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All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone
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Partner kimgraves


Nov 13, 2006, 2:46 PM
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All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone
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All the "http" links embedded in old posts get 404 - file not found errors when you click on them.

This seems to me to be a show stopper. The implication is that all the institutional memory and connections that have been made have been lost by migration to the new site.

I'll leave it to the IT crew about how to fix this - I'm out of date on this - but this migration oversight makes many of the move valuable posts from the old system useless.

Just for an example, try this post: http://www.rockclimbing.com/...im%20graves;#1411008. At the end of the post you'll see http links. Follow those and you'll see the 404.

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Nov 13, 2006, 2:55 PM)


Partner ctardi


Nov 13, 2006, 2:57 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Wow...that sucks!


sbaclimber


Nov 13, 2006, 2:59 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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This will be a problem with all links to threads on the 'old' site.

The page used to find and display posts has changed (along with all pages on the site).
It used to be: http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php
It is now: http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi

I suppose a global search and replace would work, but I am not sure if the post/thread IDs have even stayed the same (too lazy to go look).

Edit for spelling


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on Nov 13, 2006, 3:07 PM)


ddt


Nov 13, 2006, 4:57 PM
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Re: [sbaclimber] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Yes, this unfortunately will not get fixed. It was one of the tough prioritization decisions we had to make. I full well understand the fact that we've lost something in the process.

The only option we now have is to go back and manually edit content.

DDT


Partner kimgraves


Nov 13, 2006, 7:13 PM
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Re: [ddt] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Yes, this unfortunately will not get fixed. It was one of the tough prioritization decisions we had to make. I full well understand the fact that we've lost something in the process.

The only option we now have is to go back and manually edit content.

DDT

I appreciate the "prioritization decisions you had to make, but the implication of this one is that a great deal of the intellectual content of the old site is now no longer available. You might as well simple erase those posts and start over. This seems like an enormous loss.

I don't care about the logo. I don't care about making my signature dance. I don't care about the color of the website or the advertisements. What makes this site so much better than the other site is that there is real content in it. And if you loose that because of not being able to develop and run a conversion utility, that seems to me to be a very serious and irreversible loss.

Best, Kim

Edited for tone.


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Nov 13, 2006, 8:11 PM)


Partner neuroshock


Nov 13, 2006, 8:26 PM
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Re: [ddt] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Yes, this unfortunately will not get fixed. It was one of the tough prioritization decisions we had to make. I full well understand the fact that we've lost something in the process.

The only option we now have is to go back and manually edit content.

DDT
while i fully realize that there's no point in crying over spilt milk and i realize the efforts of migrating a site (which i've done before with millions of records in the DB) are nothing to take lightly, i'd just like to second the opinion that a large ball was dropped.

content is what drives this site. not the UI (which i've already begun to question), not the colors, and not "snazzy new features." one of the things that are in my pet peeves are flashy unnecessary features/functionality taking priority over the small important things. not knowing the background behind decisions, and not having contributed to the migration itself, i'd say that keeping the integrity of data (with a migration script or whatnot) should have taken priority of new features that could have been developed and introduced gradually at a later time (photo albums and video playlists).

since there weren't any good ways of keeping tabs on threads without "watching" them (and i don't want all that email associated with doing so). i had some threads bookmarked in my browser. those links, as well as the ones within cross-referenced posts, are now useless.

couldn't scripts have been left behind that would redirect the user for posts written before the migration? couldn't there be redirects setup in the apache conf file that sends HTTP requests for http://www.rockclimbing.com/forum/climbing_photography to http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?forum=45; ?

is the information in the old urls (the 122200 in http://www.rockclimbing.com/topic/122200, for example) completely gone?

even links to RC.com posts from the results of a search on Google won't work.

-mike


(This post was edited by neuroshock on Nov 13, 2006, 8:27 PM)


Partner rrrADAM


Nov 13, 2006, 11:38 PM
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Re: [neuroshock] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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And every single link that is in wikipedia.org for geographical areas known for climbing, that "had" links to the areas in the RDB now no longer work. I know of a few that I can change, but since I didn't write them in, I definately don't know of them all. This is just one example, as the rc.com RDB was/is the biggest online resopurce, it has links all over the web that are now all broken as well.

