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View Full Version : Potential Loss of Private Messages



ToSeek
2013-Jan-25, 02:49 AM
Our support team is continuing to deal with some ongoing issues with the forum. The problem is that years of tinkering with the forum have left it in a nonstandard, difficult-to-debug state. The only efficient and effective way to fix all the technical issues with the forum is to create a new forum then move over the topics from this current one to the new one. This will allow for a fresh foundation and infrastructure, while also maintaining posts and users. Unfortunately, this approach does not preserve private messages.

Since members may have an accumulation of private messages they would like to hang onto, this is a heads-up that they may go away in the not-too-distant future, so if you want to save them, you should start working on doing so. We will give at least a week's heads-up prior to making such a move, but we wanted to give everyone ample warning. And rest assured that we would not be considering such a drastic move if there were any good alternatives.

Edited to add: You can export all of your private messages by going to your private messages page, scrolling all the way to the bottom, and looking for the "Download all Private Messages as" option in the lower left-hand corner, which gives you the choice of several formats for exporting.

Luckmeister
2013-Jan-25, 04:10 AM
Is there a way to batch-save messages without having to copy and paste them individually?

Gillianren
2013-Jan-25, 04:23 AM
There has been before. I haven't needed to save since inboxes got so huge, though.

pzkpfw
2013-Jan-25, 04:27 AM
If you're looking at your inbox, you can click a check box near top right (of list) to select all messages.

Then there's an action drop-down at bottom right (of list) that allows export.

(I've not tried it myself.)



P.S. The "select all" seems to only mean that page of messages. Though I do now see "Download all Private Messages as:" near the bottom left of the page. (See under the icon legend).
P.P.S. That works (mostly). Just got a 1.6 MB XML file going back to 2007.

(Don't remember if 2005 to 2007 is "missing" or if I deleted them on purpose in a fit of tidying.)

Luckmeister
2013-Jan-25, 04:48 AM
Yes, I had just found it. Thanks.

tusenfem
2013-Jan-25, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the useful info Pz...

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jan-25, 08:48 AM
That just made me lose 2 hours from browsing old PM's, just as I was getting ready to go to work.

Thanks a bunch! :mad:

galacsi
2013-Jan-25, 10:21 AM
Yes it works fine . I think I have all my messages , sent or received. I even have a ghost ! Sad but nice to remember.

Swift
2013-Jan-25, 01:38 PM
That just made me lose 2 hours from browsing old PM's, just as I was getting ready to go to work.

Thanks a bunch! :mad:
CQ, always ready to serve all your procrastinating needs. :D

caveman1917
2013-Jan-25, 02:38 PM
Just to be on the safe side, wouldn't it be better to also send an email, including the instructions about how to save those pm's, about this to the entire membership? Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list), and there may be members that for whatever reason don't log in for a while and not see this thread until it's too late.

caveman1917
2013-Jan-25, 02:51 PM
Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list)

I just noticed the announcement appear on the top of the page. Interestingly, it only appears when you're looking at a subforum (say Q&A), not when you're looking at the forum as a whole, nor when you are in a thread. So if you're like me, log in - go to settings - go to those threads that have updated, you wouldn't get to see it. Or if you are using email confirmation of thread updates, which take you directly to the threads, you wouldn't see it either. So i still think it would be prudent to send an email about it, especially for those who don't log in regularly (or due to circumstances such as holiday, illness, ...).

Swift
2013-Jan-25, 03:29 PM
Just to be on the safe side, wouldn't it be better to also send an email, including the instructions about how to save those pm's, about this to the entire membership? Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list), and there may be members that for whatever reason don't log in for a while and not see this thread until it's too late.
The "entire membership" would be literally thousands of people, many of whom probably never posted here, let alone have a PM. But I will float the idea in mod-space.

Jim
2013-Jan-25, 03:34 PM
I made this thread a sticky, so it will stay near the top. Stickied threads (Is that a word?) are listed in order of latest post. Normally the Banned and Suspended thread is at the top. So, to keep this one at the top and very visible, everybody behave for a while.

The Backroad Astronomer
2013-Jan-25, 03:41 PM
So I might loss all the pictures of Phil trying to show Adam Savage how to use his telescope.

