From the department of what could possibly go wrong

dcuartiellesJanuary 25th, 2011

Cristian and I (D. Cuartielles) have been working around the clock with the forum migration for the last week. Before we made a lot of  research and migration tests, and believe me when I say a lot I really mean A LOT.

However, no matter how many times you try things out, when the moment of truth comes, Murphy’s Law will make things much more complicated than you thought in the first place. After an 18 hours coding shift and a 3 hours sleep, I came back to my office to go on with the forum migration, and took a chance to read through the overwhelming response to our previous post on the topic. There are lots of comments expressing interest in the choices we have made when it comes to the software, the user status, etc. Let me throw some light on those issues:

  • the forum of choice is SMF, the reason for this is that we wanted to have an open source piece of software we could accommodate to our needs, that we could easily change, database driven, etc
  • the decision of not moving the messages has to do with the fact that there is a complete different way of arranging the contents in the new forum, the old forum will have them there, we have disabled registering to it, and we have disabled posting new topics, however it is still possible answering to open topics by the authors themselves in some threads
  • we have anyway managed to migrate all the topics, user status, amounts of messages, personal messages, etc. We will not roll out all the changes in the new forum, because we found some problems due to the format information was stored in the old forum and the way it is stored in the new one (for those interested it is an ISO vs UTF matter)
  • it is taking over 24 hours to port the forum, the reason for this is that we discovered during our last minute tests that the conversion scripts we had designed were not acting as expected mostly because of the above mentioned difference in encoding formats. We will open today, but we might not bring all the data in at once, just to make sure things act as they should
  • the playground will not be migrated, nor erased, this is a misunderstanding. Everything in the playground will be kept in there and all the users that are registered in the system will have access to edit the contents freely, just like until now. The difference is that you will have one single username and one single password to access both the forum and the playground. It is our aim to improve the service given by that wiki by adding modules that will allow better search, embedding content, etc

 

Arduino Forum 2011 - Preview

Arduino Forum 2011 - Preview

I saw Cristian showing up online from Italy it is time to continue the work until we are done. Thanks for your patience, the forum will open asap.

14 Responses to “From the department of what could possibly go wrong”

  1. Nick Gammon Says:

    You have my sympathy, as I tried to migrate a forum a while back (I eventually decided the original one was in fact better than the replacement).

    Also I know what it is like to have UTF issues pop up unexpectedly. Posts turn into garbage or are truncated when you least expect it.

    But if I may suggest, so you can get some sleep, re-enable the original forum, do some trial migrations of the full forum to some URL that you don’t tell anyone about, and then when all works well, redo it with only an hour or two’s downtime.

  2. Yot Says:

    Thanks for this piece of info. Unfortunate that Murphy came by.

    About the information; wouldn’t it be a good idea to get something like a public relations person? The lack of information is, ehm, not funny.
    One of the questions in irc was ” but this one seems rather amateurish so far… do these guys even realize how many skilled IT people are in their “audience”? They could have asked. ” I think this comment is mainly about a lack of info about the actual migration.

    Good luck,

    Jeroen

  3. Dimitris Tzortzis Says:

    Good luck with everything ;)

  4. mjb Says:

    Cheer up guys! It’s gonna be ready when it’s ready.

  5. Stephen Taylforth aka pluggy Says:

    SMF would be my forum software of choice too, all the best.

    Quite a few noobs expecting replies in their own threads back on the old forum, they’re going to be waiting a long time methinks………

  6. David Frost Says:

    Yeah! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! WE LOVE YOU ALL.

  7. James Brigman Says:

    Codespeed my friends, codespeed!

  8. Deane Rimerman Says:

    Wow! Quite an impressive endeavor! May your forum-folk be grateful for all the work you’re doing.

    One quick question: Can you give us a sense of how big the Arduino forum is in terms of participants, rate of growth, number of replies, etc.?

    Thanks!

    Deane

  9. Gianni Says:

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing for us !

  10. liudr Says:

    Frustrating delays but useful for me to update my current project into a presentable form. I’m posting it to exhibition once the new forum is up. Thanks for all your work!

  11. jubal harshaw Says:

    Good luck, and thanks for the efforts :D

  12. robert Says:

    @ ‘migration team’ :

    And don’t forget to have a beer (or two) after you’re done!

  13. mirko Says:

    Thanks for this piece of info. Unfortunate that Murphy came by.

    About the information; wouldn’t it be a good idea to get something like a public relations person? The lack of information is, ehm, not funny.
    One of the questions in irc was “but this one seems rather amateurish so far… do these guys even realize how many skilled IT people are in their audience? They could have asked.”

    I think this comment is mainly about a lack of info about the actual migration.

  14. Senso Says:

    Almost a week as gone by….

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