Knowledge loss due to new forum

Let me stress that I welcome the switch from the old forum (“Muut”) to the new forum and that all questions, answers and discussions have been transferred and are available as an archive in the new forum.

However, all those archive posts now have “Muut” as the author and are in effect anonymous. The loss is in the fact that not every answer has equal “weight” or importance but depends on who wrote the answer.

Is it possible to again see who posted which, now archived, content?

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Unfortunately this was not possible , due to the export file we could get from the previous forum. Explanation here: About the Archive category

Hopefully we can over time move the most important/useful referenced question/answers into this forum, and make the archive less relevant.

All is not lost. The Muut forum is still online. The HTML source of each post or thread shows the author name.

Suppose we(?) could extract the author - post relationship from the HTML sources or make a new enriched export file, would it even be possible to link authors that have signed up in Discourse by the same name as they used before? So that their profile photo and (screen) name appear next to all their old forum posts?

It would not, because a new import into Discourse would clear current posts. The import of Muut into the category with the universal user was the only feasible solution that ensured that usernames would not be lost. Old posts that are “worth” keeping can be manually imported as a new post, or we can try to assign new ownership of the post, but the automated process could create conflicts and potentially locked usernames.

The best way to facilitate importing or re-assigning old posts is to search for its content - searching in Discourse is fantastically much better - and ping the staff (using @staff) asking them to re-assign or pin it as a new post.

Asking staff to re-assign or pin old threads (or just single posts) as a new post just does not seem realistic to me and would take a lot of precious time to do so. Surely there must be a better way.

So Discourse can do an import and an import of old posts simply replaces all posts, losing all new posts that were created in Discourse. That is why it can’t be done.
Okay, but what about freezing the new forum, exporting all of the posts, enrich the old forum posts in that export file with author names, import the result and finally unfreeze the forum.

I don’t mean to nag but to me the forum is a very valuable knowledge base and I’m not giving that up this easily.

This was attempted, but Muut would not export the old forum with usernames and e-mail addresses, because Muut allows integration with third-party services. Thus, you could get usernames, but they could not be restored by the user because a new password - which, naturally, Muut would never export - had nowhere to be sent. Staff would have to manually set the e-mail address for each user.

And retaining usernames would then in effect lock them, because manually recovering accounts is not realistic with the amount of users registered with the Muut forum. The other alternative (which is not necessarily possible) would be to create some psuedo-user like “Muut-Bleutzinn”, but this would just create a whole lot of accounts that would never be in use.

I agree that the forum is an important knowledge base, but after thorough testing by rhuk and discussion between the staff, this is as much as could be gotten from the Muut-forum. Thus I would advice that people use the search-function, and if they come across an important topic they wish to discuss further just link to it and continue the discussion.

Since usernames are generally the same here, matching user to user is easy, but the process is time-consuming. The Muut-forum had more than 18.500 posts, and the ownership of these will not be reassigned - it is simply too much work with very little benefit.

Important as the content of the old forum is, it is all actually here with titles and content, just not with proper usernames because it was technically unfeasible. There is nothing preventing us from continuing previous discussions in new topics, just referring back to the archived topic.

Thanks for your elaboration on this.

Using wget I was able to save all 3932 threads from Muut as HTML pages.

I’m considering converting them into markdown pages to use in a separate site. I think the Knowledge Base Theme (see demo) could provide for a nice solution.
Any other suggestions and offerings to help are welcome.

I really don’t want to get into the habit of manually re-assigning ownership. I spent way to long on this Muut issue as-is, and frankly I have more pressing things to work on. The Muut data is there, if you wish you can continue a thread or re-ask the question, feel free to do so.