This relates to the fact that Stack Exchange is hosted on a Windows platform. It is indeed worrying that a communication platform of a community focused on free software relies on proprietary software. Apart from this, what worries me is the availability of the data, that is, all the knowledge accumulated on askubuntu (all questions and answers on this site). I know that all user generated content is licensed as cc-wiki but this is not what I'm getting at. I wonder what happens if SX is shut down or if its decided that Ubuntu's Q&A platform is to be hosted in another place or be handled in any other way. Is all the data generated on this site freely available so that it may be transferred to another platform?

In short: Is there any reason to worry that this site's information and community are locked in – or that they run the risk of getting locked in – because of Stack Exchange not being free software?


As Marco mentioned, the data is all cc-wiki (cc-by-sa-3.0) and freely available to anyone.

In times of trouble, you are completely free to switch to Shapado or OSQA which can import this data directly, I believe.*

* however I cannot be held responsible for any bleeding from the eyes that may result from looking at and using these systems

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    +1 for the bleeding eyes. Although there are some fully functional open source clones, their visual appearance can be rather, erm... unique. – Nathan Osman Jul 2 '11 at 19:48

The site's content is licensed as cc-wiki and will always be such. Data dumps are available every months and efforts to make these more real-time are underway. The platform is free and will always be free to use. The infrastructure running this free platform is indifferent because the content and platform are free and always will be.

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    "...and efforts to make these more real-time are underway." Could you please elaborate a bit on this? – Nathan Osman Jul 2 '11 at 19:49
  • Might I add that since the data dumps are torrents, they will be quite easy to get at since torrents are not so easy to take down. – hexafraction Aug 15 '12 at 17:57

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