VRAT Forums Now Reunified: Two become one again
Since the closure of the old VRAT 1.0 forum in 2016 and then the Vrat 2.0 forum taking its place, it has long been intended to reunify the old forums accounts and data, but there was a lot of work needed before that could happen. That day is now a reality.
This post is to address some negative views relayed to me via a colleague, that an ex member of Vrat did not believe Vrat 1 (old forum) needed to be merged with Vrat 2.0 (this forum). Firstly their opinion is as ever ill-informed and of little consequence. They do not understand the infrastructure that hosts the forums as it makes every sense to merge.
The old forum was running on a legacy version of the PHPbb3 forum software. As a requirement It was also running on a much old version of the server PHP package. Therefore, this also meant I had to pay the hosts a monthly fee to maintain support for a legacy version of the php server s/w to enable the old forum to continue running. The new forum is running on a completely different suite of software packages. To leave things as they were, would mean me having to maintain and manage two separate systems and pay additional fees to maintain the old as I had no intention of upgrading the old forum software.
As you can see it makes perfect sense to merge the old into the new and delete the old. That way I not only save money, I secure the future of old forum data and I have only to maintain one system as everything is in one place.
Interesting when you have all the facts to hand and don't make uneducated, ignorant assumptions.
Migration and Glitches
It all hinged upon aligning the data which took some considerable time but most importantly the tool being available to manage the migration. Vrat 1.0 sat on a standalone legacy software package phpbb3 and the new forum a wordpress module. With the migration tool only being released by new forum developers yesterday, it made the final task possible.
All the Vrat 1.0 accounts, topics, posts and attachments were migrated over, that was over 66,000 posts, 21,000 images and 4,000+ topics. The posts and attachments have correctly assigned themselves to members, you will now notice your personal post count has shot up (assuming you had posts on vrat 1.0). The overall membership, topics and posts counts now clearly show in the footer stats bar.
However, with such a huge exercise it is to be expected some things may not go well. On the whole the data migration was a success but not without some minor problems to fix.
It was noted that some imported Vrat 1.0 posts have one or two additional attachments. To see if it was related to a glitch in migration, I recovered the database in the wee hours ( 04:00 hrs hence the forum being off-line) and ran the migration again. At the end the same occurrence was observed so it's not a random glitch. In the grand scheme of things it's not too much of a problem and I'm not to sure what if anything can easily be done about it. At the end of the day Vrat 1.0 posts have not lost images, just randomly gained one here and there.
The main problem I was left with was adding attachments to new posts, if a member had many attachments due to the migration. For example; I now have over 4,500 attachments attributed to me, seven years worth of Vrat 1.0 and two of Vrat 2.0. The result being when I launched the attach image tool it took quite a while (about 1 minute) to populate the explorer list. I logged this with the developers, and they provided a fix.
As I say, considering what has taken place and what could have gone pear shaped, it appears to have gone fairly well. There might be some partial tidying to do, I found some old Vrat threads with huge font text so edited them. If you find anything similar let me know and I or a mod will correct them.
Finally, I would like to apologise to a few members who made a few posts yesterday afternoon and last night, by doing the Db recovery to test the migration process, there were a few post casualties. Most were just comments on the migration but I do remember seeing Brian (Focus Diode) updating his Thorn 1400 thread, there may have been others.
In the immortal words Looney Tunes, "That's All Folks" Vrat is back!
Well if a few random pictures appear it's no big deal in the overall scheme of things! Like you say, the whole thing could have gone pear-shaped with all posts being lost...…!
A great job Chris. I don't think anyone has anything to complain about.
For the size of the migration it’s gone extremely well, I would think you have done a lot of preparation for it to go so smoothly.
Has for a few lost posts, if my rant about TV programmes from last night as gone it’s perhaps a good thing. ?
I have far fewer attachments that you Chris, I will check how long it takes to open, does opening the attachments page put an excessive load on the server?
For your info I have only about 50 attachments and the page loads in 2 secs.
Thank you Chris for all the work you do!
This must have been an enormous job.
Excellent work Chris!
Great work Chris. Thanks.
Fantastic effort Chris, thanks for all your hard work. ?
Nice work Chris! You must have way more patience than me, I was getting ready to smash the PC at work just trying to put stuff into an Excel spreadsheet!!
Well done mate , so you don’t sleep either ?
Great to be back.
You have done a fantastic job Chris
A great job Chris!
Many thanks, your hard work is greatly appreciated.
To really echo the above and say what a great achievement has been made. It now makes the forum a complete "one" of valuable and interesting information, stories and anecdotes. Long may it continue Chris. ?
Thanks to all for the kind comments and positive feedback, it is very much appreciated.
I would politely ask that if some folk deem it necessary to make a public, sarcastic announcements on other forums about Vrat reunification, perhaps present it in a less biased and more neutral way? At least have the decency of pointing to this thread for balance.
For the record the old forum was closed due to a few consistently entitled, self-important disruptive idiots, who felt they had the right to dictate how the site was run. The old site was closed membership informed of VRAT 2 and invited over but not the idiots, they know who they are! All member accounts (minus disruptive ones) were there ready and waiting. Many loyal and supportive members chose to move over, some chose not to which was their prerogative.
As I clearly stated in the first post of this thread, Vrat 1 never really went away it was just a closed archive. Vrat 2 carried on here in its place for two years with many of its original members and support team continuing their various radio & TV projects, whilst I planned and prepared the vrat 1 data migration.
The reality folk are not aware of is the old, closed forum was on an unsupported software package (version of php) and would eventually have to be either updated or at the very least maintained/migrated. The old forum needed maintenance, It couldn't just sit there forever and a day, eventually all the data would have been at risk, it was well down that path to make me nervous.
I was already paying the hosts an additional monthly fee to keep supporting a legacy version of the PHP it needed. From my perspective of funding and supporting it, there was more sense for the longevity of the data and simplification of administration and costs, to migrate it so I only had just one system to look after.
As I said above, plans from that point were made to migrate the data to a totally new architecture, a mammoth task which took two years in planning, aligning the data and admittedly mild (ok more than mild) procrastination which assisted the delay.
On another note, it was good to see after reunification, over 40+ old Vratters turn up yesterday and a warm welcome is extended to them and the three new registrations.