Links from other pages to AEVA forums

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Links from other pages to AEVA forums

Post by coulomb » Sat, 05 Aug 2017, 18:41

Before the "cutover" to phpBB, Rob, Weber, and I had been concentrating on the technical details of the data in the forums: did the images work properly, did links from one post to another work, do all the symbols work, do the images tile properly, and so on.

But as soon as the phpBB forum went live, I started concentrating on another problem: links from other web pages to the AEVA forums. We're still using the same URL for the main forum index, but the address (technically, the URL, or Uniform Resource Locator) is rather different. Consider this web page: Would you convert a classic Vespa to electric?. Nearly half way down, it has this link:

Forum_posts.asp is an Active Server Page file; that's a Windows-only thing that the Web Wiz forum software knows how to process. Note the Thread Identified (TID=2172).
Now, the equivalent page has this address: . We now have a PHP file that does more or less the same work as the forum_posts.asp file. (PHP apparently recursively stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.) The thread ID is the same (by design of the translated database), but viewtopic.php takes the query t=2172. We can't change, let alone even find, all the web pages that point to AEVA pages. Worse, there are about 8 different ways to address a post, and there could be links to a post, or a whole topic, or a specific page of a topic, or a single image. Start to see the problem? For a while, even Google searches of AEVA forums didn't work. It takes a while for the Google spider (search robot) to find all the pages at their new addresses.

We believe we've solved these issues with a set of rewrite rules that do these changes for us, and sends a redirect message back to the originating browser or search engine. So if you copy the first URL above to the address bar of your browser and press enter, you'll find that the address in the address bar changes and the equivalent page in the new forum will appear. When a search engine receives a redirection like this, it knows to use the new address instead of the old one, and updates its database so that the next search for the same page will use the correct address right away.

Have we found all such links, though? You can help by keeping an eye out for this sort of problem, and post here any URL that doesn't go to the right place. Usually, it will go to the forum's home page, but it's possible you might end up with an error page displaying a large 410 and the message "Gone".

In case you're curious, and just to see the variety of URLs that we have had to deal with, here are some of the test URLs we've been using: ... c1201.html
coulombs-white-suzi-not-converted_topic1201.html ... rter#59548
pip4048ms-inverter_topic4332_post59908.html#59908 ... html#59908
viewtopic.php?title=pip4048ms-inverter% ... 332#p65232

[ Edit: the above list isn't displaying exactly what I type. You can usually see the full address by hovering your mouse pointer over the URL. I'm still investigating this situation. I think it's because of the "magic" conversion to linkable URLs, but I expect when I force the test a certain way, I get what I ask for, but that doesn't happen either. ]
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