Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby micseydel » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:10 am

So jkbbwr gave me the old forum's backup yesterday, and I'm wondering how I should handle username conflicts. Is there anyone here who has had their username usurped? Do we want to only restore posts selectively? I certainly don't want to dictate how this big step for the forum is going to go, and I want any and all feedback you all have =D

In order to do the restore, I'll be downloading a backup for what we have up now, having a script merge them in some as-yet undetermined way, and then I'll "restore" the product of my script. I'll declare in advance a period of time in which new posts will likely not be retained because of the amount of time it takes to download a backup, do the merge, and then restore. Suggestions for how long in advance I should make that warning are welcome too.

Anything you all think of that could be an issue that I haven't clearly realized I probably haven't. I figure I can set up a local phpBB server, and I'll do beta tests before pushing any changes to the site, so that should help prevent any significant hiccups. Sooo... yeah.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby metulburr » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:39 am

ah sweet

I would assume a day or two warning, but i dont think it will matter anyways because people will still post. For those of us that do Tutorials and stuff, maybe an hour warning or something.

I have no idea regarding username conflicts.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby Mekire » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:14 pm

Well, I used my original username so I don't know how this will end up. If it is within your power to merge accounts with the same names then that would be best (although the idea of my n00b posts following me isn't thrilling :D).

I honestly don't know if the posts being merged even matters at this point, but if it is something that will increase search engine hits I suppose it is worth it. I like the idea of doing it selectively but I think from a practical view point that would probably be just too much work.

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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:11 pm

It would be best if the old urls work. Do you have any knowledge about the old forum vs. new forum ids (f= , t=)?
Awesome news anyway. Let us know if we could be of a help.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby setrofim » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:11 pm

There is definitely at least one name clash -- KevinD was KDoiron on the old forum and there was another user with id KevinD (don't remember what their current id is).

Would it be possible to uniformly add some sort of suffix to the id's form the old forum, e.g. "old_" to distinguish them from the same ids in the new forum? Of course, that means current users will be diassociated from their old posts...

Alternatively, assume that users with the same id are the same user, and maintain a list of know exceptions, only adding the prefix for one of those and merging the rest into existing accounts...
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby Yoriz » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:50 pm

I've used the same name as before.
Looking at the members page and sorting by posts descending, apart from a few regulars,
the majority of members ask a couple of questions about their one problem and then disappear,
the first page of 25 members ranges from 460 -> 19, the second page of 25 ranges from 18 -> 10.
By page 12 of 73 the post count is down to one post, I wouldn't think the merge will cause to much of a problem to many members of the forum.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby micseydel » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:22 am

metulburr wrote:I would assume a day or two warning, but i dont think it will matter anyways because people will still post.

Does everyone agree? I'll give that much forewarning and I'll say in advance how long it'll be down, or my best guess.

Consistent usernames are easy to deal with. KevinD's case is also easy, as long as I'm aware of everyone who did it. It's a simple special case. Also, I believe recruiters may look at our posts here and so that's a decent reason to keep all the history around. If it also might do search engines, that's great too. When I say selectively, I mean that I could only merge old posts that users claim. The issue with that is that if after I do it someone comes along and wants it done again, that's more downtime for the forum.

ochichinyezaboombwa wrote:It would be best if the old urls work. Do you have any knowledge about the old forum vs. new forum ids (f= , t=)?
Awesome news anyway. Let us know if we could be of a help.

I have no idea what this is about, and I consider it beyond the scope of what I'm doing here. If you are serious about it, please start a separate thread so that people who know more about it can discuss it without cluttering this already growing thread.

setrofim wrote:Would it be possible to uniformly add some sort of suffix to the id's form the old forum, e.g. "old_" to distinguish them from the same ids in the new forum? Of course, that means current users will be diassociated from their old posts...

I think this idea is neat, especially if we also merged those who wanted it and we could change the old_ usernames later to the original ones and/or merge as people request it. But it seems a bit kludgy to me. I haven't done any analysis to know how big of a deal the clashes are. I'll update here when I have.

Also, while I'm at it, I have noticed that there are a lot of users (the vast majority) who since they created their account, have had their email address and/or IP banned. Just 0-post spammer seeds. We have only had one complaint of an apparent false positive and that was worked out. I intend to clean out both databases before the merge and restore, and of course I'll retain all old material just in case. I will not include old 0-post accounts in the restore.
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Starting a new thread

Postby ochichinyezaboombwa » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:08 am

Per micseydel's suggestion from here:

micseydel wrote:
ochichinyezaboombwa wrote:It would be best if the old urls work. Do you have any knowledge about the old forum vs. new forum ids (f= , t=)?
Awesome news anyway. Let us know if we could be of a help.

