Discussion in 'Communications' started by Grimby, Apr 2, 2010.
The Lakers Nation forums have switched to their new servers already.
Viva Los Angeles!
From what I've seen on the Rebelscum site, the consultant was handling planning for server upgrades and the Rebelscum conversion as well as ours. This was in addition to having to sort out unexpected security issues on Rebelscum. At some point it was decided to do the Rebelscum conversion first since it would be easier than ours. This is both due to the size of the conversion and the fact that ours has to be home-grown since VB doesn't have an import script for the IGN format. Rebelscum is currently in the testing stage.
The "consultant" (Astaran) is not involved in the Rebelscum conversion, to my knowledge. I don't know how he's being paid (if at all), but to be honest I haven't heard from him in months. His role in our move was to assist me in setting up the forum software and installing any plugins we suggested. And there really hasn't been any work done on that for a while (we're basically finished, save for a few things I haven't gotten to yet).
The person spearheading the Rebelscum move, Grahame, is a volunteer just like the rest of us. We're not being paid to do any of this and we're working on it in our own spare time outside of our regular jobs. So while I understand the dissatisfaction of this not being done yet, ZAP, understand that we can only move as quickly and efficiently as volunteers are willing and able to do so. I've mentioned this several times in the last few months, but we're kind of at a standstill at this point. We can't really do much else until the database conversion has been figured out, and the two people most involved in working on that are Grahame and Ben, Philip's business partner.
Also understand that the database file IGN gave us to work with is basically a gigantic 30 gigabyte raw data file, which not only needed to be initially converted into MS-SQL in order to be usable in the first place, but now needs to be converted into MySQL in order to be imported into the new software. There are plenty of other speedbumps in the way of that as well, the major ones being the fact that no conversion script exists to tell us which database tables our existing data goes into, and the fact that the character encoding needs to be converted from one format to another (which presents major problems when you're trying to read from a 30GB text file and figure out what data is part of a post and what isn't).
[Levar]But you don't have to take my word for it.[/Levar] Here's what the admins over at Rebelscum are saying about our move compared to theirs:
As far as IGN's role in this saga, they've all but disowned us at this point. The only reason this forum still exists right now is because 1) It would cost them more to help us migrate it elsewhere than it would to let us hang around on the server (which is why we never moved last time, BTW), and 2) They haven't yet gotten around to clearing the server space we're currently occupying to use it for something that actually attempts to make them some money. We're basically freeloading at this point with the promise that they'll take the time to do one last data export for us whenever we're ready.
So yes, it's been 16 months since we announced the move. Yes, we're obviously not moving as fast and efficiently as we would be if we were getting paid for this. And yes, this situation is probably a lot more complicated than most people will ever realize or understand.
I say if you ever get access to that database file, take it and run.
Get it and do all the technical sex, set up a new server under our control (sans Wise), flip him off, and turn it on
Perhaps if the need to move ever raises again, it'd be best not to jump the gun by announcing it before you're actually close to the actual conversion/move? If I remember correctly, isn't that pretty much what happened last time? It was announced and then talked about for well over a year, and then one day it just stopped being mentioned altogether? Considering the initial spectacle that was made by the administration over the move last year, can you really blame people for rolling their eyes, and/or being impatient when it's 16 months later and we're still here?
It'd also have been nice for the owners to have dropped a line in the actual forms that are apparently such a bitch to convert, and told us what they're telling people at Rebelscum, but that's whatever I guess.
Honestly, you should just lock this thread until something significant develops.
When the Rebelscum move date is announced we'll probably start a thread here. In the meantime you can check their Announcements forum for updates. I take a look just about every day for updates.
The reason the move progress came to a screeching halt the first time around was because it got down to the date when IGN/zerosleep was scheduled to export the database and migrate it over to the new forum. When IGN realized it would take too much time and resources to do that, they decided against doing it and instead allowed us to stay. Since they control the data on their servers and we have no access to it whatsoever, we didn't have any choice on the matter and the move was cancelled. And that was not something that anyone here expected or could have seen coming.
This time around, it's been pretty similar. None of us really expected the data transfer to be such a big deal, especially since IGN told us they were going to export the database and provide the schema along with it. We knew there would be some issues trying to import it into vBulletin since no one has ever attempted that before, but I doubt any of us ever expected we'd still be sitting here over a year later waiting for that part to be figured out.
But really, do you think if we hadn't said anything at all until now, or even waited until we started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the data transfer, that it would have made things better? I mean, you do realize that IGN can pull the plug on this place at any time without warning, right? That's the main reason we let people know what was going on in the beginning. And personally, despite the way this has gone the last year or so, I still think it's infinitely better that people know what is going on rather than us attempting to sit on all that info until the timing is right and we're ready to do the move. Deep down, I think you'd agree with that as well.
Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying here, I'm not blaming anyone or getting upset at any of these comments. I'm actually in the same boat as the rest of you, to be honest. I too am rolling my eyes and getting impatient over how long this is taking. It's pretty ridiculous, but there isn't much we can do about that short of hiring a team of database experts and paying them to figure out the migration for us.