Just this one example is also an example of how people are first directed to this site, and since "first impressions are what counts" we aren't going to make a good one in this case and ALL similar ones.


Note-I have also seen links on wikipedia for other climbing related topics listed as resources and even as citations for quoted text.



I hope you also considered ALL of the ramifications when making your "tough prioritization decisions", as they are numerous and much broader than you may have considered. Not hard to imagine that people not aware of the details of this site will soon learn to not even click links that have rc.com in the URL when looking for accurate/functioning links. That's a big loss, that will be forever and ongoing in many cases.


skinner


Nov 14, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Re: [neuroshock] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Yes, this unfortunately will not get fixed. It was one of the tough prioritization decisions we had to make. I full well understand the fact that we've lost something in the process.

The only option we now have is to go back and manually edit content.

DDT
while i fully realize that there's no point in crying over spilt milk and i realize the efforts of migrating a site (which i've done before with millions of records in the DB) are nothing to take lightly, i'd just like to second the opinion that a large ball was dropped.

content is what drives this site. not the UI (which i've already begun to question), not the colors, and not "snazzy new features." one of the things that are in my pet peeves are flashy unnecessary features/functionality taking priority over the small important things. not knowing the background behind decisions, and not having contributed to the migration itself, i'd say that keeping the integrity of data (with a migration script or whatnot) should have taken priority of new features that could have been developed and introduced gradually at a later time (photo albums and video playlists).

since there weren't any good ways of keeping tabs on threads without "watching" them (and i don't want all that email associated with doing so). i had some threads bookmarked in my browser. those links, as well as the ones within cross-referenced posts, are now useless.

couldn't scripts have been left behind that would redirect the user for posts written before the migration? couldn't there be redirects setup in the apache conf file that sends HTTP requests for http://www.rockclimbing.com/forum/climbing_photography to http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?forum=45; ?

is the information in the old urls (the 122200 in http://www.rockclimbing.com/topic/122200, for example) completely gone?

even links to RC.com posts from the results of a search on Google won't work.

-mike

Apache.. couldn't you use mod_rewrite ?


sidepull


Nov 14, 2006, 12:24 PM
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Re: [rrradam] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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I agree with those above - this is a huge issue and a gross mis-prioritization.


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kimcgraves (at) gmail.com

Nov 14, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Re: [ddt] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Daniel,

I'd like to urge you to reconsider this decision. The loss of this facility means all of peoples thinking, decision making, solutions to complex problems, cross links to multiple areas are gone. The power of hypertext are these working links. Without them, you're throwing away the heart of RockClimbing.com.

I beg you to reconsider. At least talk to your tech people about what would be involved.

Thank you,

Kim (kimgraves)

NB: Still can't log on! But that's a minor issue.


jds100


Nov 14, 2006, 9:10 PM
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Re: [Guest] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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As a former frequent visitor, admin and moderator, I agree with the observations that content is what set RC.com apart. And, links that are out there on the internet -probably hundreds of thousands- certainly should not have been taken lightly in all the things that had to be considered for this migration project. I further agree that bells and whistles for users and visitors do not make the site more attractive to visitors who are here for real information. I hope the focus will be for asking for and sharing information, and enjoying the experience of climbing, not to focus just on cool features for a website for the sake of having 'em.

In addition to the aforementioned links, the links that I had written into the state homepage in the Routes Database (Illinois) no longer work. I haven't checked all the links embedded in the other pages within that state and the other state I wrote. I do know that a section that I wrote called "Recommended Routes" was originally (and deliberately) arranged in order of difficulty. Those routes in the new configuration of that page are now listed in alphabetical order, which is serves much less purpose to someone interested in learning which routes are recommended in the three climbing destinations included on the page. Considering that climbers new to an area are likely to have widely varying levels of ability, it is much more likely that they will seek out routes of particular difficulty, and will not search routes by name, many or all of which they're not likely to know anyway. So, an alphabetical arrangement just doesn't make sense, but there is also no way for me (the author of the page) to go in a rearrange the list. There is no way for me, the author of the state homepage(s) to go in and reactivate the links to areas within the states' database information.

