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What can TORNadoes do to help recover the old forums' content?
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Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 20, 6:19pm

Post #26 of 51 (7188 views)
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Back on this [In reply to] Can't Post

I, too, never seem to be *not* busy these days, but I'm back on this.

As I see it, the options remain essentially the same as before: 1) de-bug the issue, 2) archive the old boards, 3) migrate the data to a different platform, 4) extract the data and clean it up. I placed them in that order because I've always preferred a 'work smarter, not harder' approach, which in this case would be to eliminate easier, less painful options if possible, until the last option left is extracting the data. If that's what it come to, then it 'is what it is, but there are issues involved that would have to be considered such as minimizing exposure of confidential information (emails and IP addresses), and the sheer vast amount of very, very ugly data. Even if scripts are used to do the initial clean-up, converting and organizing the end-product into something accessible would be daunting. I'm perfectly willing to go there, but I think it only makes sense to exhaust easier, more efficient options first.

A little more info on #s 1 & 2 above: when we moved to the new boards, I 'flipped a switch' to make the old boards read-only which you would think would essentially be the same as 'archiving' them. However, the issue that caused the problem still remained: the ability to switch between 'view modes' (i.e., threaded mode where all posts were visible, vs. the other mode where a topic had to be opened for the replies to be visible). I'm looking into whether the old boards could be turned back on with only one view option available, as well as other possible options to get around the issue. If not, I think archiving them, as in 'freezing them in time' would be the next best option. I have some resources, but if anyone knows anything about what archiving rpg boards involves, or would like to research it, it may be helpful as a next step.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 20, 6:58pm

Post #27 of 51 (7173 views)
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Very interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am delighted--if I understand you correctly--to learn that the material is still preserved. That it was truly lost forever was my deepest concern. Thanks very much for the update!

Treason doth neuer prosper? What's the Reason?
for if it prosper none dare call it treason.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 20, 7:15pm

Post #28 of 51 (7174 views)
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I believe most of it is still available [In reply to] Can't Post

As I understand it, the issue wasn't one that would have corrupted the data; it was that every time anyone accessed the old boards, it unleashed bugs/conflicts to the point the server crashed, so Corvar turned off access for everyone, even read-only access (thus the noticeable decrease in issues in the past months). No guarantee that those bugs didn't also corrupt some data and, of course, even when the old boards were active, random threads would become unreadable. But, I believe the vast majority of data is still sitting there - an ugly duckling waiting to be turned into a swan. Laugh


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 20, 8:21pm

Post #29 of 51 (7167 views)
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Hooray! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know nothing about databases, or rpg boards, but I know there are people here who do. I'm ready to help in any way I am capable. So glad to hear that we may recover some, if not all, the old conversations.


squire
Half-elven


Mar 20, 8:30pm

Post #30 of 51 (7167 views)
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Thank you very much, Altaira [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that eventually I would get over it, but not a week goes by that I don't still click on a likely link in a older TORn conversation -- and have it blip to the main page because the link was to one of the lost old boards messages.

I very much appreciate your willingness to 'work smarter not harder', even as I and I'm sure many others here will be available to 'work harder' if you call on us to do so. Unfortunately I do not know anything about "archiving rpg boards" and I doubt my researching the subject would be helpful, as I imagine it would mean reading in a virtually foreign language! But do let us know if experts disagree and we could all become rpg archiving specialists with a little skull grease.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Mar 20, 11:30pm

Post #31 of 51 (7151 views)
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Great to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad to know there's a chance this might be possible without too much work.

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about forums/rpg boards/archiving, and I suspect anything I can Google would turn up for anyone else.

I'd also like to emphasize that you have many Sam's willing to help carry the burden should the solution turn out to more like "work harder". It's very well be possible that such a task may be easier to complete with many hands than a simpler task done only by one pair of hands.

