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Iceteks Forums Migration Progress
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:03 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




This is not exactly AoV related but I will keep this thread here for a general progress log of the migration process.

As I may have mentioned before I run several other forums, most are actually defunct due to too many security issues and lack of time to maintain them all, so the goal is to combine them all into a single forum, which will reside at iceteks.com. This forum included.

The forums in question are:

anythingforums.com
iceteks.com
uogateway.com
uovalor.com


All forum accounts and posts will be preserved in this transition but it will require a password reset due to the fact that all forum systems use their own method of storing passwords, it's just easier to have everyone do a reset on the new system.

Part of this migration will also involve a separate account system as the future goal is to tie in other things into it as well such as Uogateway shard submissions, and perhaps even the AoV UO accounts themselves. Also any other systems we add such as the wiki will also use the same account.

The idea behind this is to have a central account systems for all my sites and to make it easier for everyone. Also act as a central place to police spam accounts.

This thread will act as a general place for me to post progress updates.

In the meantime, please ensure your email address is up to date on your account as it will be required once the migration takes place. I have no ETA at the moment, as there is still a lot of work left to do.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:15 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Sneak preview of new forum. Still in very early stages mind you. I'm most likely going to make a custom template and some forum/categories are still subject to change. I did condense a lot of them though just to keep things simpler. Topics will be merged into the most appropriate forums.

Currently the account merge process is working nicely, will start on the topic/post import tomorrow. That will be a pretty big beast as each forum software will have it's own way of handling things like bbcode, polls, attachments etc...



Oh and if you're curious how I took that screenshot, new feature I discovered in Firefox. press shift+F2 and in the bottom you'll get a command line bar, type screenshot --fullpage.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:29 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Quick update... started on the topic/post migration. It's quite ugly at the moment, and I still need to do all the actual text conversion like quotes and stuff. But for now I just want to dump the text in the proper part of the DB and once I get that working I can go back and fix the actual formatting.

Here's a screenshot of doing about 50 rows:



That's just AoV posts. Currently running a full convert to see how it ends up looking. It should technically mirror this current forum as far as post order and stuff goes.

I'll then have to repeat this coding process for UOG, Iceteks and Anythingforums as all 3 use a different db format.

Oh and just dumping everything in OT for now, but there will be a translation table in the script that puts the posts in the right forums. Each site will have it's own translation table, basically.
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PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 5:35 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Been doing some good progress, I have all 4 forums merging now with basic post content. I have to code the formatting conversion stuff, and also make it put the topics in the right forums, but what I have so far is good progress.


Couple teaser screenshots:





Obviously the final merge wont just dump everything in off topic section, this is just early stages of testing. Wink


And some very very very old posts:



Obviously, lot of formatting and other issues to fix still, but in general the content is there and is merging right.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:45 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Since it's summer I have not been working much on this. Will probably resume in September when summer is over.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:13 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Started working on this again. I implimented the feature in the conversion script to put the posts in all the right forums. Still a work in progress as I may add more or merge sub fourums as needed. Next step is to figure out the formatting for BB code so it converts over properly. Quick sneak preview after a conversion has been made:



And a forum view:



Nothing too special at this point, still using default template and no mods.

Once conversion is done I will work on a central authentication system as there's a few systems I want to use it such as the AoV wiki, UO Gateway shard listing, and possibly even the shard itself.

Still lot of work to do before this can be released though but conversion will be a big chunk of the work. I had to make changes to the way SMF (forum software) orders posts for the 4 way merge to work properly so I will need to test more features like post splitting to make sure they update properly.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:19 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




bbcode conversion mostly complete for uovalor.com forum.




Still more testing to do with various combinations of bb code such as nested quotes/code etc. but so far so good.

I also need to convert some smilieys to other ones but that's minor.

After this I have to do IPB which two of the other forums run. Then the last one, uogateway is already running SMF so there should barely be anything to convert.

Overall doing some good progress considering I've been working on this on and off. Heading back to work tomorrow and then only get the weekend off then back to work again so wont be touching this for a while again after this.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:01 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




I got side tracked with other stuff, including laziness but my goal this year is to finally get this done. I also need to decide on what direction to take Iceteks, but priority is getting the new forum back up and then improving Iceteks after that.

I have some home server stuff I need to finish up, as I want to migrate some stuff off an old server box but I actually have to custom code some stuff to make it happen. Once that project is done the forums are next.

I never end up abiding by my own ETAs, but I'm going to set the forum deployment ETA to be December 2016. I'm being generous as I am hoping to do it before. Razz

On the AoV side, this migration will also involve looking into a better account system for the shard. It will be tied into to a central authentication system, so in simple terms it means your forum account and game account will be the same. A special prefix will be added at the end of your username in UO to load the next list of characters. So say your username is dog123 and you have 3 accounts, if you want to login to the 2nd one you'd login as dog123:2 just an example though, I have not fully decided how I'll do it.

