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Partner kimgraves


Dec 4, 2006, 9:20 AM
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Response to "New Site Feedback, Issues and Plan Forward" Announcement
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Hi Daniel,

In your 12/4 announcement "New Site Feedback, Issues and Plan Forward" I was glad to hear that you had "Made a lot of progress using rewrite rules to enable most historical links in the forums to work again."

I went to check that out and found the following:

If you go to the article's section and click on Dr. Piton's big wall checklist you'll find 41 (!!!) embedded links that lead back to RC.com. When I clicked on those links 15 still got "404-file not found" messages; 21 linked back to the Aid forum rather than the individual message; The remaining 5 linked correctly, but they were all links to pictures which we knew were done correctly in the original migration. In other words of the 36 links that counted, the links were either not done or done incorrectly.

Pete's stuff is kind of old, so I went and looked at another post - one of my own from Jan 2006. There is one link on that post and it gets a 404.

While I'm sure you have made progress in the rewrite, you need to go back and check to make sure the rules are doing what they should be.

I just want to reiterate my feeling that the lost of this historical information is THE NUMBER ONE problem with the migration. Nothing else comes close.

These dead links mean that your investment is worth much less than than it should be. And it means that the site is worth much less to users. I for one would be in favor of taking the site down and migrating it again so that the links were corrected. You're going to take a performance hit with translation rules. And you'll have ongoing maintenance issues. Better to fix it now, recoup your investment and be done.

Most sincerely,

Kim


fenix83
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Dec 4, 2006, 11:38 AM
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Kim,

I would like to thank you for your thought out post and for the time that obviously went into it.

I have moved it to Suggestions and Feedback where it can be addressed more promptly by Daniel.

-F


Partner j_ung


Dec 4, 2006, 3:53 PM
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Kim, if we had trophies I'd give you all of mine. I agree completely.


Partner kimgraves


Dec 4, 2006, 5:36 PM
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Daniel,

Let me just add, that if I can be of any help, please ask. I can't code, but I can certainly test like I have above.

The problem with writing translation tables is that you have to manually test EVERYTHING. This is VERY labor intensive - no wonder it is problematic. But since the post number is preserved across the migration, writing a translation program and outputting to a dummy file would be an easy way to test. While you might (might!) have to bring down the database (it depends upon how the system locks posts for update), it's the most efficient use of your programming resources. Or at least, that's how I read the business issue.

Best Kim


fenix83
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Dec 5, 2006, 7:56 AM
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Kim,

I have split the comments about the video feature into another thread to try to avoid a thread drift/hijack. I have also brought this thread to the management's attention to keep it from getting lost in the shuffle (so much is going on at once that some threads don't get the attention they deserve, it's not ill will, it's human limitations...)

Once again, thank you for your posts.

-F


Partner kimgraves


Dec 5, 2006, 9:20 AM
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fenix83 wrote:
Kim,

I have split the comments about the video feature into another thread to try to avoid a thread drift/hijack. I have also brought this thread to the management's attention to keep it from getting lost in the shuffle (so much is going on at once that some threads don't get the attention they deserve, it's not ill will, it's human limitations...)

Once again, thank you for your posts.

-F

Thanks, Kim


sangiro


Dec 5, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Hey Kim,

Thanks for the feedback. I know this is something you feel strongly about and we agree that this is an important issue that we need to take another look at. The current database structure looks very different from the original structure. Where content IDs (routes, photos, posts etc) were mapped 1:1 to the new database, setting in place rules to ensure the links still work on the new site was not too hard. Those are the ones we've already taken care of. (See your original thread in Bugs and Errors)

Where the mapping of data was not 1:1 or where the structure was completely changed, it becomes a little more complicated.

The ones that aren't easy are the ones that require a lookup table. For example, the new forum doesn't have topic IDs, only post IDs. The old forum had topic IDs as well (to access a root post). So if a link goes to a topic ID only, then we would need to create a lookup table mapping old topic IDs to the new post.

Similarly, we don't have Section and Area IDs in the routes database, only category and link IDs for routes. So to map this over, we'd need to build a lookup table mapping a section/route over to the appropriate category.