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 26, 2:28pm

Post #32 of 51 (6588 views)
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yay! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 3, 11:25am

Post #33 of 51 (6490 views)
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You can't say fairer than that :D [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's DO IT! A massive work of love :D



sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 3, 11:39am

Post #34 of 51 (6488 views)
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*geeky hand clapping* Bring it! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks so much for keeping this dream alive, Altaira :D What you're doing is pretty incredible... and brave ;)

I don't know how to do the rpg stuff on my own, but I'm VERY good at being given a "how to" process and doing the busy work. If the easier steps keeps the info stable, that's great; but if one of the other options gives us a stronger, more dependable outcome... I'm all for that.

Whatever is decided in giving this a try, I'm there 100% :) This is so exciting! THANK YOU!



sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


Loresilme
Valinor


Apr 7, 10:04pm

Post #35 of 51 (6437 views)
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That's encouraging news! [In reply to] Can't Post

There is hope then that those great discussions will be readable once more Smile.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 7, 11:37pm

Post #36 of 51 (6442 views)
Shortcut
A question for those of you who kept accessing the old boards [In reply to] Can't Post

How easy (haha - or should I say, how difficult) was it to access old posts? I know there were tricks of the trade for substituting things in a url, etc., but that it was often hit or miss. Is that option acceptable and/or ideal as a solution? It doesn't have to be a final solution. Mulling it over it's occurred to me that the final solution may be a journey comprised of a combination of things.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 8, 12:46am

Post #37 of 51 (6436 views)
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I had a simple attack. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd start with a link I already had in the time period where I was hoping to find a thread... or just surf around. I also checked to see if it had "main" or "moviediscussion" (etc.) in the url. Then I'd change the last number(s) at the end of the url and hunt around in the same time period or change the numbers along those numbers after the last backslash for a wider time period. Very low-tech ;)

http://archives.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/main/41B4C91F000D6231.html

This link is to a thread by Lottelita relating to Roheryn & NZStrider's wedding moot in 2004 :D




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Apr 8, 12:49am)


squire
Half-elven


Apr 8, 2:07am

Post #38 of 51 (6437 views)
Shortcut
You learned to appreciate hexadecimal notation [In reply to] Can't Post

As Gramma said, the posts' addresses are in numeric format. So by changing the number at the end of a post's url, one could find a closely related post - the larger the difference in number, the later in the day, or week, a post would have been published. But the notation was in base-16, so along with digits 0-9, A stood for 10, B stood for 11, etc. until F stood for 15, and 16 rolled over to 0 with an increase in the value of the next number place.
The numbered urls, however, reflected chronological posting times for all messages on all the current topics of the board. I was focused on the Reading Room. Of course, people were posting on any number of active threads, in almost random order chronologically.
By steady application to the patterns of the numbers, and attention to the threaded publication of the discussions, one could retrieve all the urls of a given threaded discussion.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 8, 2:32am

Post #39 of 51 (6430 views)
Shortcut
*blink, blink* [In reply to] Can't Post

B=11
F=15
16 rolls to 0

That is all SO COOL!!!! :D




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 8, 2:37am

Post #40 of 51 (6424 views)
Shortcut
I forgot to add [In reply to] Can't Post

If this is the only way to access the posts or is an option... it's okay with me. It's methodical and effective albeit slow. But slow is better than frozen;)




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 8, 3:32am

Post #41 of 51 (6422 views)
Shortcut
Another detail [In reply to] Can't Post

Once a thread was 'found,' would it appear in threaded mode, flat mode, or could you toggle between the two once you were 'in' the thread? One of the issues that seemed to crash the boards was the ability to choose between different views. I'm just wondering how much that was done, if at all, after the old boards were made 'read only,' or if it was even an option. It seems like threaded view would be more useful. Thus, if flat view was locked out as an option, it wouldn't be a big deal.