I do appreciate that the site is quicker to open, and probably more reliable. It looks okay, and navigation is basically okay, in general. I think on balance the migration and the changes are good, but I would hope for more attention to some details, and perhaps a modified set of priorities. I hope it's not too late to correct the links, but if that ship has sailed, then I think you need to make a real effort of getting the word out that people need to correct the broken links themselves. And, I would certainly appreciate being able to access the material that I wrote, so that I can edit it when necessary, and rearrange lists, including arranging routes within certain areas or parcels of areas that have gotten out of order as an artifact of the migration, or because new entries have been made.

I also preferred the routes database pages to display more than one route info at a time. It is rather like reading a book by having to click to a new webpage for each new sentence. It doesn't seem like a user-friendly way of displaying or navigating through the routes database.

It's also a bit annoying to not be able to simply click instantly to the last post in a thread from the forum thread list, as we were able to do before.

Thanks for your help and all the work.

(This post was edited by jds100 on Nov 14, 2006, 9:13 PM)


Partner the_mitt


Nov 15, 2006, 2:42 AM
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Re: [jds100] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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I think this issue is going to grow once people realize what they have lost. Hopefully a fix will be forthcomming.

Mitt


karlbaba


Nov 15, 2006, 1:33 PM
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Re: [sidepull] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I agree with those above - this is a huge issue and a gross mis-prioritization.

I agree as well. Far better to go back to the old site than throw away everyone's efforts and so much content.

What? Don't want to throw away the time you spent building the new site? Well, now you know how it feels. Making the old content useless is a slap in the face of the user and a serious disincentive to any who might make a future effort. WHy bother if the management is going make it ueseless at some future time?

I was just considering spending more time back on RC.com but am beginning to seriously reconsider.

I think Rc.Com should reconsider as well.

Peace

Karl


thomasribiere


Nov 15, 2006, 2:06 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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kimgraves, do you mean this one?

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...;;page=unread#unread

Of course my technic to retrieve the post is not very orthodox, but I just replaced the number of the present topic by the one of your missing link (951243)...

There might be a way to do that faster, but it migt not be a priority.


Partner kimgraves


Nov 15, 2006, 5:24 PM
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Re: [thomasribiere] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
kimgraves, do you mean this one?

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...;;page=unread#unread

Of course my technique to retrieve the post is not very orthodox, but I just replaced the number of the present topic by the one of your missing link (951243)...

There might be a way to do that faster, but it might not be a priority.


Yea, good catch! ("Way to go Dallas!")

The original URL was:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/post/951243#951243
which gets the 404 error.

The new one that goes to the same place as the original is:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...orum.cgi?post=951243

The post number remains constant. So it seems if you simply replace the string "http://www.rockclimbing.com/post=/" with the string "http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=" the conversion would be done. Having coded this sort of 1:1 conversion utility myself I can tell you that it's trivial. And if it really is this trivial I do not understand what the objection to doing it is.

Once again I beg (I don't usually beg, so you can tell how strongly I feel about this issue) DDT to reconsider his objection. This is NOT something that can or should be done by hand. There are thousands and thousands of links. But it's an easy thing to be done by a conversion utility. And it would literally save all this data.

Best, Kim


thomasribiere


Nov 16, 2006, 4:22 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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I hope we will be able to fix that in the future.


sangiro


Nov 16, 2006, 5:19 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Once again I beg (I don't usually beg, so you can tell how strongly I feel about this issue) DDT to reconsider his objection. This is NOT something that can or should be done by hand. There are thousands and thousands of links. But it's an easy thing to be done by a conversion utility. And it would literally save all this data.

Yup the data was mapped 1:1 in the end, which was not understood to be the case in the original design, which is where ddt is coming from. We're onto this. Keep the faith, we'll fix it. Smile


Partner kimgraves


Nov 16, 2006, 6:38 AM
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Re: [sangiro] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
We're onto this. Keep the faith, we'll fix it. Smile

Sangiro,

Thanks so much! I feel sure that fixing the data is the right decision both from a content perspective but also form a business one. If the date is available you'll have more people using it.

