An update on the forum

ares's picture

The Water Cooler has been operational here for a couple of months now, so I thought I'd give a quick update on it.

As of right now, a few changes have been made based on feedback of the folks who have used it. The big one that's still out there is the inability to delete comments. At this point, there's a tradeoff between how we want the forum to look versus deleting comments. If we want to maintain the look linearly, I have to lock down the ability to delete comments, because deleting a comment right now results in all of the replies also get deleted, which would majorly screw up comments in a linear fashion.

That all said, I'm working on migrating the forum posts from the forum archive section of the database into the main site management system. This consists of several steps:

First, the archive contained posts from nearly 6000 unique user id's. Some of these were simple where a poster had an account at all three of the archive sites. They were easy to consolidate. The same was true of users, particularly at ableminds and PF who had survived through database compactions and rework so that, at one point they had one id in the database, and at a later point they had another. What was more interesting was consolidating folks whose user names had changed over time as they forgot passwords and created new accounts. Sometimes it was obvious, sometimes it took looking at taglines. Finally all of these users had to be imported into the account database here. By the time I got to this point, we were down to some 3800 unique posters. Over half of those posters had made only one or two posts. The vast majority of those users got condolidated into a "No user information available" user, although a few, who we know to have come back to the group, made the cut.

As a result of this step, you may find that you have an account at this site that you can't access. If you do, hit me up via the contact form below and I'll adjust things to give you access. If you need an account, do the same thing.

Step two is to actually consolidate the posts into comments on the site here. Since its our "bread and butter", so to speak, I'm starting with the archive of the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt threads. The 1998-2002 threads were quite easy. The PF Archive is taking a bit more work. Since the forum was a free-for-all, we had public and private threads, which I decided to consolidate into a single thread for archive purposes. As a result, what looked like a Joe originally may not look like it now. I'll work my way back through the other hunt threads, and then the more heated or more fun discussions. Its an iterative process, since I want to clean up the links within the various posts to previous posts (easy) and posts in other threads which is not so easy since it will require two passes through to link up posts with their new comment ID's. Once I get through one thread it should be a matter of figuring out which threads to consolidate and creating an individual forum topic.

We don't have an archive of file attachments from Ableminds, and because of the database loss there we probably never will, but we do have four years worth of them from PF, which I do intend to incorporate here after the discussions are imported.

With all the technical details aside, let me just say that I think we're finally home. Yes, we've said that before, but the forum here is within the site. As long as its up, the forum is up. For the moment, the only way to access the threads that have been imported will be to have an account and be logged in, but that's how you can see the clues for in-progress medallion hunts too, so its a bonus.

Have a look around, kick your feet up and stay a while. I know I am.