The Exporterificator rumbles on

OK, I’ll admit this is turning into a very long-winded process. However it appears there is a light at the end of our collective tunnel thanks to Matthew Smith who is helping to make sense of the tangled mess that the current Wiblog system is. For the more technical of you the problem has been about character encodings, and trying to get everything into UTF-8.

The other good news is that about half of the Wiblog themes have been converted to the new system, Once the rest are done – and I’ve added a selection of other fantastic themes – we should be just about ready to start moving people over.

What will happen is this:

1) Dave, Rhys and myself look at the new system and decide if it’s shiny enough
2) The shine bedazzles us like a troopers new boots and we know we’re ready to go. We switch off posting/commenting for the old Wiblog system. This is known as D-Day.
3) Matthew provides us with properly encoded backups of every Wiblog
4) We create the new blogs in the new system and import in the backups (this will take a few days)
5) As each blog is created and tested we’ll contact the owner with their new blog details
6) We transfer to the new place and the current server will be retired
7) We get sent copious amounts of chocolate, and eventually are sanitised (is that the right word to be made into saints? I think so)

This will, I’m afraid, take at least a few days which means that you won’t be able to write on either the old or new Wiblog blogs after D-Day until we contact you to say your new blog is ready. And even then you’ll need to wait for the domain to move to the new place.

It’s a complicated and long-winded process, but it will make life better for all of us once it’s done.

19 thoughts on “The Exporterificator rumbles on

  1. thanks for letting us know, chris. but i forget… are our archives transferring over to the new system, or are we all just starting new and afresh? so, was the exportificator thingy an in case thigy, or was it that if we wanted to keep anything, we’d have to exportificate? just clarifying because my brain in mush lately. i’m sure you had made it perfectly clear, but i assume no responsibility for the contents of my memory anymore!

  2. You want chocolate hey?! Any particular type? And do u want us to bring it to the next Greenbelt / wibmeet or do you want it posted?!

    I’m also wondering how some wibloggers (mentioning no names) will cope, being unable to post for several days…

  3. wow! you’ve been busy!!! so… i’m also a bit fuzzy when it comes to memory – basically, you’re saying 1) don’t do anything 2) after D-day you wont be able to blog until 3) we will contact you when it’s ready to roll?

    (so it’s ok, then, that i was never able to back up my archives…whew!)

    and i’ve been a very good girl lately – may i have dark chocolate please?

    (thanks for all of your hard work – each of you!)

  4. oh, wait – we’re supposed to send you the chocolate? i guess that makes sense…you are doing all of the *amazing* work! thank you – will send it promptly 🙂

    p.s. would you care for a loaf of my delicious pumpkin bread as well?

  5. Ok, thanks for the step by step instructions of what will be happening and the loads of hard work you guys are putting into making this happen.

  6. nessa said: are our archives transferring over to the new system, or are we all just starting new and afresh?

    Nope, all the archives will be going over to the new system (that’s been the entire problem, actually) so you can carry on from where you were. Lovely!

    Jen said: I’m also wondering how some wibloggers (mentioning no names) will cope, being unable to post for several days…

    I believe Dave is trying to sort a 24-hour support helpline. We’re all going to stand together and try to get through this (note: not the right way to tackle a small doorway during a fire drill).

    rain said: 1) don’t do anything 2) after D-day you wont be able to blog until 3) we will contact you when it’s ready to roll?

    Yes, yes and yes.

    Dave K said: It’s still saving as a .xhtml file. Is that right?

    Yes, but that doesn’t matter. Matthews wonderful demangler doesn’t worry about filetypes, it just reads the content of the backups. In fact everyone can forget that the backups even exist (unless they want a copy for themselvwes, of course) as we’ll take care of everything.

  7. Ah, spiffy indeed. When I try opening the saved file with Firefox ( / OSx.4.11) what should it do? At the moment it comes up with:

    XML Parsing Error: prefix must not be bound to one of the reserved namespace URIs
    Location: file:///Users/davekillingback/Desktop/Culture%20&amp%3bamp%3bamp%3bamp%3b%20spirituality%20blog.xhtml
    Line Number 52, Column 185: From a job advert at a university which will remain un-named.<font size=2><i>Educated to fist degree level you will need excellent IT skills…..</i>Some people really……have too much time on their hands. Me being one of them it seems.



  8. Hi folks

    Now that Chris has made a minor change to the code that renders the backups, I am just in the process of writing a little programme that makes a list of all the blogs, sucks them down into my laptop and stores them in a database.

    From there, I will run every blog through an XML parser. I don’t plan to get anything out of the end, I just want to parse them. Why? Because if a blog parses without errors, it is pretty well ‘clean’. If it fails, I can get a report on the character position that is causing the problems, allowing me to to more character-wrangling to clean up the code.



  9. What it means is that any Wibloggers who live in Australia have the opportunity, nay the Privilege, to send Matthew chocolate.

    Those that live outside Oz could try to send chocolate, but it would be confiscated by the Authorities (and we know they’ll just eat it) so send him your warmest thoughts instead.

  10. I’ve checked and he’s a South Australian; I’m not sure a New South Welshman could be seen to be fraternising with our distant cousins. 🙂

  11. Hi Doris. Yes it is, but we’ve all be extremely busy over the last few months and haven’t had chance to do the required work.

    If it was as easy as flicking a few switches we’d have done it by now, but unfortunately it involves several people all pulling different levers and pressing buttons all at the same time. We’re not the most coordinated of teams, so you can imagine doing that kind of maneuver is tricky.

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