All of this is possible, it's just a lot more work then the original rewrite rules. As you can imagine we have a pretty solid list of issues and enhancement requests that we're still looking at. I'll bump the priority on this one up and see what we can get done. We may never get this at 100% but we will certainly make an effort to get make historical broken links in the forum a rare find.

Thanks for the offer to help test. That is very much appreciated and I'll take you up on it. I'll post and estimated time when I have one. Smile


Partner kimgraves


Dec 5, 2006, 10:20 AM
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Hi Sangiro,

I'm glad you feel this is a priority. I stand ready to help - within reason, of course Wink - when you need me. If you put out a general call, I'd bet other people would be willing to give you an hour or two to test these links. It's hard for me to give you 40 hours, but if you got 20 people to each give you 2 hours each we could get a lot of testing done.

Anyone else willing to donate a couple of hours to this cause?

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Dec 5, 2006, 10:23 AM)


kachoong


Dec 5, 2006, 10:44 AM
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This certainly is healthy and constructive feedback and a step in the right direction as far as the functionality and future of the site goes. It's a breath of fresh air to see people stepping up and volunteering their time to a cause that will ultimately help them and other users. I'd rather not see users standing back, complaining about functionality and yet not contributing to the health of the site. Kudos to Kim and others who provide constructive feedback, suggestions and effort to help push this site in the right direction.


Partner j_ung


Dec 5, 2006, 1:02 PM
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Count me in, although, I might need a little training. Is it just finding links, clicking them and recording whether they work or not, or is there more to it?


Partner kimgraves


Dec 5, 2006, 1:04 PM
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That's all I did. it's the accounting and reporting back that takes the time

Kim


Partner taino


Dec 5, 2006, 1:46 PM
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kachoong wrote:
Kudos to Kim and others who provide constructive feedback, suggestions and effort to help push this site in the right direction.

Thanks; unfortunately for me, the owners don't seem to want to do much with the RDB by way of opening it up. *shrug* I'll wait a little while longer, and then I'll know for sure.

Also, thanks for approving my Avatar.

T


Partner coldclimb


Dec 6, 2006, 12:26 AM
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taino wrote:
kachoong wrote:
Kudos to Kim and others who provide constructive feedback, suggestions and effort to help push this site in the right direction.

Thanks; unfortunately for me, the owners don't seem to want to do much with the RDB by way of opening it up. *shrug* I'll wait a little while longer, and then I'll know for sure.

It's good to see effort put into the content of this website. I myself have enjoyed contributing for the entirety of my membership here, however lately I have been reluctant to even attempt to help out, as I get the feeling that my contributions are neither respected nor appreciated. If the new ownership would address and attempt to reconcile this specific issue, I believe myself and many others would feel much more open to continue contributing here.

I liked all that I used to do here, and I would love to keep doing it, but if it all counts for nothing in the end, I wonder why anyone should bother at all.


Partner j_ung


Dec 6, 2006, 8:43 AM
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Re: [coldclimb] Response to "New Site Feedback, Issues and Plan Forward" Announcement [In reply to]
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Please take this at face value; there are no hidden messages:

I draw some intrinsic satisfaction from participating on this site. Though, of course, I enjoy appreciation and acknowledgement, I don't need either from the owners to make my contributions worth my while.

Again, no hidden messages. I'm not trying to say anything other than that I like contributing, in and of itself.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Dec 6, 2006, 8:44 AM)


jt512


Dec 6, 2006, 12:00 PM
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coldclimb wrote:
taino wrote:
kachoong wrote:
Kudos to Kim and others who provide constructive feedback, suggestions and effort to help push this site in the right direction.

Thanks; unfortunately for me, the owners don't seem to want to do much with the RDB by way of opening it up. *shrug* I'll wait a little while longer, and then I'll know for sure.

It's good to see effort put into the content of this website. I myself have enjoyed contributing for the entirety of my membership here, however lately I have been reluctant to even attempt to help out, as I get the feeling that my contributions are neither respected nor appreciated.

They would definitely "appreciate" our continuing to add routes to the routes database, because they plan to package the routes into .pdf guidebooks for sale to the public. That's right. Routes that users have spent their time contributing for free will be sold for the profit of others. How convenient that suddenly changes to the RDB have to be approved. Note that if you don't think it is fair that your routes be published for profit, now you can't even delete them.

