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NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 5, 12:52am

Post #26 of 46 (1702 views)
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Did people write secret messages on the old boards in white? [In reply to] Can't Post

As I parse through the text file from the reading room, I'm noticing something odd. A very small percent of the messages have a bit of extra text that is not associated with the block of text that is the body of the message.

Interestingly, these always have the text color set to white, which was also the background for messages on the old board.

So was there a mechanism for writing secret "invisible" messages on the old boards?

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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 5, 4:17am

Post #27 of 46 (1701 views)
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I think that we may have lost reply to information [In reply to] Can't Post

As Altaira said, each message has a link to its root post, so we know what thread it belongs in.

However, the root post for every message in the thread is the first post in that thread, not the post it was in reply to. So every thread looks like an initial post followed by a bunch of replies to that initial post.

So instead of:

Initial post
----That's interesting
--------No it isn't
------------Yes it is and you are stoopid
----------------I'm telling Feedback on you
----I've already posted on this
----Shouldn't this have been on Movie?

We get:

Initial Post
----That's interesting
----No it isn't
----I've already posted on this
----Yes it is and you are stoopid
----Shouldn't this have been on movie?
----I'm telling Feedback on you

At the moment I'm not seeing a way to order the posts properly. Maybe that information can still be pulled out in some way?

Notta

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


(This post was edited by NottaSackville on Sep 5, 4:18am)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 5, 6:49pm

Post #28 of 46 (1692 views)
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Spoilers [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember we used to write spoilers in white, or answers to quizzes, though I don't remember them being used a lot in the RR. Maybe a post where the poster didn't want to give away the outcome for some reason?


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





Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 5, 7:58pm

Post #29 of 46 (1685 views)
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Oh gosh, I had forgotten that. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, sometimes text was whited out to give people the choice of whether to read it or not. When we moved to NewTorn it continued for a little while, with posters picking greys to match the background, but I don't think that lasted long.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Sep 6, 1:18pm

Post #30 of 46 (1669 views)
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I'd been thinking about that. [In reply to] Can't Post

In addition to quiz spoilers, it was also the only sort of private messaging we had. Not totally private, of course, but not so obvious to the more casual users and lurkers. We still might not want everything visible to the general public. Even some of the open discussion that wouldn't be permitted anymore on the new boards might be better off scrubbed.

**********************************

NABOUF
Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Sep 7, 1:34am

Post #31 of 46 (1665 views)
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I noticed that too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if there's no easy way to fix it, better to have threads whose contents are out of order than no threads at all. But it would be nice to fix.

For some Reading Room threads -- those whose post subject lines were saved by hatster's archive (mid-2002 to mid-2004), those with the thread structure likewise preserved in squire's Footerama discussion archive, and some others that people captured (I probably have a couple hundred such)-- it would be possible with some time and effort to reorganize the posts into the right order. I see that as a later goal, unless something else turns up in the files.

Outside of the Reading Room, the percentage of threads whose structure was saved will be much lower.

Do the timestamps at least make it possible to put the replies in the order of posting? As I recall, a decade ago, I found all the Reading Room threads in 2001 and early 2002 by doing a slow trial and error search, playing with timestamps and post numbers to populate a rather large spreadsheet. But I was just trying to save each thread root post's URL (which is no longer of any value) not the thread structure.


Treachery, treachery I fear; treachery of that miserable creature.

But so it must be. Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend.


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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 7, 2:31am

Post #32 of 46 (1660 views)
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Yes, the timestamps are useful [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm using the timestamps to order the posts within the thread. Each post also has a time zone associated with it. I'm uncertain if the timestamps are all for the same time zone and the time zone is just there as a bit of extra data, or if the timestamp is for that time zone and needs to be translated to a consistent time zone in order to get the posts in the proper order.

For now, I've gone with just the raw timestamp to order the posts and ignored the time zone. It would not be hard to change of we figure out that the time zone is important.

I wrote the logic for fully threaded replies into my conversion script, so if someone ever wants to edit the text files to include the reply to information for some threads it would be easy to regenerate the webpages.

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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 7, 12:39pm

Post #33 of 46 (1647 views)
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I did notice some now-banned slang from a venerable board poster :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 7, 12:44pm

Post #34 of 46 (1652 views)
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OK, thanks. [In reply to] Can't Post

For now I've just included the text (white font and all) in the message body as it was done before.

