatic was something of a goto site for news and commentary on Linux and open source. This hasn’t been so true lately, although Susan Linton — the original publisher of Tux Machines — continued to post her informative and entertaining news roundup column on the site until early February — presumably until the end. I’ve reached out to Ms. Linton, hoping to find out more about the demise of Ostatic, but haven’t received a reply. Her column will certainly be missed.

Another sudden departure

Yesterday, I found out about another sudden ending of an open source project, when a follower on Twitter directed my attention to a tweet posted yesterday to the account of a Linux distro reading: “Archphile project is officially dead. Thank you very much for your support all these years!” This followed a tweet posted on March 14 that read “#Archphile distro is alive!”

Hmmm…

I didn’t know anything about this project — I couldn’t find a listing for it on Distrowatch — but I thought it odd that a project would go dark with so little fanfare. A quick Google let me to the project’s website, which is now blank, other than a cool “so long” graphic and an email address, presumably to the project’s developer. I sent an email. If I hear back, I’ll let you know.

Archphile, OStatic

This graphic, and an email address, is all that’s on the website for the, presumably defunct, Archphile project,

Another quick Google led me to a blog post from 2015, a listicle called Pro Audio Linux Distributions, which included the project with this brief listing: “Archphile: a Arch Linux image targeting audio playback quality for ARM devices. Didn’t try it yet.”

Assuming that the project had some users, no matter how few, it would be nice if the developer had given a little more warning. But that’s just me.

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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