It’s just data

Archive/Restore

Apparently in early July, there will be several dozen opportunities to observe first hand the issues related to weblog migration.  For those unaware of the why's and wherefore's, I recommend that you start here.

A few relatively safe predictions: some of those who didn't much care about "unusual character" and escaping issues will suddenly get religion.  And some of those who are devoutly religious about well-formedness will find the temptation to use a regular expression or equivalent technique necessary to scavenge what data can be salvaged and succumb to the temptation.

However, this is not a time for religious debate or partisanship.  It is a time for compassion and an opportunity to learn and improve.  Enough so that I am willing to step forward and offer to help with writing of conversion and migration tools.  Assuming that the input looks anything like this format, I am willing to write conversion tools to either a comparable format or to a blosxom's directory layout.

Including this format.  As I said, this is not a time for partisanship.

This is something I know a little something about.  And I want to help.

One thing that would help me now is an example roughly approximating what of one of the exports that will be produced in July will look like.

My recommendations to anybody who is considering a move, first take a close look at the export capabilities of the intended destination.  Make sure that it is something that you can automate and place the results off site.  Also, strongly consider getting your own domain.  These two considerations outweigh any choice of tool, IMHO.


In addition to Sam's offer, if you have one of the affected blogs, and Bloglines was crawling your RSS feed, then we have an archive of all the items we crawled since we started crawling your feed. It's easy for us to dump this out to a text file. Send an email to support@bloglines.com with the URL of your blog and/or the URL of the feed.

Posted by Mark Fletcher at

For those transitioning to WordPress, I wrote an importer for Dave Winer's Blog Browser exchange format, basically one folder per year containing an RSS 2.0 file for each month.

See the announcement page (where you can leave comments).

Posted by Andrew Shearer at

Manual trackback: [link]

"Though I haven't always agreed with Dave's points of view, I've always respected the effort and time he's put into a technology he believes in. That said, however, I do believe there is a lesson to be learned here...."

Posted by James Snell at

We're also interested in offering TypePad as a hosting service for those who are transitioning their weblogs.com sites. I've got a good idea how to do a lot of the tech, but if people can lend insights into a more open way to export and import these sites, I'm all ears.

I'd love to see someone document the process of migrating (from any tool to any other, really) in order to help us all focus on making this better for users in the future. I'd volunteer myself but I'd rather it be someone neutral who's interested.

Posted by Anil at

i just find it odd how upset people can get when a free service gets yanked...i mean everyone should be pretty used to it after the dotcom bust.

Posted by cybermace5 at

One thing that would help me now is an example roughly approximating what of one of the exports that will be produced in June [Do you mean July?] will look like.

I've been working on exporting my site (not related to the weblogs.com thing), and after the twelve days of export, finally have the XML formatting that Radio does with Manila using The XML Files.

It's all zipped up in a little archive. If you want a gander at it, send me a private email and I'll tell you where you can download it.

Cheers,

Susan

Posted by Susan Kitchens at

Went through this recently with exporting all of my blogger entries and importing them into my own handrolled system.

let me tell you folks it isn't pretty.

Everyone talks about tools and standards and forward thinking about this problem, but to me its an easy thing.

CSV format.  Its easy we've been doing it for years and everything supports it.

Its what I wound up doing with blogger, except I had to export first as some kind of approximation of xml, which I then had to go through and hand fix, and then import into excel, and then hand fix some more, and then export to CSV so I could do the data load.

I think every weblog tool should have a basic CSV export function.

(I'm an out of the closet putz so if I've said anything boneheaded please feel free to point it out.  I'm just relating my own experience with a similar situation here.)

Posted by Pat at

Andrew's importer works great, I've tested it myself. WordPress 1.2 has a built-in RSS importer that sucks but works pretty well with most feeds I've tried it with. The only catch is it's only meant to work with one file at a time, unlike Andrew's which will slurp whole folders.

Posted by Matt at

Steve Hooker

People are offering to help the weblogs.com folks who hit the rail when Dave couldn't continue to foot the bill. Some, like Steve Hooker are Manila hosts, others like Sam Ruby know something about the issues (XML, escaping, well-formedness) and is...

Excerpt from Archipelago at

Sam Ruby: Archive/Restore

Sam Ruby get's it in one. It's all important, go read it. Apparently in early June, there will be several dozen opportunities to observe first hand the issues related to weblog migration.  For those unaware of the why's and wherefore's, I recommend...

Excerpt from code: theWebSocket; at

Do you mean July?

Yes.  Fixed.  Thanks!

Posted by Sam Ruby at

I'd volunteer myself but I'd rather it be someone neutral who's interested.

Anil,

You're as neutral as you need to be as long as your work is released under an appropriately neutral (free) license.

Posted by Scott Johnson at

Refugee camp established

Without going into too much detail — if your not already aware of this, you won’t know what I’m talking about and you will care even less — but if you were previously hosted on a weblogs.com server and need a temporary home...

Excerpt from Fulton Chain at

Anne van Kesteren : Archive/Restore - When permalinks fail; switch all to WordPress!...

