Missing posts

[b]Due to a technical issue, posts made between July and September of 2017 are not available and were not archived.

We apologize for the inconvenience.[/b]

I do have a backup that runs at 3:00 AM, but it doesn’t rotate based on days, and it’s already overwritten.

I can probably import the messages from the quarterly text dump though (although not easily – I’ll have to write a program to parse it). It’s one enormous .txt file that gets uploaded to the IF Archive. I’m looking at the one that happened October 1st, but I’m not seeing a bunch of messages for “Competitions”. What time did the problem happen? It may have been before that export, which means 3 months of messages would be gone.

It was before Oct 1st. I did it on Sept 30, and of course right before the last day of the quarter, making my mistake in the most spectacularly bad fashion that ever could have happened.

I’ll be over here on the naughty step if anyone needs me.

Here’s where things stand on this, so far.

I’ve updated the database backup routine so that it will keep 7 days worth of backups instead of only the most recent. In addition, I’ve set up a job to transfer the backup offsite (for now, to my local machine) with the same 7 days of history.

I can’t find any way to get back the last three months for this sub-forum. If only you could have waited a day, then we’d have it in the quarterly archive. :slight_smile: I should be able to retrieve all messages prior to July 1st from the previous archive. But, I’m not sure if I can import them directly. I was going to do it based on the topic title but there could be topics with the same title that wouldn’t belong in the same thread. Also, not sure if all users’ names would still match up.

So, I’m thinking the quickest and best solution might be to write a program that parses the July archive to look for messages in the “Competitions” sub-forum, then just creates a series of plain-text .HTML files out of those parts. Then we could sticky a link to that at the top here, at least to get into the archived text. I could group them by topic, knowing that some might end up grouped together incorrectly.

Alternately, I could still see about importing it all directly. I just don’t know how long that’ll take to figure out, and whether it’s worth doing or not.

Also, I found this importer:

phpbb.com/community/viewtop … &t=2115251

So it might be possible to extract those messages from the archive into the specified XML format and use this importer to bring them in. If anybody wants to investigate that, please do.

The July archive can be found here:
ifarchive.org/indexes/if-arc … forum.html

A simple program could probably parse that and create the necessary XML.

Messages prior to 29/Nov/2016 can be seen at https://web.archive.org/web/20161129110341/http://www.intfiction.org:80/forum/viewforum.php?f=23
Unfortunately the wayback machine does not seem to have archived this forum at all in 2017, after doing 7 snapshots of it in 2016.

To me, the most important posts are the ones discussing former IFComps, and those are all in the archive. I think the introcomp reviews may be missing, but fortunately Jacqueline sent us all the reviews.

This will break a lot of links on ifwiki to old ifcomp reviews, but I may be the only one that looks at those. Maybe they can be convereted to wayback machine links?

I also enjoy reading older reviews for games and it was fascinating to see how you incorporated them into your historical analysis of previous comps. It would be unfortunate if that resource was either lost or made less accessible.

I finished importing messages from the July 1st archive. I think it worked well, but it’s not perfect. Quote blocks appear as text instead of appearing as quotes for some reason. It seems that editing and re-saving a message fixes that, but I don’t know why the import itself didn’t handle it. Also, I think there were a couple topics with the same name, which would have been merged into one topic during the import.

Topics after July 1st are gone, but additional backups should prevent something like this from happening in the future.

Wow, this is great! Thanks so much!

It’s the best that we could have hoped for. Thank you so much Merk (Admin)!

Thank you for all the help and sorry for the trouble!

Thanks so much, Merk!

I checked a handful of IFWiki links that pointed to forum threads (some author postmortems from IFComp 2016) and they all seemed to work. Success!

EDIT: Although, maybe I should be looking for links to a different subforum…the ones I checked first were in the “IFComp 2016 Public Discussion” subforum. Some links from further back do not seem to work.

For instance, according to IFWiki, this link used to lead to Healy’s reviews of IFComp 2014: viewtopic.php?f=32&t=16775. It no longer works.

However, Healy’s reviews of IFComp 2014 can now be found here instead: https://intfiction.org/t/healy-reviews-the-if-comp/12416/1

So it seems like the content is here on the forum. It’s just not necessarily at the same URL it was before.

Which is still a lot better than being gone entirely. So, thanks again, Merk. As Dannii said, it’s probably the best we could have hoped for.

I think that may be a preexisting issue rather than one that happened because of the recent unpleasantness. Poking around on the Wayback machine, there used to be a subforum for [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141214061525/http://www.intfiction.org/forum/]IFComp 2014 discussion[/url[, where Healy’s old reviews were, and then in 2016 there was a forum for IFComp 2016, but the 2014 forum must have got merged into the general Competitions folder. The 2016 forum is still there.

This definitely suggests that we should try to avoid moving forums in the future! Thanks for pointing that out.

It’s probably either thing, depending on the message. Links to topics include the forum ID and the topic ID, and the topic ID changed due to the import. The text archive does include the direct link for each message, so it may have been possible to add them back with the original topic ID value, but not by using the import mod I found. I could have written my own import, but we’d probably still be waiting for me to get around to that. :frowning:

If anybody turns up any external links to topics that really need to be preserved, I could probably change the topic ID directly in the database on a case by case basis – or maybe add a stub topic with that ID that redirects or something.

The quickest way to reach me is by email - wyndo [@] {removethis} prowler-pro.com or sidneymerk [@] {removethis} hotmail.com (or both to be safe). Edit Or even quicker, message me on twitter @vggenerations.

Also, as far as moving old topics, I know this was done in the past so that we wouldn’t end up with an abundance of specific-year general discussion IFComp boards. Messages from the prior year’s public IFComp board would be moved into the general competitions or game discussions board, and then the IFComp discussion board would be repurposed for the new year. Another way to handle that would be to create a top-level board for that purpose (ex: “Prior Year IFComp Discussion”) and then move the entire IFComp board under it, instead of just moving the messages, to preserve the forum ID and topic ID for all the existing posts.