Doom Wiki:RFC/Romero website unreliability



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Why, John, why?!?!

John Romero has an interesting and extremely unfortunate habit spanning at least a decade now of tearing down his meticulously built websites, letting the domain registrations expire so that they get squatted, and/or even setting robots.txt on his newer pages, causing the Wayback Machine to bar all the archived material from public access. This has led to a constant battle of trying to keep up-to-date the dozens of links on this wiki to the various resources he has hosted over the years. We need to take some preventative actions to stop this from being such a large issue in the future.

Past domains[edit]

Domains that have been affected and their respective fates:

Domain name Content Fate Unique blog posts and some content mirrored from other sites Currently up but blanked of all existing content in late 2015
(www.) Personal site, some unique material and some mirrors Currently times out on access, no content available; prevents access to ALL content despite much of it being previously available (likely robots.txt set to deny all).
(www.) Prime site, had much historical material including Lee's page and a forum under /smf URLs with citable posts by Romero Ripped down, domain reg expired. Some content is becoming inaccessible via Wayback Machine? Historical photographs and graphics Most content is still present but some has mysteriously disappeared as of late.



We need to create link archiving template variations which autocategorize articles with links to the affected domains to collect them into a hidden maintenance category. Such templates should also be built to make changing the target domains en masse a simple process that does not involve hand editing every affected article.

Self-hosting content[edit]

Romero has had no problem with us hosting most of the content in question ourselves, in particular with respect to his images, so I suggest we continue to do so under fair use, until and unless someone wants to obtain a formal grant of permission from him in which case he would need to stipulate terms under which he is comfortable with us hosting the files.

Alternative stable hosts[edit]

Migrate links to alternative stable hosts that exist when possible. For example, any references to Usenet material that exist in Lee Killough's DOOM page are probably secondary sources for which first hand material exists either on Usenet itself (use Google Groups archive) or on

Alternate archiving[edit]

Explore the possibilities of using alternate archiving outside of the Wayback Machine, such as, which do not remove material due to robots.txt.

Current caveats[edit]

I have already approached Lee Killough about his site in particular and John Romero is still saying that he intends to put it back online. Therefore, Lee did not grant me formal permission to have it hosted anywhere else. This should be kept in mind, as Lee's opinion on the matter seems to be that he wants to reserve that right to Romero. If Romero fails to rehost the material in a reasonable amount of time, it may be worth asking again, but this is up in the air as Lee does not really wish to be bothered with Doom-related questions.

List of known affected articles[edit]

This list is likely incomplete at present. Please update with any further results that can be recovered via Special:LinkSearch, external search engine results, or database/API queries.


Feel free to discuss progress and resolutions here. --Quasar (talk) 22:19, 6 February 2016 (CST)

Added some pages and checked all the current links (per IRC conversation I think).  That includes the original URLs even for links subsequently archived.  Thus there is a visible issue only when the number of dead links exceeds the number of working archive links, which applies to Doom music, Doom II music, and Unused Doom music.
Given the pattern of behavior described above, would it make sense to add Facebook and Twitter to the domain list?    Ryan W (talk) 18:40, 18 February 2016 (CST)
The version of "Doom Archaeology" which included the unused music tracks is a live link on, so I replaced all instances of those, changing back to I also just removed the link from John Romero entirely for now - we can link a new game-centric home page when and if he finally gets around to putting one up as he keeps rumoring. As far as social media, I'd prefer if the citations were updated to contain the relevant portion of the text; an example can be found on Sega Saturn. --Quasar (talk) 21:37, 18 February 2016 (CST)