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Forum Index > Wiki News > Disabling Message Wall
Posted by 452 on 2016-11-21 15:08:26

Now that all Special:Forum posts have been moved to the Forum: namespace, and all blog posts have been moved to the Forum: namespace, the next obvious step is to move all Message Wall threads to User_talk pages.

I've mentioned several times in the past that I regret ever enabling Message Wall, but that we were stuck with it because it would mean losing access years of messages. But now, that issue has been solved, as my Forum migration script can easily be adapted to transfer Message Wall threads.

There are several issues I must first address:

  • Renamed users - this may or may not be an issue, but I need to investigate it.
    • It's not an issue so long as Wikia correctly re-attributed the thread when the user was renamed, which means in the case of any threads created by "user452", there is definitely a problem. Obviously in this case I can automatically correct it, but who know how many other failed renames there have been.
  • Walls which only contain a welcome message - I will be deleting all non-replied welcome message threads ahead of time, and adding the welcome message to all User_talk pages ahead of time also.
    • Note: On second thought, the welcome messages are best added at the same time as importing the converted messages.
    • After deleting all welcome messages, I forgot to disable new ones, so I'll have to do that again.
New welcome messages will be prepended to all imported User_talk pages, then sometime later I'll add them to empty User_talk pages using GlitchBot.

Since there are many more Threads than Board_threads, this will be a significantly larger task, and may take longer to determine that there are no bugs before performing the transfer.

Also, since editing a User_talk page generates a notification, I definitely need to ensure that there will not be any problems.

With both the forum and blog transfers, there are minor issues where pages with too many revisions crashed my browser, so transferring my own message wall is likely to be an arduous task.

As I said, this will likely not happen for a while - probably more than a month. Feedback is always welcome. 452 15:08, November 21, 2016 (UTC)

As previously announced, I have begun deleting all welcome message threads, starting with the ones left by User:GlitchBot. -452 15:44, April 27, 2017 (UTC)
Due to a small oversight, I mistakenly deleted 112 messages which shouldn't have been deleted. However, I saved the database dump prior to starting, so will be able to reconstruct the deleted messages. I will be performing a full review of all threads I have already deleted to ensure there were no other mistakes. -452 15:34, April 28, 2017 (UTC)
The good news is that I didn't mistakenly delete 112 messages. The bad news is that I've found a lot of old orphaned messages. -452 16:36, April 28, 2017 (UTC)
There's still the problem of removed and/or deleted thread messages being indistinguishable from visible messages. It was easy enough to delete them in advance for the forum, but slightly harder for Message Wall threads, since there's so damn many of them - so again I wish I'd taken care of this years ago. It's really only a housekeeping issue, but it will still look pretty messy having a bunch of removed messages suddenly reappear.
One thing is for certain: I will not be manually going through finding these. However, I may still be able to do this in a somewhat automatic fashion. I have several options, not of them particularly appealing. -452 20:20, July 7, 2017 (UTC)
All removed and/or soft deleted replies hard deleted, now re-checking the same before moving on to checking for removed and deleted top level comments. -452 23:57, July 7, 2017 (UTC)
All removed and/or soft deleted top level comments hard deleted. Now re-checking all 6266 individual thread entries again, then I'll be moving on to delete the orphans created by this step. -452 13:37, July 8, 2017 (UTC)
Orphans deleted. -452 15:44, July 8, 2017 (UTC)
After numerous tests, I finally ran the entire script with the training wheels off, and it predictably crashed when processing my wall. I'm going to have to do this on a computer with more RAM. -452 15:43, July 10, 2017 (UTC)
It also crashes on at least 1 other large wall. -452 00:01, July 12, 2017 (UTC)
I have now found a major issue that previously went unnoticed during the blog transfer: comment replies in some situations were moved to the wrong places. This issue wouldn't have occurred very often with blog comments, but would happen very frequently in Message Wall comments. I will be re-reviewing all transferred blog comments to try to find and fix other cases, and I will be improving my script to deal with these. -452 03:24, July 11, 2017 (UTC)
This issue was present on 26 out of 324 transferred blog pages, which have now been fixed. -452 18:29, July 11, 2017 (UTC)
Okay, problem found and fixed: I was using the wrong method to sort the threads, resulting in some replies being out of order. I'm now using the correct method, and will continue doing extensive verification to ensure there are no other errors. -452 00:01, July 12, 2017 (UTC)
Counts after deleting all unreplied welcome messages:
  • Threads: 2151
  • Replies: 4285
-452 17:51, April 28, 2017 (UTC)
Counts after deleting all soft removed/deleted messages:
  • Walls: 1084
  • Total threads: 6175
  • First message: 2056
  • Replies: 4119
452 14:42, July 10, 2017 (UTC)

Apparently Wikia have made some unannounced backend change to prevent pages moved out of the Thread namespace. This isn't a problem for the Message Wall retirement, as I wasn't going to be using the move function, but it's just one more reason to go ahead with this. -452 18:47, July 7, 2017 (UTC)

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