What's your time-frame? I.e. I don't want to bug you unnecessarily. Wink

Best, Kim


sangiro


Nov 16, 2006, 6:52 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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In reply to:
What's your time-frame? I.e. I don't want to bug you unnecessarily.

We have plenty on our plates but this should be done by end of this week, or the first few days in next week. We'll push. Smile


Partner kimgraves


Nov 16, 2006, 7:00 AM
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Re: [sangiro] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Sangiro,

That's great. Thanks so much.

Best, Kim


sidepull


Nov 16, 2006, 4:51 PM
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Re: [sangiro] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Sweet - way to go sangiro!!

Now if we can only re-order the front page, enable people to click to the end of the discussion, make accessing your posts easier (and make them ordered by date rather than the %), . . .

Sarcasm aside, it's great that this issue will be fixed.


Partner rrrADAM


Nov 16, 2006, 5:31 PM
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Re: [sidepull] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Any way we can get ya to go to the Admin Panel and click "enable" on HTML and BB Tags in User Profiles, I think this site calls it "Mark Up" ???

Should take <1 minute.


(This post was edited by rrradam on Nov 16, 2006, 5:33 PM)


sangiro


Nov 17, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Hey Kim,

Rather than actually trying to change all the links in all 1.4 million posts with the associated risks of such a large intrusion on the live database we've set in place some rewrite rules that will do the same job.

Any old link to a forum post, user profile or gear item, in one of the following formats will now be rewritten and take you to the correct place on the new site:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iewtopic.php?p=67172
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...iewtopic.php?p=67172
http://www.rockclimbing.com/gear/product.php?p=312
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...to_show.php?id=76238
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...php?UserID=johnhenry
http://www.rockclimbing.com/post/67172
http://www.rockclimbing.com/user/ddt

We fixed the photo links to photos in our DB during the migration, so those should be fine.

So, if you check the "old link" in your example above you'll see that it works now. The additional benefit of this approach is that it not only solves the issue around "institutional memory" it also ensures that a lot of pages linked from search engines like Google to old pages will get you to the right place.


jds100


Nov 18, 2006, 6:02 PM
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Re: [sangiro] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Can you please fix the internal links (links within a state page in Routes Database which link to other pages within the Routes Database -usually another page in that state- or another page in RC.com)? Thanks.

I've also noticed that the special formatting buttons (and code) apparently don't work when composing a post into a thread. At least they don't for me, even thought the code appears in the box as I type. And, when I place the cursor where I want to begin the formatting, the format code always appears at the end of the typed text, rather than where I've indicated that I want it. I can still delete and paste it, but it doesn't work, anyway.

Also: in the Routes Databse, there is no link to see what's new within the state or area. All that's there is a tag that says "NEW". The user follows that tag by clicking on the area or region or whatever, but when you finally get to the smallest parcel, there is no indication of what is actually new there.


(This post was edited by jds100 on Nov 18, 2006, 6:20 PM)


Partner kimgraves


Nov 20, 2006, 9:51 AM
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Re: [sangiro] All the Http links are broken - Institutional memory is gone [In reply to]
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Sangiro,

Sorry to not get back to you sooner - I've been away.

I appreciate you wanting to not take the database down and just use "translation" rules. I see a couple of problems with that.

The first is an ongoing maintenance problem. If your software changes you might have to rewrite the rules. Been there/done that.

EDITED to ADD: And let me just add you take a performance hit for doing the translation.

But the more important problem is that it doesn't work - not 100%

Just for example, the original example I gave in the first post had six http links in it. With your new translation rules in place, two of those links still don't work.

It's easy to say, "well that's good enough." But consider this: you and DDT have bought a library that you hope people will pay money to use. You've had to move the old library to new quarters because the old one was falling apart. You packed up all the books in boxes and moved the boxes to the new building. You've unpacked some of the boxes, but a third of them are still in the basement and unusable. You've diminished your investment by a third.

It's your investment, but I advise you to bite the bullet, close down the database "for maintenance" and actually fix the links. You'll save yourself a bunch of ongoing work and your investment will then be fully available.

And I won't be giving you a hard time. Wink

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Nov 20, 2006, 4:42 PM)

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