Personally, I will continue, for the time being, adding routes to the RDB as needed to keep my ascent list up to date. However, my days of adding routes to the RDB in order to make the RDB more complete are long over.

Jay


ddt


Dec 6, 2006, 12:52 PM
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jt512 wrote:
They would definitely "appreciate" our continuing to add routes to the routes database, because they plan to package the routes into .pdf guidebooks for sale to the public. That's right. Routes that users have spent their time contributing for free will be sold for the profit of others. How convenient that suddenly changes to the RDB have to be approved. Note that if you don't think it is fair that your routes be published for profit, now you can't even delete them.

Jay, what I definitely appreciate is your concern. What you're saying here is however misleading and incorrect, and as such I want to suggest that there is no grounds for concern. The idea to sell pdf guides is not our idea and as such I am unwilling to go into full details about it. What I will say though is the following:

* Selling routes info in pdf format is not currently a concrete plan or part of our priorities. It is just an idea/suggestion that someone (not the owners) brought forward long before we owned the site. About 6 months ago we discussed it and felt it was something worth considering because it would potentially benefit users and the site. There has been no conversation about it since that we were part of or aware of.

* The suggestion is not to sell data for a profit that users have contributed voluntarily, painstakingly and freely to the site. Rather it would only be for contributions made SPECIFICALLY for this purpose, with the owner/author/contributor of the data's PRIOR knowledge and consent, and an agreed-upon remuneration in return. In fact, the whole idea is to create an avenue to benefit the owner, with a side benefit to the site.

* You'll notice that our terms of service states quite clearly that "content will not be sold without permission of the original author or owner."

DDT


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Dec 6, 2006, 2:36 PM
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More of the history to that discussion was in fact that a guidebook author would make available to the site pdf files that could be sold on behalf of the original author. We would in effect be agents selling a product that was not contributed by the users but in fact contributed for the sole purpose of providing a service for fee to the users. What we hoped to achieve was to make guidebooks much more easily available to the users of this site and also tp provide a much wider audience for the author of the guidebook.

The same could be done for the photos. A photographer could provide a folio of very high quality pics for sale through the site. This advantages the owner of the pics such that he has a world wide easily accessible market. The site gains an advantage in that some of the monetary gain offsets the costs of running the site. The users gain by continuing to access all of the other free content that they have always enjoyed and in fact any ordinary user who submits an outstanding pic could upload a higher quality version for sale. I don't see any downsides to any of the above. I guess if you have a tinfoil hat on you would.

Of course the above are merely scenarios that were explored under the old management regime and some of that discussion spilled over to the new management. ddt and sangiro are merely trying to pick up where others left off and may in fact be trying to explain something of which they may not have complete information. I am happy to help try to dispell any illusions that users may have as to the intentions of the olde regime of rc.com as I was a party to many but not all of those discussions.

So in reality it is time to step back from the keyboard and take off those tinfoil hats people, nothing to see and no ulterior motives. The conspiracy theory has been consigned to the dustbin of history. Of course this applies until the next conspiracy theory comes along next week, shades of Mulder and Scully. X Files has nothing on rc.com.


jt512


Dec 6, 2006, 8:03 PM
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ddt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
They would definitely "appreciate" our continuing to add routes to the routes database, because they plan to package the routes into .pdf guidebooks for sale to the public. That's right. Routes that users have spent their time contributing for free will be sold for the profit of others. How convenient that suddenly changes to the RDB have to be approved. Note that if you don't think it is fair that your routes be published for profit, now you can't even delete them.

* The suggestion is not to sell data for a profit that users have contributed voluntarily, painstakingly and freely to the site. Rather it would only be for contributions made SPECIFICALLY for this purpose, with the owner/author/contributor of the data's PRIOR knowledge and consent, and an agreed-upon remuneration in return.

Thank you for addressing this issue. Sorry if I misunderstood it. The program you describe sounds like it could be carried out fairly to all stakeholders involved.

Jay


htotsu


Dec 6, 2006, 8:40 PM
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kimgraves wrote:
Anyone else willing to donate a couple of hours to this cause?

I can help.


(This post was edited by htotsu on Dec 6, 2006, 8:41 PM)


sangiro


Dec 7, 2006, 12:19 AM
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Kim, htotsu and others...

