Ephemeral is a completely automated archive. Articles on ALT.TV.X-FILES.CREATIVE starting with "NEW" are automatically snatched into the database, where you can view them. When the wonderful Gossamer archive updates, Ephemeral is cleared.
NOTHING is guaranteed to work on Ephemeral.
Stories might not be archived, some articles that aren't stories MIGHT
be archived, the stories might be horribly formatted, and Ephemeral itself
may not even be up. This archive is provided as a convienience to
fill the gap between Gossamer updates. I leave accuracy up to the
Gossamer folks, they do a great job.
You can instruct Ephemeral to organize the stories in other ways, using the Browse Controls panel at the bottom of the page. Here, you can select to sort by Title, Author, E-mail of poster, Number of hits, Length, Date, and Number of Recommendations. And you can use the second select-box to choose between Ascending and Descending order. There are two additional fields, one to specify the number of stories per page, and the first entry to start at (eg, skip this many entries). Once you've customized these settings, clicking Browse will regenerate the Ephemeral page with your preferences. You can bookmark this first page if you like this mode.
In addition to the Browse Controls, there is a Search
Control panel as well. Here, you can specify (in addition to the
Browse settings) to search the database for strings. You can search
in Title/Author, and Text. A couple of notes, here:
Searching Title/Author searches all of Title, E-mail and Author name. Second, searching
the text of the stories is a little misleading. You're actually only
searching the first 512 characters (About 40 lines). This is useful
for searching for identifying information. For example, you could
search for "Character Death", or "SHA" to find stories that have Character
Deaths or are categorized as Story, Humor, Angst.
All searches are case-insensitive. Searching for Lisa would retrieve stories with Lisa, lisa, and LISA in the field.
It seems a little odd to have posting guidelines for an automated archival system, but in case you are really concerned, Ephemeral archives stories based on the following (lenient) rules:
1. Subjects whose first three characters are 'NEW'
2. Subjects whose first four characters are '*NEW'
3. Subjects whose first four characters are 'REP:'
4. Subjects whose first four characters are 'REV:'
5. Subjects whose first six characters are 'REPOST'
6. Subjects whose first seven characters are 'REVISED'
There are about a half dozen other checks, but these above four get
the most results. So try to adhere to them.
My personal preference is for all new stories to start with 'NEW: ', and all reposts with 'REP: '.'
The flip side of the coin is, of course, if you DON'T want Ephemeral
to grab your stories. Personally, I don't see this as a problem, as Ephemeral
doesn't keep the stories forever, just until the next Gossamer update,
however, if you really don't want your stories archived, make sure
the string "*NO ARCHIVE*" (sans quotation marks, but WITH asterisks, and
in all caps), appears within the first 20 lines of text. This signals the
Ephemeral NNTP engine to ignore this otherwise archived story.
I'm quite proud of the technology behind the scenes. Ephemeral is composed entirely of Open Source software. Its written in PHP3, accessing a MySQL database of archived stories. The stories themselves are periodically fetched by a home grown Java application, running on my own Gamora architecture. The Web server is Apache 1.3, running on the delightfully quick and stable Linux operating system. Click the icons below for the homepages of each component.