It could be that even if people didn't toggle between the two options, the fact that they were both readily available 'aggravated' the software.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





Lissuin
Tol Eressea


Apr 8, 7:00am

Post #42 of 51 (6408 views)
Shortcut
Aggravated soft wares? [In reply to] Can't Post




Sorry, sorry, gals and guys. Just my poor attempt to lighten the load. I am sooooo hoping you figure this out and sorry I can be of absolutely no use whatsoever. It floors me that you all speak the same language.
B=11
F=15
16 rolls to 0
Huh? Unimpressed
So, best of luck with your endeavour.
Cheers.
Heart


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 8, 12:40pm

Post #43 of 51 (6384 views)
Shortcut
Don't worry, there are only 10 kinds of people. [In reply to] Can't Post

Those who know binary, and those who don't.

Wink

(Aren't number systems fun?)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"


squire
Half-elven


Apr 8, 1:29pm

Post #44 of 51 (6383 views)
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Always threaded for me. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, that's how I remember it. Actually, I never got a 'board' view of a thread. Rather, I was opening single posts by pasting a specific url, hexadecimals and all, in my browser's address field. But, I think, every post had as an appendix a view of the thread that it was a part of, from which I could copy further post addresses and go on to view those posts. (I hope I'm not mixing up my memories of searching Old Board posts with New Board posts!)

I didn't think 'flat' mode was an option for the Old Boards. Wasn't that a feature added to the New Boards, to accommodate users who were used to that style from other message board sites?

When I was working on this stuff (building my RR archive, a few years ago), I don't remember viewing the old posts from 'within' the present TORn framework, with its Flat v Threaded options. Rather, I think I was getting the posts as standalone web pages, archivally available and not part of any active board structure.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

(This post was edited by squire on Apr 8, 1:34pm)


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Apr 8, 2:08pm

Post #45 of 51 (6381 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

the boards were Threaded by default and we didn't have a Flat mode as we know it now...except I have a hazy memory of something called "collate replies" that could be done within a thread. Does that ring any bells or am I misremembering?

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 8, 2:13pm

Post #46 of 51 (6378 views)
Shortcut
*hand shoots up* [In reply to] Can't Post



As Sergeant Schultz would say... "I KNOW NOTHING!" ;)




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 8, 2:41pm

Post #47 of 51 (6374 views)
Shortcut
Collate Replies [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes... there was a selection at the top of each open post like this:


<<< - << Prev | Reading Room | Next >> - >>>
Message Thread - Collate Replies - Post a Reply - FAQ


Followed by the lines: Nick: "name" (Registered User)
Date/Time: Wed, 7/30/2003 at 11:12 EDT (Wed, 7/30/2003 at 9:12 CST)
Browser/OS: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows 95


In Reply To: "SUBJECT LINE" (No Text - Link Inside) <"nickname"> [7/30/2003 @ 5:53] (2/2)


Message:




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Apr 10, 5:07am

Post #48 of 51 (6252 views)
Shortcut
Steady, but very slow. [In reply to] Can't Post

At least for me, it took a couple minutes each per post (that's post, not thread), and I soon despaired of ever finishing. This was around 2011. Now I realize I could have copied so much more before the lock-out--I wasn't thinking long-term!

By 2008, I had collected the URL of every thread (not post) then available in the Reading Room (going back to Jan. 2001, when the forums underwent some sort of upgrade and the early content was lost*). Then I began to undertake two other excruciatingly slow projects. One was to copy the content of old Reading Room threads. The other was to try to collect the URLs of Movie and Main forum threads, using the technique squire outlines here. I have extensive but woefully incomplete Excel workbooks with hexadecimal lists.

Treason doth neuer prosper? What's the Reason?
for if it prosper none dare call it treason.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Apr 10, 11:32pm

Post #49 of 51 (6157 views)
Shortcut
*bows deeply* Very cool :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 




sample

We have been there and back again.


TIME Google Calendar


6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015


TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 1, 6:06am

Post #50 of 51 (4846 views)
Shortcut
Checking in. [In reply to] Can't Post

I noticed a.s. mentioned that she'd still like to help with this project, as much as she is able, which prompts me to see if there's anything yet we can do.

Treason doth neuer prosper? What's the Reason?
for if it prosper none dare call it treason.


-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.

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