First - you guys rock for offering to help with this. The spirit and the attitude is much appreciated. Thank you. Cool

OK - we've created a bunch of lookup tables and I think we should take it for a spin. The Dr. Piton's big wall checklist article obviously needs some pretty drastic cleaning-up but is a good test case. Browse around for other good examples.

A few comments. In some cases, where links were setup to a specific post within a thread we may not get you to the exact post. We will get you to the right thread though. Also, where the link is not in a proper URL format (using "%3f" instead of "?" for example) you may see an error. I think you're going to find these are pretty rare though.

I'm quite comfortable that we've solved the major issues here. I'd like to see what you find though. Best way to provide feedback is to post URLs to articles/posts with broken links like Kim did above and give me some indication as to which one we need to look at. If it's a pretty commonly used URL we'll do our best to convert it.

Fire away!


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Dec 7, 2006, 7:26 AM
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Okay Sangiro,

Let me organize this process so we're not stepping on each other's toes.

I think the best place to start in in the ARTICLES section. There are 249 articles. I'll take the first 15 to start: "A Picture's Worth" and "Big-Wall Aid Climbing." If I find out I've bitten off more than I can chew, I'll get back to this tread. If others would post up where they're testing to this thread, that would be great.

My guess is that it will take me a day to go through this.

As an aside: Sangiro, are you sure this is the best way to handle this problem?

Thanks, Kim


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Dec 7, 2006, 7:36 AM
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"A Picture's Worth" is done. No links found: no testing needed.
12/07 10:36am


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Sanjiro & Daniel,

Under "Big Wall-Aid Climbing"

From:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/Articles/Big_Wall-Aid_Climbing/How_I_built_my_Krustyledge_for_under_100_you_can_too__65.html

All the pictures get 404 Errors if you put the url up, but the resolve if you click on them: The following is not exhaustive.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/3/264393-medium_7234.jpg
http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/3/264423-medium_7247.jpg
http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/8/264238-medium_7263.jpg
http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/8/264948-medium_7093.jpg

Under Pete's http://www.rockclimbing.com/Articles/Big_Wall-Aid_Climbing/Dr._Pitons_s_Ultimate_Big_Wall_Checklist_17.html

Bigwall Checklist the links seem to work.

BUT (and this is a BIG BUT) when you click on the links that the links reference they seem to have been deleted or something. For example the link to slinging hooks (http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?t=15461&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=27) works, but the links in that document that should be there are simply gone - like they got erased. So the documents read as if they've been dedicated.

Another example: the link to Dr Piton's Index (http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?topic=22175&forum=19&10). You go there and all the links which constitute the index are gone.

This situation is even worse that the earlier situation where you knew there was a link but it didn't work. Now you don't know what you have. The link and the post number it contained are actually gone. I don't know what happened - the links used to be there, they just didn't work.

I'm going to stop my testing at this point, unless you can convince me that it's worthwhile to go on. There is nothing left to test.

This is an enormous and incalculable lose. I'm going out for a walk.

Sincerely, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Dec 7, 2006, 8:41 AM)


fenix83
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Dec 7, 2006, 9:25 AM
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Kim,

I understand your frustration and share it. However, I urge you not to despair, I am confidently hopeful that the changes made in an attempt to rectify the links issue can be undone and the re-thought to prevent the information loss you have pointed out.

Once again, thanks for your efforts and patience.

-F


sangiro


Dec 7, 2006, 10:02 AM
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kimgraves wrote:
This situation is even worse that the earlier situation where you knew there was a link but it didn't work. Now you don't know what you have. The link and the post number it contained are actually gone. I don't know what happened - the links used to be there, they just didn't work.

Hey Kim,

Thanks for the testing and the feedback. I'll send you a PM as I'm not sure what you are refering to here. Just so you know - we have not made ANY changes in the database to get these links to work. The risk of loosing data is one of the very reasons why we've not shut down the database (as you suggested we do) and made changes to the actual data.

All link fixes up to now has been done with rewrite rules - meaning, we simply route calls for a broken link from the browser to the correct place via the server, we do not touch the data.

Hang in there buddy - we've put in many hours and a lot of work and will continue to do so. Smile

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