I haven't noticed anything particularly personal or secret about any of the white messages, but there were just a few so far and this was the early days of the Reading Room (and board in general).

It's a little weird to me that the database stored the messages in a different field than the actual body of the message, implying there was something functionally different about them. But that's probably a mystery of the inner-workings of the old board software that's not too important.

Notta

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


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 7, 1:08pm

Post #35 of 46 (1669 views)
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Just to tease you.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a preview of what the posts currently look like.

We need to still test things out on a webserver, and then people can try it out and comment/criticize/suggest.

(Feel free to do so based just on these images as well)

Individual posts


List of posts by a user


List of all threads


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


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 8, 1:39am

Post #36 of 46 (1658 views)
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Well, in the very early days [In reply to] Can't Post

we didn't have moderation, things either being dealt with by the voter-moderation-threshold feature, the Ignore List, or in dire cases, by one of the PTB just coming in and deleting whole threads at one fell swoop. It was more or less the wild west. Then, after the Forum Admin status had been created (just post-FOTR, IIRC), the rules gradually evolved over years to deal with the various issues that arose out of a much larger and more anonymous group. I don't think it's worthwhile to try to edit the old boards to fit the current state of affairs. It was a different time, and it was what it was. If we need to, we can put a general warning when entering the Realm of the Old Boards that "here be dragons".

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.




(This post was edited by Silverlode on Sep 8, 5:36am)


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 8, 2:12pm

Post #37 of 46 (1628 views)
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I do like dragons! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I have no interest in checking general content for editing.

But if TORN has a list of slang words that aren't allowed it would be trivial to c*ns*r them as I convert the text file to web pages.

Notta

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


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 8, 8:00pm

Post #38 of 46 (1628 views)
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For what it's worth, my preference is to keep the text as-is. [In reply to] Can't Post

The old boards are a moment in time. Having the discussions unaltered means the mathom will be a pure example of early online Tolkien fandom - warts and all.

Silver: my recollection is that admins were created in January 2002, just weeks after FOTR was released.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 8, 8:37pm

Post #39 of 46 (1621 views)
Shortcut
Thanks, that sounds right. [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't become an Admin until later, but my memory was that it was the massive FOTR influx that made it urgently necessary to have a dedicated group of moderators. I remember being very grateful for it, as the previous hands-off approach was completely unsustainable with the newfound mainstream attention.

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.




Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 16, 10:23pm

Post #40 of 46 (1400 views)
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Oh, wow! This is fabulous! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, Notta. That looks amazing. Well done!

I've been M.I.A. due to all the home projects we have going on plus a request for some additional work from a former client. The dust should start settling after tomorrow when I'll be back on this. Thanks so much for your work so far. It's going to be so satisfying to be able to find and access all those old posts again.


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


Sep 17, 12:44pm

Post #41 of 46 (1370 views)
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*geeky hand-clapping* [In reply to] Can't Post

There's no place like home!!! THANK YOU!!!! :D



sample

We have been there and back again.


Join the "Tolkien Fandom Oral History Project"

TIME Google Calendar


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Sep 17, 2:41pm

Post #42 of 46 (1367 views)
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No problem, and thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope all the dust settles in a way that's easy to vacuum off the new carpet!

Happy to help with whatever needs to be done to modify things to work on the server when you get a chance to try it out.

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


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 18, 10:26pm

Post #43 of 46 (1327 views)
Shortcut
Bro! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 18, 10:27pm

Post #44 of 46 (1340 views)
Shortcut
*blink-blink-blink* [In reply to] Can't Post

That's me batting my eyelashes in a femine way.

Or maybe it's just dust. Tongue
Nice to see you too!



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Sep 19, 12:35am

Post #45 of 46 (1333 views)
Shortcut
It was a lot of fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember especially the ridiculously complicated, multi-layered battles invented for our amusement by Finrod Felagund 5 as well as Man of Rohan. Good times!



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


skyofcoffeebeans
Lorien

Sep 29, 1:27am

Post #46 of 46 (1120 views)
Shortcut
This is amazing [In reply to] Can't Post

So glad to see it when we can preserve culture and memory. Will no doubt have fun reading ancient texts when theyíre accessible again!

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