As always, ensure the email address you have set in your forum profile is valid.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:48 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




About one month of summer to go, will be a really busy month for me, but after that, if things calm down, I do plan to seriously finish this. I feel bad for all the members at Iceteks and Anything forums as I had promised to have those up much sooner. I hope they'll come back once the forum is done.

Most of the work left for the migration is mostly tweaking, and then lot of testing. I also have to do the central authentication system, which while I could technically do it after, rather release it at same time.

Since this forum is the most active I will probably get some of you to test the password reset sequence at some point, I'd make a separate anouncement at that point. The merged forum + this one will be able to run at the same time for a bit, then the final migration will involve shutting down this forum and UO Gateway's forum. (all posts would be synced to new forum)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:28 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




I did not forget about this!

Currently Iceteks BB code conversions are being worked on.

I can't help but feel a sense of nostalgia seeing posts that are over 10 years old that's for sure. Anythingforums.com was using similar software so most of the code will be reusable.


I won't bother giving an ETA, because I keep blowing those deadlines anyway. Razz

But I seriously need to move my butt and get this done, I actually feel bad for the old members at Iceteks.com that I basically abandoned. The downtime was never meant to be this long.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:25 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




I just want to take this opportunity to say that I HATE Invision Power Board's way of handling quotes. OMG what a mess. It's all hard coded HTML, instead of bbcode, so you have to parse through all that crap to get the data. preg_replace only goes so far because it errors out due to too much data exceeding the range.

That is all.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:52 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Yay got quotes working! I think.... it was kinda odd as there are several variations of html, so it's quite possible I did not account for all of it.




Also got code tags working, and attachments. I can't think of anything else left to convert for Iceteks, but I could easily be overlooking stuff, so need to keep digging. Not the most efficient, but what I do is just browse posts until I see something that is off.

For attachments I kinda cheated, I just moved all the actual files to a separate "legacy" folder and then link directly to it from the post. Good enough.

Anythingforums is the last forum left to convert, and uses the same software but a different version, so the code should be mostly interchangeable I think.


I hope to do that tomorrow, (I'd do it tonight but I should really go to bed. Shocked )

Once I test the conversion process fully and deem it acceptable, I will start to work on the central authentication system. Rather than authenticating through the forum software it will be through a separate script. The idea is that anything I impliment, such as the Wiki on this very site will use that central authenticator instead of requiring many logins. So I need to decide how I implement it. It needs to work across servers in case I ever split stuff up. Obviously it needs to be secure too, and use an encrypted communication path if/when going across servers. So that is going to be a whole separate beast, but I don't think it will really be that hard.

Once that system is working, I will be more or less set to launch! All the stuff like modifying the template I can do after.

If I can keep up this coding rate, I am actually hoping to launch in the early new year! Maybe even before, but chances are I will reserve a few months for extensive testing, and don't want to run into or deal with issues during Christmas time.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:03 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Made some decent progress in the past few days. I believe all 4 forum conversion code is working and stuff like quotes, images, etc is converting properly.

I've also been able to preserve attachments for Iceteks and Anythingforums. I cheated a bit, basically they will just be in another folder on the server and a hard link to it will end up in the post.

There is the oddball weird html stuff for Iceteks posts, but I think some of that is actually legacy stuff from previous migrations. Iceteks was originally on Yabb, then went to Invision Power Board... I think there was even another forum software before that... can't recall. It's been through many conversions.

Overall I'd say things are looking good despite the odd small glitch. Glitches that I'm not worried about. I will do more testing and polish stuff as I see fit.


Once I'm satisfied I will start on the central authentication system. I could release the forum before but I rather have it released with that system in place, so people only need to reset their passwords once.

The forum is fairly vanilla, but that is stuff I will improve on once it's released. Template, features, etc.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:20 pm Reply with quote
ycontrol
Joined: 04 Jan 2017
Posts: 4
Location: Nova Scotia




What's the hold up? Smile

I am looking for some lost links and I am thinking that my signature from The Anything Forums may have one or 2...maybe, hopefully. Plus...I just miss The Anything Forums. Ahhh, those were the days...
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:45 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8109
Location: Ontario, Canada




Hey long time no see! What have you been up to?

Yeah I need to move it. Razz The sigs won't get transferred but if you want I can send you what's in your sig as I have AF working on my local server.

Though I can probably check into transfering sigs/avatars too. Maybe even PMs. But probably not. I'll see near the end how things go.

Next step is the authentication system, it could technically wait, but it will require people to change their passwords again so rather do it in one shot.

Once I have the authentication system working then I'll finalize the forum migration script, still some quirks to work out especially on the IPB boards. Iceteks And AF. Lot of weird stuff with quote tags and such.

Now that holidays are mostly over I'll have some time to keep working on this next time I'm off.
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