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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Mirror forum threads to HD

    Hi all. To begin Iíll say Iím not sure that this is the correct place to post my question but itís a start.

    Iím a member of a hobby related forum (vBulletin) that has a very uncertain future. Many members have threads spanning several hundred pages consisting of text information and accompanying pictures and diagrams. The image content is hosted locally and on servers such as Photobucket. We are looking into ways to preserve the large threads in their entirety. If the forum ceases to exist, we would like to open a new one elsewhere (may or may not be vBulletin).

    Iíve had a little experience with an open source free application called HT-Track and decided to put it to the test. Itís basically mirroring software. Iím able to mirror an entire thread, including the image content and the page structure. Excellent.... part one of the problem solved.

    The mirrored image consists of a main HTML file. There are several supporting sub folders containing an individual HTML file for each post, and others for images etc.

    My question is, if our forum ceases to exist, is it possible to ďimportĒ an entire thread into a new forum using the mirror content that I described. If the answer is no, is there an alternative method that would work.

    I thank you for your time.

    Regards,
    Michael.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Personally I'd keep the forum in it's current forum, even if it's on a PC at your house. Then it's still a usable forum and can be upgraded at a later date.

    You could use Uniform Server to host vBulletin.

    cheers, Paul
    Last edited by Paul T; 2013-02-15 at 13:00.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the reply Paul. This is a field I have no experience with and I need to read up on it. Uniform Server looks to be an interesting option. What I'm not clear about though is this. If I were to backup the entire forum as HTML files and supporting folders, wouldn't they need to be converted to a vBulletin database to continue using vBulletin?

    Thank you,
    Michael.

  4. #4
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    Yes, that's why I suggested you keep it in vBulletin - I am assuming you can backup vBulletin in native format and re-install elsewhere.
    If you can only save the threads as HTML then you may be stuck with a thread list.
    If you can obtain the database you should be able to convert it to phpBB.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Thank you Paul. I now see what you were saying and unfortunately I don't have access to the vBulletin native database. Right now I'm limited to HTML backups only. Would I be correct in thinking that the only way to transfer threads from the HTML files would be to copy/paste chunks of threads into a new forum if the existing one closes?

    Thanks once again for your patience with my inexperience.

    Cheers,
    Michael.

  6. #6
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    If you can pull up the individual threads you can create an app that will pull in the data and write it to a database - maybe via RSS. Failing that it's a manual job.

    Can you ask the forum owners to provide the database as the data is effectively public domain? You may need to clean the private data first.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Paul, you raise an interesting point regarding public domain. It's one of the first things I tried to address with other members of the board. A kind of "what's ours" versus "what's there's". The board is privately owned by a PTY LTD company that recently changed hands. The previous owner was a very active board member while the new is either very shy or wishes to remain anonymous. I'm not aware of any member successfully contacting the new owner and don't like my chances of obtaining the database.

    An app for pulling the data from HTML is exactly the kind of direction I'm thinking will be required but wasn't sure if it was possible. The individual threads are stored as separate HTML files in my backup so perhaps there's light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not particularly familiar with RSS but I know someone who may be able to help me. I'll make some enquiries and update if I find anything useful. It may help others at some stage.

    Thank you, cheers,
    Michael.

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