Exporting a database into a certain/universal format takes a few clicks, and just letting the computer sit there and do it for a few hours
VBulletin comes with import scripts for quite a few of the popular database formats. The scripts will take the output of an export and convert it to what VBulletin's database wants. I believe that the Rebelscum format is one of those that is catered for.
Unfortunately the format IGN uses is not one of those database formats. It's their own system and the import script for it has to be developed by Philip Wise & co. Grimby and I have done some work as well using samples of data that were loaded to a test server for us. It's a lot harder than it looks, believe me.
I honestly don't understand why everyone is anxious to "move". If nothing superficial gets altered, most people probably won't even notice achange of address. Besides, I'm quite confident in the TOP MEN who are on the job.
I think people more want action than anything else. This 16 months in the doldrums have been really meh.
The TFN Rapture 2.0 has caused many previously ardent believers to question whether putting their faith into this site was worth it.
I distinctly remember the day I lost faith in TFN. It was back in 2000 or so, about a year after TPM came out. "Your daily dose of Star Wars" the website advertises. Oh ho ho really? I came on one day and - gasp! - no updates! Daily dose indeed! I didn't get my 24-hour fix! That was the horrible day when I realized TFN lies. It lies just as bad as ANH Obi-Wan.
And you will never get a refund. Ever. No matter how much time you devote to this site. Those are lost hours where you could have been painting a picture, learning jujutsu, or blowing on glaciers to prevent global warming. But TFN doesn't care about you. It only cares about some guy in a plaid shirt's fantasy universe about teddy bears and gangsta slugs.
I don't remember TFN ever having anything worth looking at. All it has it links to other sites with actual news and original content
Even if you google it, the site description still says "get up to the minute updates on Episode 3"
Can we get rid of the "UPDATE YOUR EMAIL" announcement in the banner until we get closer to progress? It's kind of an eyesore.
Pretty much this. In the end it will presumably only be a slight superficial difference, but the fact that we can't haven't seen much happen in that amount of time is kind of annoying.
I do agree with Grimby that it makes as much sense now as it did then to make the announcement early on, as IGN could theoretically let us go whenever. If they decided to pull the plug a year ago and they hadn't announced anything it would be chaos.
Grimby, if you're all volunteers, then I have some questions for you. How many volunteers are there? Is it just you, LAJ and a couple of others, or are you welcoming anyone who's got a decent amount of experience help out? If you're not doing the latter doesn't it make sense to get more people? Make an appeal to the users; there have got to be plenty of people who are willing and able to help. You could do a screening process o some sort to make sure people like Flare who want to take it and run don't become part of it and then you'd be on your way. It would also help get the community more involved and make people feel like something is happening, especially if they know several of the people making it happen. Is any of this viable?
Right now we're at a waiting point. Philip's crew is concentrating on converting Rebelscum so there won't be much happening with us until that's done. Grimby and I (and a few others, such as DarthXan) have done some prep work.
I don't really get the annoyance some posters have about the length of time this is taking. As long as it doesn't just get turned off (and data loss results) by IGN before we're ready to make the move, what's the big deal?
A question too, though... I know that the address boards.theforce.net will still work, but will the main page at theforce.net still have that "Forums" link in the upper left? Or no more because the forums will be on a separate server? And on that note, is this seen as a separation of the Jedi Council forums from theforce.net, as in they will be separate entities? It kind of sounds like it, but the retention of the boards.theforce.net address makes it not as clear. Thanks.
Grimby can correct me here if I'm wrong, but I believe it's just the board ASPX code and the board database that's on IGN's servers. I know that the images and board scripts are on TFN's server. If some tweaking is needed for the main site after the move then we can get that handled. The relationship with TFN Main and the forums won't be changing.
To add to what LAJ said, I've pieced together a bit of history here after going through old posts, talking to a few oldbies, and recalling some old rumors...
The forum itself, boards.theforce.net currently lives on the servers at IGN. In the beginning, the boards were actually hosted on TheForce.net. They were small, running on UBB software, and admins like Chyren, Jasman, and Yoda the All Powerful ruled the boards with an iron fist. Then, something happened.
The TFN owners at the time, Joshua Griffin and Scott Chitwood, struck a deal with IGN, who agreed to host our forums for free. It was during this period that the boards fell into the hands of zerosleep, who moved them from UBB to what he called SnowBoards. (It is said that zerosleep won the title of TFN Grand Forum Champion by defeating Kung Lao, a Shaolin fighting monk.) As the years passed, SnowBoards was further improved and upgraded, and IGN changed the name of the software to IGNBoards. They're more machine now than man...
When we move, the forum software and the data will be hosted on TheForce.net, most likely on a server in the same physical location that TheForce.net currently is (and RebelScum for that matter). So if anything, the relationship between the two will become closer because everything will reside in the same place and TheForce.net will be able to control all of it. And yes, TheForce.net will continue to link to these forums.
So this seems like a reasonable time to ask.
Can we get a move on?
Has the humor section been updated?