ToSeek
2013-Jan-25, 05:42 PM
I just noticed the announcement appear on the top of the page. Interestingly, it only appears when you're looking at a subforum (say Q&A), not when you're looking at the forum as a whole, nor when you are in a thread. So if you're like me, log in - go to settings - go to those threads that have updated, you wouldn't get to see it. Or if you are using email confirmation of thread updates, which take you directly to the threads, you wouldn't see it either. So i still think it would be prudent to send an email about it, especially for those who don't log in regularly (or due to circumstances such as holiday, illness, ...).

I've added what vBulletin calls a "notice", which should appear at the top of every page at least once for everyone. If it doesn't, let me know.

Solfe
2013-Jan-25, 06:20 PM
I've added what vBulletin calls a "notice", which should appear at the top of every page at least once for everyone. If it doesn't, let me know.

I saw it two different ways, notice and thread. Very nice feature.

Thanks!

Ara Pacis
2013-Jan-25, 08:55 PM
Is there a tentative date for the event?

Swift
2013-Jan-25, 09:14 PM
Is there a tentative date for the event?
The present thought is in about 3 weeks or so, but there is no firm date yet. If we go ahead with this, we will try to give a solid one week notice before the date.

KnowTheCosmos
2013-Jan-26, 12:03 AM
The present thought is in about 3 weeks or so, but there is no firm date yet. If we go ahead with this, we will try to give a solid one week notice before the date.

Absolutely. The potential loss of PMs will coincide with the restructuring proposed here (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php/141498-Proposed-Forum-Reorganization). Please feel free to make suggestions and recommendations to us so that we can make sure everyone is heard before we move forward with the restructure.

Fraser
2013-Jan-26, 01:19 AM
So many PMs, such nostalgia.

BigDon
2013-Jan-27, 04:13 PM
I wonder if this has to be.

Let me float this situation past my brother, (who is a member!). He is a SME down at NASA/Ames in this very field, wintel servers and server clustering, and has no less than two Apollo 13 Awards and a whole slew of lesser awards.

He very, very good at pulling rabbits out of his hat, server-wise.

It's just that I already know what he's going to say.

"Yeah I can fix it, it's just that they'll have to give me too much access to do so."

BigDon
2013-Jan-27, 09:26 PM
It actually took him about fifteen seconds of thought and said the solution would only work if you are transfering to a clean set-up. Most of the time I present him with forum issues you've let us be privy to he has an answer by the time I stop talking.

I said you guys were and he started in with a solution that almost had me convinced except I lost him after the fourth sentence. Something about setting the servers up in parallel and having the old set-up as a read only archive, so as not to transfer any old code.

Something like that. But trust me, don't trust me.

would you like me to re-ask him, this time with a pencil and paper in hand?

slang
2013-Jan-28, 01:43 PM
I think the problem isn't that a solution is impossible, just that it would be costly (in either time, money, or both) and/or adding complexity to an already complex website, thus making maintaining it more difficult.

BigDon
2013-Jan-29, 07:56 PM
Okey-dokey Slang.

Solutions that aren't are of no use. No matter how much verbage you heap on top of it.

One day I'll be able to help. I'll keep plugging away as long as you guys keep throwing up targets.

Swift
2013-Feb-18, 02:48 PM
The current plan is to make the move to the new forum structure this Friday, 22 February. If you have not saved your PMs and wish to do so, we suggest you do so immediately.

BetaDust
2013-Feb-18, 03:11 PM
I am sorry, But... How exactly do I do that? Save my PM's? I have a few I would really like to keep. Thank you.

-- Dennis

Swift
2013-Feb-18, 04:02 PM
I am sorry, But... How exactly do I do that? Save my PM's? I have a few I would really like to keep. Thank you.

-- Dennis

If you're looking at your inbox, you can click a check box near top right (of list) to select all messages.

Then there's an action drop-down at bottom right (of list) that allows export.

(I've not tried it myself.)



P.S. The "select all" seems to only mean that page of messages. Though I do now see "Download all Private Messages as:" near the bottom left of the page. (See under the icon legend).
P.P.S. That works (mostly). Just got a 1.6 MB XML file going back to 2007.

