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Forum Policy Update etc.
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Forum Policy Update etc. on 10/27/2012 23:17:49 MDT Print View

Hello all,

I am leaving now for the Wilderness Trekking School course in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness, but will be back online next week.

Here's what we have been looking at:

1. Because of the way our registration is integrated into the website, we don't have access to all of that code. Unfortunately, we are unable to block new registrations to the website without compromising new customer service inquiries and subscription access problem inquiries from existing members. I'm not comfortable closing down those "holes" just to open up forum posting to the public by eliminating new registrations.

2. As a short term solution, we are working on code to create a forum access subscription for a nominal fee. I haven't sorted out any of the other logistics with the new subscription, so I won't have any answers until I get back and discuss what progress has been made with our developer. I hope to have this online within 2 weeks from today.

3. As a long term solution, we are going to take a deep breath and evaluate our software and financial options moving forward very carefully, so we don't pigeonhole ourselves into the situation we have today which obviously has some scalability limitations.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Forum Policy Update etc. on 10/27/2012 23:24:49 MDT Print View

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
BPL Forum Update on 10/28/2012 01:08:34 MDT Print View

Hi all

From Ryan just now:

I'm getting ready to leave in the morning to teach the WTS course in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and will be away until next Monday.

1. I am unable to lock new registrations easily right now due to problems with the integration of registration for accounts with registration for subscriptions.


2. We will be installing a low-fee forum subscription that will allow users to post. When that happens, all users who were registered forum participants prior to the lockdown will be grandfathered in with a new subscription at no cost. I can't tell you when this will happen, but this is the short term solution, and would occur in a matter of 2 weeks perhaps.

That's all I can tell you right now, and it's about all we can do with the software we have; we are going to take some time to carefully evaluate longer term options.

'Low Fee' means a few dollars: not enough to scare anyone, but quite enough to stop the spammers who (I am told) get paid about $1 per 1000 postings.

Yes, the current Forum SW is a handicap, but it holds the Forum Archive. Do we ant to lose that? Our first guess is No Way.


(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: BPL Forum Update on 11/08/2012 14:26:23 MST Print View

No need to lose the Forum Archive to switch to real forum software. Simple import script will take care of it.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
easier said than done on 11/08/2012 15:39:02 MST Print View

"Simple import script"

That's simple to type the words of, agreed. Actually writing such a thing, well, I suspect the only person who would think it simple is someone who has never tried something like that, particularly for totally non documented proprietary forum and cms software, integrated into a single package. But it is very easy to type that something is simple, so I guess that part is correct.

Possible, yes, simple, almost certainly not. Translating the urls alone would be probably almost but not quite impossible, resulting in a full loss of all links to those threads all around the internet, as well internally in the bpl site itself, always a fun result of moving sites without proper handling of the urls. Again, possible, yes, simple, no.

The urls is another part of the thing, if they were done reasonably well to begin with, you could translate them fairly easily, but these weren't done using text strings so it's pretty hard.

Having actually moved sites with no loss of links or structure in the process, or at least, redirected (correctly) changes, beyond some irrelevant stuff, I can assure you that it's not simple. Trying to translate one forum+cms type db structure to a totally different one, oh, the fun. That kind of thing requires either paying someone a lot of money, or having the great fortune to happen to have available someone who will do it for either a massively reduced, non market rate, or for free. The odds of someone with that technical expertise feeling like doing that for free and being a bpl member, not so high, but not out of the question I guess.

This is of course a case study in why NOT to ever use these types of tempting web hoster run proprietary 'solutions' to putting up a website, long term, it will always need to be redone, and it won't be easy, and usually, the web devs don't even try to actually import the old parts, they just dump the content and move on, because, sadly, in fact, it's not simple to do that.

Edited by hhope on 11/08/2012 15:57:58 MST.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: easier said than done on 11/10/2012 15:19:17 MST Print View

Harold, it's simple with the right skill set. I've done it.

Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
was going to note on 11/11/2012 11:13:09 MST Print View

Yes, I was going to note, but forgot, that if in fact you are one of the very few people out there with that skillset, and can handle totally undocumented data sources, and have the programming speed/skill required, it is 'simple', but that's like saying surgery is simple for a surgeon who is working in his area of specialization. So the only way bpl can get this done is if YOU specifically do it for them. However, I am quite skeptical, it's not common for someone with the skill required to call something 'simple', that's a word I avoid until after the job is done, before I consider it an unknown, and if after it turned out to be simple, well, that's good for me and the client who is paying, but I certainly never assume it to start. As the tao teh ching notes, a wise man considers things hard and proceeds on that basis, and in the end, finds the task completed. Paraphrasing a bit, but that's the rough idea.

So you're saying you can preserve the backlinks and structure, then, with the use of just a few rewrite rules, redirect the old backlinks along with rebuilding the old threads on a new platform? Somehow I am skeptical. Never seen any major site do that successfully, usually they just blow it up. However if you can in fact actually do that, you should get in touch with ryan or roger c and volunteer.

Now doing a crude static recreation of the old threads with no actual active parts going, that I can see, and not worrying about preserving back link integrity, actual user information, etc, ie, a crude hack, yes, that I can see is not being too hard.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: was going to note on 11/11/2012 11:59:36 MST Print View

Yeah, most of the back end should come over as "text". Most databases can import/export text formated that way.
Pictures are differnt problem.
Indexing, and maintaing that can be a problem, especially through the rebuild.
Actually translating the data is not difficult, but what of the formatting? HTML, PERL, other?
Not a job for me...