About 5 months ago we reached agreement, in this thread, that we should perform a test conversion and transfer of this forum from the WebWiz software on Andrew's server, to the hosting service already used by AEVA for its Web site, while converting it to use forum software that will run on that hosted server.
Some reasons for such a transfer and conversion are:
(a) the ability to tell the forum software which subscribers are also AEVA members, for the For Sale forum and for discussions about AEVA policy.
(b) the ability to use a commercial hosting service for
1. competitive pricing,
2. internet speed,
3. ease of handover between AEVA webmasters,
4. peace of mind, including automatic backups, security upgrades and forum software upgrades,
Not that we have any complaints about Andrew's performance in that regard. However if it was moved to another privately owned and housed server, or if Andrew was hit by the proverbial bus, we might not be so lucky.
Unfortunately, almost all hosting services are Linux based these days, including the one that the AEVA's website and membership database is on, and the existing WebWiz forum software will not run on a Linux server. That's why we must not only transfer the forum, but also convert it to different forum software. This can now be done painlessly by a commercial forum conversion service.
We also agreed that:
(a) the converted forum must be open to non AEVA members just as it is now, and
(b) we must convert the existing forum data, i.e. all posts, images, threads with chronological integrity, user logins, search function, edit function to the new forum software. [quote from acmotor]
I contacted the AEVA webmaster (karlg) about a week ago to see what progress had been made, only to learn that it was sadly none, due mostly to karlg and rhills having had other committments.
Since then karlg and I have investigated the options and come to the following agreement, which was discussed, voted on, and passed unopposed by a meeting of the Brisbane AEVA branch last night: The Brisbane branch will fund a test conversion by gConverter
to phpBB forum software on the AEVA's existing web host. PhpBB was chosen as its structure is highly compatible with that of WebWiz, and it is the most popular free forum software on the planet. Many of you will be familiar with it from other EV forums.
I understand that some other branches (Sydney, Canberra and Perth?) took a vote earlier and passed resolutions, not about these specific details but approving the transfer of the AEVA forums to the same host as the AEVA website.
KarlG will liase with gConverter to provide them with the necessary URLs, database admin IDs and passwords. At Karl's request, I agreed to act as temporary admin for the converted forum. And most of you would know that I have a vested interest in seeing that there is no loss of content.
I am also in full agreement with Andrew and acmotor (and most AEVA members) that the forums must remain open to non-members.
Andrew, you have the option of providing Karl, or gConverter, with the database admin ID and password for the WebWiz forum or providing them with a zipped dump (backup) of that database. They will also need FTP access, to copy images and attachments that are not stored in the SQL database. Please see http://gconverters.com/convert-web-wiz-forums-to-phpbb/
and follow the link to their access requirements, and let us know how you would prefer to do it.
In either case the forum will need to be locked for the duration of the conversion, and a backup by Andrew at that time would be a good idea in any case. gConverter say the conversion can take up to 48 hours but is typically 24 hours.
Assuming the converted forum passes an initial inspection by Karl and myself, we'll put it online for a few days so people can check that their existing usernames, threads etc. are intact. Unfortunately there is no way to convert passwords due to their one-way encryption, so all subscribers to the original forum will be emailed new passwords. So make sure your email address is up to date in this present forum. You will of course be able to immediately change your password back to whatever it was before.
If, after a day or two of this, our webmaster determines that the converted forum has met the above data preservation requirements, the change will become permanent. If not, we will switch back to the WebWiz forum, unlock it and carry on as before. So be aware that anything you post in those few days may be lost.
We would like to initiate this process tomorrow.
Does anyone have any questions about this, or any suggestions?
One of the fathers of MeXy the electric MX-5, along with Coulomb and Newton (Jeff Owen).