(Don't remember if 2005 to 2007 is "missing" or if I deleted them on purpose in a fit of tidying.)
Here you go. If you don't want to do all, just click the check boxes for the ones you want.

BetaDust
2013-Feb-18, 04:48 PM
I have made a backup of my PM's!! :)

Thank you Swift!

Thank you very much.

-- Dennis

Trebuchet
2013-Feb-21, 04:46 PM
Apparently the issue is now important enough that the warning is appearing TWICE on every page. I don't think I really need all my old PM's but I guess I should go try to save them anyhow.

Swift
2013-Feb-21, 05:28 PM
Apparently the issue is now important enough that the warning is appearing TWICE on every page. I don't think I really need all my old PM's but I guess I should go try to save them anyhow.
Twice? There is a pop up notice, in a yellowish box, that you will get the first time after it was created (ToSeek recreated it this morning). Once you close that, you should not see it again. Then there is a blue box that appears at the top of each sub-forum. Are those the two?

Trebuchet
2013-Feb-21, 06:20 PM
Twice? There is a pop up notice, in a yellowish box, that you will get the first time after it was created (ToSeek recreated it this morning). Once you close that, you should not see it again. Then there is a blue box that appears at the top of each sub-forum. Are those the two?

Aaah! I hadn't noticed the "X" for closing it! So I've been seeing the original notice on every page plus, today, an identical one with "Final Reminder" added to the header. I shall now go and click both of the X's. I did download the messages. I suspect I may never look at them again, however.

Gillianren
2013-Feb-21, 06:39 PM
I've got years' worth saved on my hard drive. I don't go back and read them, but since I have some from Mak and Mike, I'm glad to know they're there.

ToSeek
2013-Feb-22, 02:17 AM
Just saved off 3.7 megabytes worth of private messages.

grapes
2013-Feb-22, 05:02 AM
Just in time

Swift
2013-Feb-22, 07:04 PM
Current estimate is that the forum will go off-line some time this evening (probably late evening) US time; so early Saturday morning in Europe.

pzkpfw
2013-Feb-22, 09:29 PM
I tried to access about two hours ago (it's 10:30 am my time (NZDST) as I post this), and it was down. Now it's up. Done?

Swift
2013-Feb-22, 10:29 PM
I tried to access about two hours ago (it's 10:30 am my time (NZDST) as I post this), and it was down. Now it's up. Done?
I don't think so. As far as I know, they haven't started yet.

pzkpfw
2013-Feb-22, 10:56 PM
I don't think so. As far as I know, they haven't started yet.

In that case - let me report a database error that was causing the forum to fail, at around 8:30 am NZDST ! (insert smiley)

KnowTheCosmos
2013-Feb-23, 12:47 AM
We noticed the error as well earlier today when we were doing the Weekly Space Hangout on Google+. Quickly thereafter it went back up without any intervention from our team. It's quite possible the server just had a hiccup. We'll be starting the forum work within the next 10-15 minutes.

Plat
2013-Mar-24, 04:56 AM
I just logged on for the first time in a long while...tried to save my PM's but it said there are "no PM's"...am I too late?

slang
2013-Mar-24, 07:26 AM
I just logged on for the first time in a long while...tried to save my PM's but it said there are "no PM's"...am I too late?

Yes, the rebuild was one month ago. Sorry you missed it.

Trebuchet
2013-Mar-24, 02:47 PM
I'm sorry we didn't ALL miss it.

John Mendenhall
2013-Mar-25, 03:09 PM
I'm sorry we didn't ALL miss it.

Ya gotta keep up or the technology will move right out from underneath you. IIRC, archeology studies of recent times indicate that in the late 1800's pre-automobile days a busy road had a blacksmith shop about every 1.5 miles. All gone . . .

And think what mortars and howitzers replaced just a few centuries before that!

Keep on chunkin'.

profloater
2014-Jun-06, 08:45 AM
According to my page I have zero sent messages but yesterday I sent a private message in response to same . Should I be worried? Do pm get sent?

slang
2014-Jun-06, 09:42 AM
According to my page I have zero sent messages but yesterday I sent a private message in response to same . Should I be worried? Do pm get sent?

When you reply to, or create a new private message, is "[ ] Save a copy of this message in your Sent Items folder." checked or unchecked? You can send to me if you wish to test.