I have no idea what this is about, and I consider it beyond the scope of what I'm doing here. If you are serious about it, please start a separate thread so that people who know more about it can discuss it without cluttering this already growing thread.


What I meant is this:
  • I have a bunch of bookmarks to the old forum (I bet many others do too);
  • These bookmarks have a form viewtopic.php?f=ABC&t=XYZ
  • Where "f=" means "Forum_id=" and "t=" means "Thread_id=".
  • If these bookmarks work after the merge is done it'd be awesome.
But, in order to make it happen, what needs to be accomplished is (here I totally speculate but that's trying my best):
  • -- forum IDs should be kept the same with the old once if possible (i.e. if the old forum's "Project Euler"s was 12345 then the current one==27 should be changed to f=27, or vise versa, -- it's a design decision);
  • -- thread IDs, on the contrary, shouldn't clash; probably the best would be to change new IDs into max(old) + new_Ids (if they are incremented automatically; I have no idea).
In any case: seems that it's a tough problem but it may be worth it while at least to consider it before finalizing the merge.
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Re: Starting a new thread

Postby micseydel » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:09 am

Ah, this certainly is relevant! I understand now. I'm going to merge it.

The clashing is something I hadn't realized, although it seems obvious in retrospect. I've asked jkbbwr on IRC if he can host the old forum on a frozen version of phpBB. Since the old forum was at pythonforum/* where everything is now just at * I figure if he can host the old one in that sub directory, then I think that was be a pretty good solution in some ways. It lacks some of the niceness of a legit merge but it's easy. I think that it might be a better solution as far as phpBB goes, and then when we get the nice Python forum stuff written up, we could create our own database which is nicer.

Is anyone currently working on the Python forum? Or has that been abandoned? With my new schedule, I might have more time for it now.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby metulburr » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:24 pm

Is anyone currently working on the Python forum? Or has that been abandoned?

it looks to be abandoned
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby hrs » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:53 pm

When/if the page goes down for this (or any other reason) it would be nice to have a place holder stating something like "Down for maintenance, expected to be back up at xx-yy-zz" instead of having users wait for a 503 or such without a clue of what's going on and when they can get back to the thread they posted just before.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby metulburr » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:17 pm

When/if the page goes down for this (or any other reason) it would be nice to have a place holder stating something like "Down for maintenance, expected to be back up at xx-yy-zz" instead of having users wait for a 503 or such without a clue of what's going on and when they can get back to the thread they posted just before.

i believe it is currently expected that the IRC channel takes this place. Thats all fine and dandy, but when people come to the forum expecting a forum, they dont know to go to the IRC (especially new users). But I agree, When the site goes down, the ip address should be swtiched to some page/server saying that it is down for X reason, instead of hanging or an error message. This however is beyond the reach of us mods/admins, and goes directly to the site owner, jkbbwr.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby metulburr » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:31 am

couldnt find the other thread we were talking about this.

but i think its more important to get the old forum database accessable to everyone, whether it be intergrated into this database or a separate one, at least google searches could retrieve it.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby micseydel » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:57 pm

Another thought: not migrating any users with 0 posts, since so many of them are either just spam.

I'm feeling a somewhat renewed desire to work on the Python version of the forum and combine the data there, where we'd have tremendously more control, than try to play nice with phpBB. Could someone link me to the forum repo? I don't seem to be able to find it, just the IDE which might be neat to get back to but the forum is a bigger priority.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby stranac » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:13 pm

It's at https://github.com/jkbbwr/PythonForum

But I would recommend just starting a new one, since Jakey can only be found about once every 3 months.
I should have some free time now that I'm on a new job, so I might do some work on it too...
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby micseydel » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:18 pm

Sweet! Should I start it, or does anyone else want to take the lead? I'll make it a priority to take both forums, and dump that data into JSON or something so that we can have test data to use on the new forum (and know what to incorporate into the new one too).
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby stranac » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:34 pm

I think it doesn't really matter who starts it, as long as they're around.
You also seem to be the most motivated one, so I think it should be you.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby pydsigner » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:43 pm

As far as restoring the phpBB, I think that it would be wise to put the old forum back at the old address, lock it, and then add a notice asking users interested in continuing threads to create new ones here and link to the old. But if a new forum will be ready soon, it might be better just to wait and merge.
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Re: Looking for suggestions: restoring the old forum backup

Postby XndrK » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:42 am

What about an "Archive" link in the front page? That will separate the old posts from the new ones.
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