G+ is shutting down soon. Here's our plan to keep the community: 1.

(Jon Charnas) #1

G+ is shutting down soon. Here’s our plan to keep the community:

  1. As a moderator I will download the whole community’s posts & info into an archive. This archive will be publicly available, and linked to from the Thing-Printer wiki.
  2. We’ll setup a phpBB forum instance (or something similar) that will be linked from the Thing-Printer homepage.
  3. When it’s ready for user account creation, I will use the emails your G+ accounts were linked to (if I have access to those in the archive) to send a mass email notification about where that forum will be located, so you can easily sign up and come join us. I will also link the downloaded G+ archive in that email.
  4. I will have a “Community” section in the forum, where I would encourage any feedback on how the layout of the forum matches your expectations, or what you’d like to change in the categories etc. that will be organized there.


(Michael K Johnson) #2

@Jon_Charnas I have created an archive with the Friends+Me Google+ Exporter and have written code to convert it into a static site, which I used to build an archive for the HercuLien and Eustathios Builders community. Feel free to browse https://eclsnowman.gitlab.io/eustathios_herculien_ingentis_gplus/ — and if that’s useful it would be really easy for me to re-use the work to build a similar archive from the contents. Let me know if you’d like that. Note: The exporter currently has a limitation that it does not include all comments; I have a bug report open about that.

(Karl Pitrich) #3

Thanks for your efforts! I find phpBB (well, any PHP-based forum software) ugly at best. Please have a look into NodeBB (https://nodebb.org/) and Discourse (https://www.discourse.org/) for more modern alternatives.

(Jon Charnas) #4

@mcdanlj Yes, actually, I would greatly appreciate that! Let me know if you manage to build something with the tool, and I will see what tools G+ puts up for community managers soon. Maybe we can convert from the Google-provided archive into a static site with the comments once the bug is fixed, instead of having to fetch it all while it’s online.

@Karl_Pitrich Thanks! I haven’t kept up with the web-hosting world much, and will definitely look into what nodebb and discourse offer as tools instead of phpbb. I agree phpBB is simplistic and not particularly easy on the eyes.

(Jon Charnas) #5

Looking at cost, though, both nodeBB and discourse are way over the budget we can dedicate for a community forum. (G+ was free…) However I was having a look at Fruum (https://fruum.github.io/forum.html) - thinking that may play better on the Thing-Printer website…

(Michael K Johnson) #6

@Jon_Charnas ok, I’ll create a repository on gitlab and build pages. The export is missing the first comments for long threads, the comments that don’t show until you click “show more comments” or something like that. If I haven’t given you a URL in a week, ask me. It’s only about an hour of work for me, it’s just that the next few days are extra-busy.

I have also done a conversion of my own posts from takeout JSON, so it’s possible that code will be a useful start towards processing whatever Google deigns to give community owners in March.

(Michael K Johnson) #7

Got a little time this evening after all. take a look at https://mcdanlj.gitlab.io/thing-printer/

(Michael K Johnson) #8

@Jon_Charnas If you make me an owner or moderator of this community I can also compare the takeout JSON and see if it helps fill in any gaps.

(Michael K Johnson) #9

@Jon_Charnas take a look at the archive and see what you think. It’s currently using a minimal theme to focus on content, but of course the theme can be replaced trivially, so if you find one you like that can be added.

I checked on another community and the moderator takeout is currently 99.75% useless at this point.

The new version of the exporter has a bug fix that fetches the comments that were previously missed, so the archive I created now has a lot more comments in it and should be effectively complete, except for 34 missing pictures to add by hand and 12 missing videos. If anyone wants to fix those up let me know and I can show you how.

(Jon Charnas) #10

Oh this is really awesome @mcdanlj ! I’ve got to take a closer look at the details, but a quick overview looks fantastic. I’ll try to work on finding the missing pictures and videos, we can work on some those in later. :+1::+1::+1:

(Michael K Johnson) #11

If the instructions in the README.md aren’t clear, feel free to ask questions. :slight_smile:

(Michael K Johnson) #12

The missing pictures are all fixed thanks to a new feature in the 1.7.8 release of the exporter. Additionally, the missing videos now have links to the actual video. Adding the videos will be easier, but probably we don’t want to check in the videos into the archive. It would be better to put them on a youtube channel and add youtube links for them. I’m unlikely to do any processing for the videos but it should at least be easier now. There are only 12 of them, and the http://README.md file now describes what to do with them.

(Jon Charnas) #13

Cool thanks, been swamped and haven’t gotten around to fixing any of this yet.

(Michael K Johnson) #14

Good, glad you didn’t end up spending time that didn’t need to be spent! :slight_smile:

The videos, on the other hand, I don’t see much hope of fixing in an automated fashion. But then there are only 12 of them, so that’s manageable.

(Jon Charnas) #15

Yeah I’ll take a look ASAP, it’s towards the top of my non work Todo list :wink:

(Michael K Johnson) #16

@Jon_Charnas have you seen https://forum.makerforums.info/ yet? @funinthefalls has spun up a Discourse instance for makers. I’m working on some more community exports to static sites first, but I’m hoping to get time to learn enough Ruby to be able to import communities into Discourse. That’s not a promise, but it’s a possible path forward and the import would have to come before a migration.

(Michael K Johnson) #17

Oops, I meant that the import would not have to come before the migration… My point is that you could point people to Maker Forums now, and then if I manage to write the importer, the Maker Forums would later “magically” have old posts added representing this community’s work building content here on G+.

(Michael K Johnson) #18

I’ve been hanging out more in @funinthefalls 's http://forum.makerforum.info site, and I’d expect there to be no problem being part of that community. He’s pointing out that having one login across our related communities will make it easier for us to continue the cross-pollination that has happened here on G+ (my rephrasing, not his words) and if I get import into Discourse working, it would be even better continuity for everyone here. Definitely worth taking a look!

(Jon Charnas) #19

@mcdanlj definitely agree, but there was a poll where most folks felt it more interesting to have a dedicated thing-printer forum. I assume that whatever we decide to do we can find a way to integrate Google, Facebook and whatever other oauth provider users prefer, giving a unified login across multiple sites to allow for some cross pollination. Not as much as having a section on another maker community’s platform, I know.

(Michael K Johnson) #20

@Jon_Charnas Was http://forum.makerforum.info on the poll?

In any case, if I get import into Discourse implemented it will be available either for makerforum or a standalone Discourse for thing-printer. If not Discourse, then someone else is more than free to implement something from the feed.json and images in the repository. :slight_smile: