Update on the status of importing missing topics


(rogper) #7

I’ve just now noticed that the “Opel GT by rogper” mega thread, that was on the Works in Progress, was one of the lost on the internet forever… kind of sad after so much work put on on it (4 years or so from start to finish)… but thats the way life works, some things we keep somethings we don’t :slight_smile:


(English is not my native language) #8

I searched in google:
Are you sure this was in the WIP section? It is not this thread then I suppose:

Good car and render by the way! At least finished project thread remained :crazy_face:


(RobertT) #9

Thank you, @bartv for the update.

I tried searching for some helpful information over at the Discourse forum, but I also noticed you and @pfaffman posting there. It looks like @pfaffman is a regular there as well.

Perhaps some Discourse dev can lend a hand, if one has not stepped forth or been reached out to already?

If the data is still somewhere, perhaps it could still be imported to a subform (Archived Posts) so as to not endanger all other posts?

Also, with a view to the present and to the future: could this forum be made Archive.org friendly?

Archive.org would have been a great fallback option for the old forum, but, for whatever reason (e.g. robots.txt robot exclusion protocol) Archive.org did not seem to capture much of the old forum.

I’m not sure how things are now, between the new Discourse BA forum and Archive.org, but I would encourage all those involved to see if it would be possible to make this new forum Archive.org compatible/friendly so as to avoid any future major topic / post / attachment loss.

Whatever was lost, in addition to some of the Weekend Challenge attachments and posts I listed earlier, might seem statistically insignificant as compared with the other posts which did make it through migration, but I know what stands to be lost (if it cannot be restored) represents literally thousands upon thousands of collective Blender user hours put into those creations.

While I’d hope that would be evident on its own, I say that in hopes of convincing those who can yet decide the fate of these lost posts that any extra effort would be worthwhile and very deeply appreciated.

I know this a complex undertaking, this forum, full of great responsibilities and unexpected challenges. And, for @bartv and those others who help this thing exist and grow I have great gratitude and respect.

We are a community, and we do share in the trust of this enterprise, between the admins and the members/artists.

Remaining open and honest about these things is such a good thing, even as strong emotions and perspectives may, understandably, might flare up. I think it’s just an imperfect indicator of how deeply everyone cares about this undertaking and wishes for it to be successful for everyone involved.

So, once again, I thank @bartv and encourage Bart and others to see if there just might be some way to pull this off, even if it’s to post these lost posts in another subform or static website.

And please look into Archive.org compatibility. What we have and continue to build upon is certainly worth preserving for current and future Blenderheads :slight_smile:

Thanks for hearing my concerns, and please know you all have, within and beyond our community, great gratitude and respect.


(rogper) #10

Yeah! The finished thread remained.
The w.i.p. one explained the making of each one of the thounsands of parts that make the car :slight_smile: It was a good learning resource for everyone. It also recorded all the conversations with everyone that helped me and even my own learnings.


(Photox) #11

@bartv claims he is being transparent, yet he completely ghosts threads for weeks/months.

He says he welcomes a ‘decent conversation’ yet he won’t answer a simple yes/no question.

He promised absolutely that all of the old site would be ported over, now that has changed to ‘a high percentage’ and slaps himself on the back.

He brags about hundreds of hours of time, of course he receives money from the advertising.


(Millani) #12

Ouch. That’s one of the reasons why I avoid giving money to crowdfunding: Anyone can promise everything, but not everyone can deliver it.

The worst thing is that the mistake could’ve easily been avoided. Didn’t it occur to anyone to check if the number of posts and threads before the migration should be the same as after?

And wouldn’t it be possible to make a bot account here which would repost all missing threads? User and date might be wrong, but at least the content wouldn’t be lost.

It seems we’re missing less than 0.05% of the imported topics, which given the complexity of the project is not a bad score.

Considering that we are missing around 100% of the entry threads of the weekend challenge, that’s a very lame score. You handled this very poorly, specially considering that it was marked as “high priority”. And looking at what your consultant did to the data, it is clear that you didn’t learn from your mistakes.

But on the positive side, I think you just gave me some inspiration for this week’s WEC, themed “Dangerous situation”.


(Helge) #13

Thanks for the update. Even though, it is a rather disappointing one. I’d have downloaded the entry threads/attachments myself if I’d even remotely considered this a possibility. Let’s hope some long (well, maybe not that long) forgotten backup file will magically show up somewhere and save the day (years).

Yes, I think it is worth noting that the distribution of that 0.05% has been quite unlucky. We are currently missing approximately the last two years of Weekend Challenge entry threads. The voting threads are there but without the attachments from the entry threads, checking those out doesn’t make that much sense anymore.
Even if we can’t get the entry threads back - reviving the voting thread attachments would be a great step forward.

That thought crossed my mind as well. :wink:


(Bart Veldhuizen) #14

I addressed this in the original post:

we’re now looking for a backup of the old system

So I can’t give you a yes/no answer yet. I’m leaning towards ‘no’.