Excerpt from HotLinks - Level 1 at

On A Raft From Cuba

I have about 5 spots available for any weblogger who needs a host, in-lieu of Dave Winer's decision to close weblogs.com. There is one stipulation: no Manila or Radio sites.....convert it over to Blogger, MT, or one of the many...... [more]

Trackback from Michael Kelley

at

When weblogs die

A couple of days ago, Dave Winer closed down weblogs.com, the free weblog hosting service. David Weinberger has details. Weblogs.com was home to a few thousand weblogs and the shutdown has rocked the weblog world. Not so much for the...... [more]

Trackback from The Silent Penguin

at

I did a partial (main posts only, no comments) Manila to Movable Type conversion a couple of years ago, and I'm trying to apply my Perl script from back then to Susan's files now. The file format is pretty much as described (except that no encoding is specified despite using iso-8859-1).

I was planning on creating an MT export file, since most blogging tools are able to import that format. I'm sure a good coder can come up with a better and quicker solution than I could. I imagine python would be a better for this than Perl, but I don't do much python.

Posted by Scott at

Scott: Perl is fine.  In fact, I used Perl to move from Radio2Blosxom.  If I can contribute in any way, let me know.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

There are about 1000 active weblogs.com feeds registered in Syndic8. I will be happy to register new URLs for any of these feeds, and to set the old ones to the Syndic8 "Redirected" status.

Drop me an email with any old to new mappings. The old reference can be a Syndic8 Feed ID or the feed's RSS URL. Bulk mails (dozens or hundreds of feeds) are fine too.

Posted by Jeff Barr at

Hi, from looking at the ATOM blog at:
"http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/index.atom"
[link]
it seems like you're violating the ATOM specs by putting
HTML formatting into the "summary" elements and not providing the @type attribute to indicate so. As I understood it "text/plain" is the default type if specifically not provided, so your summaries will look kind of strange in some consumers.

Am I right?
bjarke

Posted by Bjarke Viksoe at

Bjarke: EXCELLENT catch!  Fixed.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Sam, that was an excellent catch. I can't believe my eyes. This is exactly the kind of thing you and Mark Pilgrim would torture us about if we made that kind of mistake with an RSS feed. Time to think about this Sam. Did you really mean it about detente? I don't think you did.

Posted by Dave Winer at

I mean it about détente.

With Atom, if something does not display as intended, it will be possible to refer to the spec to decide if the feed has a problem or if the aggregator is not rendering the feed correctly.

“cleanly and thoroughly specified”

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Per Anil's suggestion, I've been posting about various blog-tool to blog-tool migration processes at Radio Free Blogistan for the last few years and will continue to document my own experiences. I'll also happily link to or host anyone else's analysis of migrations I haven't myself experienced.

It's too bad this thing has gotten so ugly. Dave may have dropped a ball but what was the point of attacking him (not that I think Sam did, btw, I'm just sounding off in general)? My only thought was "what a drag for everybody involved" and "is there something I can do to help?" I'm no Manila whiz, so there isn't much I can do, but I didn't think standing on the sidelines sniping was going to accomplish much.

Posted by xian at

not that I think Sam did

What I did was offer to help (this blog entry).  And make a suggestion to Chris Sells which Dave appeared to appreciate.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Can anything good come from the bad?

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good" goes the old saying. Dave Winer may have inadvertantly performed a great service to the weblogging world this week by spurring a fresh discussion and set of efforts to make it possible to move data from...

Excerpt from code: theWebSocket; at

I've gotten stuck converting Susan's files, and I could use some help. I've put up a Wiki page at papascott.de explaining how far I have gotten, if anyone wants to contribute.

Posted by Scott Hanson at

Converting Manilla

I'll see what I can do, and will contribute to the wiki.... [more]

Trackback from Sam Ruby

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Converting Manila

Back in April 2002, I converted my Manila weblog at editthispage.com to Movable Type using XML files exported from Manila and a simple Perl script (using XML::Twig). This month (2 weeks before the weblogs.com outage), Susan Kitchens found my old...

Excerpt from PapaScott at

History of support

Dave Winer, 3/23/04: The Cluetrain says we should be more open and communicate. I've bought into that. So have the...... [more]

Trackback from Population: One

at

Export from WordPress

To paraphrase Sam Ruby, a weblog software is only as good as its export function. So inspired by Shelley, starting from a b2 export script by Bill Grady, and to celebrate the release of Movable Type 3.1, I've just made WordPress a hell of a lot...

Excerpt from PapaScott at

Export from WordPress

To paraphrase Sam Ruby, a weblog software is only as good as its export function. So inspired by Shelley, starting from a b2 export script by Bill Grady, and to celebrate the release of Movable Type 3.1, I've just made......

Excerpt from PapaScott at

Export from WordPress

To paraphrase Sam Ruby, a weblog software is only as good as its export function. So inspired by Shelley, starting from a b2 export script by Bill Grady, and to celebrate the release of Movable Type 3.1, I've just made...... [more]

Trackback from PapaScott

at

Sam Ruby: Archive/Restore

[link]...

Excerpt from del.icio.us/jcwinnie/blogging at

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