That’s a good idea, I’ll keep that in mind.

There’s an ongoing conversation about this on the Discourse forum - some users are working the the IA team to fix this.

Yes I fully agree with you, I should have done a better job at this. I relied too much on our consultant, and all I can say now is ‘mea culpa’ :frowning:


(rogper) #15

Hey bartv! If the images are the problem for “OpelGT by rogper” they do seem to exist:


The problem was that the previously free image server ImageShack decided to charge money at some point, so they seem to have block them until I pay or find 3 friends to have them for a month…
I think I may be able to find at least 3 friends yet :slight_smile:

Edit:
So, it is a bit worse than I tought :confused: 3 people need to sign imageShack using this link and all the images from Opel GT thread will be up for a month:
https://imageshack.com/signup/lmpreHh4goeJmGFvmpZvkZWUyZ6YaZxpnZVqw5LElMaVamiYa5dwxceamQ


(Photox) #16

This sounds promising, can you elaborate a little? You need three people to sign in? What happens then?


(Ace Dragon) #17

On a site this big, I can see the difficulty in migrating everything. As a result, I wouldn’t try to press charges against Bart as that could lead to the wholesale deletion of BA (which in turn would hurt the Blender project and be far worse than a few missing threads).

By the way, CGSociety also did a migration to Discourse and the guys they hired arguably did an even worse job (all of their recent threads disappeared).


(Ace Dragon) #18

On actually porting the old threads, would it be possible to download them (in a formatted file format) to a hard-drive and then pop them into Discourse one at a time (using code to place them in the correct locations based on the time of the posts)?


(rogper) #19

Hey Photox,
This would only be required if there is a purpose for it and if the images are indeed the main problem.
I’m not sure also, I think people can just sign in for the free 30 days demo and then never use it again. If it proves to be relevant I’ll test it my self.


(Photox) #20

I didn’t see the ‘refer 3 friends and get 1 month free’ thing, ok that makes more sense now. So what BA used to host images on this site, stopped paying and now they are still there but you can only see them if you have a paid account? How do you search for them?


(rogper) #21

Yeah! Correct! I and the people on the thread would only be able to see the images once one of the requirements is acomplished. I’ve made this account on purpuse for the “Opel GT by rogper” thread, and I also recognize the file names. As they say that there are more than 1000 images on the gallery, I know that at least 80% was for the Opel GT. The images are there, they just seem to have blocked the visibility.
… Back then uploading to an external server seemed better and saved bandwidth of the forum. I never imagined that they would sudently change their open services to a paid solution.

I’ve since then created yet one more acount with them (with other e-mail) to host also Opel GT images because they had a limit of 1 GB of images for free (I think)… And I now just verified that, that one, is also down :confused: So the images are scatered by these 2 closed accounts.

They changed their ideas again and now only offer a month for free and no more free space, again blocking all images :frowning: So now instead of one acount it would be need to fix 2 to make all images visible again.


(Photox) #22

OK wow, I’m even more confused now.

If I were to create a paid account with them for a month, would I be able to access these old images. Are the old Weekend challenge images available through these guys? Thanks.


(rogper) #23

Hummm no! I think there is some confusion, sorry I explained my self pourly.

Imageshack server has nothing to do with Blenderartists.org, and never had.
I was the one that decided to, instead of upload the images to the forum, create an acount with imageshack to store all the Opel GT development images. This because, back then (2008), this would allow better looking screens (than just a thumbnail) and was easier for me to manage and upload them.

No, you can’t see the images even if you created a paid acount. I’m the one that would need to pay them for everyone see the images.

Please don’t pay these guys :slight_smile: they change ideas too quick hehe
For example imgur is free for enough time to one believe that will stay free.


(Photox) #24

Ahh, I see now. Thank you for clarifying.


(Bart Veldhuizen) #25

Hello everyone,

it’s time for the final update on this issue. I’m very sorry to have to report that I have decided to not pursue this further. As I mentioned before, we don’t have the attachment files anymore and while we might be technically able to re-import the missing topics as text-only, I have decided that the risk of doing this on an operational forum is simply too big to continue. My worry is that we might end up with thousands of duplicate or corrupted posts and that’s not a situation I can afford to be in.

I’m very much aware that, even though this is a relatively small number of topics, these topics matter to you and I’m very sorry that I wasn’t able to restore them.

To try and make up for this situation I’ve made an additional donation of 250 euros to the Blender Development Fund today.


Help needed: Post Missing
Old links to individual posts don't resolve
(SterlingRoth) #26

Thanks Bart.

My wife is an herbalist, and one of the main forums for herbal medicine lost everything in a server transfer, 10 years of archived posts lost in the wind. There were posts by people who have died, the only record of their life’s study wiped away.

A 99.9% success is remarkable and worth celebrating. That .1% is indeed worth mourning, but I take great solace in the relatively seamless (from the user side) transition.

Thanks for your hard work!