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  • Import from phpBB: figuring out what failed

    Okay, still working on my phpBB 2.x conversion. Things are going fairly well, but I have another issue I'm hoping someone here can help me with.

    We have a test area where we've been playing around with vB, learning about all the new features and figuring out what's different. We've also tweaked all the settings and styles and all that happy stuff the way we want them to be on our production site.

    Now I'm running conversion tests, into the actual DB that we'll be using when we switch over. What I'd like to do is copy over all the settings that we've tweaked, so we don't have to make all those changes by hand again. Now, copying over the rows from vb_setting works great. But that's only part of the story. I'm also copying over the changes we've made to vb_usergroup, and that also works well. But when I copy over the records we've changed in vb_style, it doesn't work. What happens is that whenever I try to load the main forums page, I just get a blank page. If I don't copy the vb_style records, everything works fine, but of course then we don't have our cool new style stuff that we put in. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong? I suspect that there's another table I need to copy over that I'm missing, but I'm not sure what it is.

    Also, if anyone knows of any other tables I need to copy like this to get all our settings over, that would be great to know. I obviously don't want to copy certain tables (posts, threads, users, etc), so I don't want to just blindly copy everything. But I don't know enough about vB yet to know which tables to copy and which not. I'm not a PHP guru, but I'm definitely very comfortable with SQL, so I've just been putting some queries into some scripts which I run at various points during the conversion.

    TIA for any help.

  • #2
    Import from phpBB: figuring out what failed

    Okay, so during my conversion I have some things that failed. For most categories, it is a pretty small percentage of failures (e.g. users == 2,782 succeeded, 1 failed). Now, let's say that I'd like to take a look at that one failed user and see what went wrong. (Most likely, I don't care, but I figure it's worth at least taking a look.) How do I figure out which user it is that failed?

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    • #3
      Import from phpBB: converting avatars

      I'm probably just doing something stupid here.

      So I'm converting my users, and I told it "Yes" to convert the avatars. For the path, I put in the "customavatars" dir under my main vB install ... perhaps that's not correct. I sort of expected a bunch of avatars to land there, but they didn't (the dir is empty but for an index.html). So maybe I'm putting in the wrong path.

      Anyway, the end result is that some of the avatars convert ... not many, but a few. The ones that converted are correct, they are definitely custom avatars, and they seem perfectly fine. But most of them just didn't come over at all. Any ideas what the problem might be?

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      • #4
        Make a copy of the set up board and then use that to import into.
        I wrote ImpEx.

        Blog | Me

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
          So I'm converting my users, and I told it "Yes" to convert the avatars. For the path, I put in the "customavatars" dir under my main vB install ... perhaps that's not correct. I sort of expected a bunch of avatars to land there, but they didn't (the dir is empty but for an index.html). So maybe I'm putting in the wrong path.

          Anyway, the end result is that some of the avatars convert ... not many, but a few. The ones that converted are correct, they are definitely custom avatars, and they seem perfectly fine. But most of them just didn't come over at all. Any ideas what the problem might be?
          ImpEx knows where to put them, it needs to know where to get them from all the details it asks for is for the source. The ones that would of worked would of been remote ones.
          I wrote ImpEx.

          Blog | Me

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jerry View Post
            Make a copy of the set up board and then use that to import into.
            Well, that's one possibility. But then, of course, I have the opposite problem: I have to figure out what tables to empty out (as opposed to figuring out what tables to fill up). I was originally thinking that there would be fewer tables to copy over than to blank out, but perhaps I was wrong. (Also, I was worried about tables that might need default values instead of being blank, such as smilies.) But perhaps I can try this.

            So I should blank out forums, threads, posts, and users ... would that be all? Smilies I might get by with leaving them as is, but I think I probably will need to blank out the DB with the install program and then save that off somewhere. Usergroups I can blow away all but the bottom 7 (or I might be able to leave them as is; I'll have to check and see if there's anything wacky in there). Anything else I need to worry about?

            Originally posted by Jerry View Post
            ImpEx knows where to put them, it needs to know where to get them from all the details it asks for is for the source. The ones that would of worked would of been remote ones.
            Ah, okay, got it.

            Also, you didn't answer my other question (about how to tell which users etc failed). One reason I thought it would be easier to have each issue in its own thread.

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            • #7
              ranks are failing

              Okay, I guess we'll try lumping all the issues here in one thread and see how that works.

              So, my next issue is that nearly all (all but one, in fact) of the ranks failed to convert. A brief search through the forum yielded this thread, which (again) seems to address my problem almost exactly, but has no answer.

              Like that thread's author, we use the ranks for determining who is labeled "site supporter", so I need to get that info over. Any thoughts?

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              • #8
                newest member issue

                Another thing I just noticed:
                Welcome to our newest member, a

                I think I saw some other posts that mentioned this problem, but obviously I can't search for "a", so I can't find them now. Just for S&G I clicked on "a", but it isn't a valid user (as expected). Any ideas what's going on with this?

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                • #9
                  text size

                  Okay, here's one that's a little hard to explain, so I'll just steal the words of the beta tester who reported it:

                  Originally posted by beta tester
                  ... text sizes appear to be formatted at a different scale here in the new format as opposed to the old. For example, "size=20" at the old site looked about
                  THIS BIG
                  ...the same text imported here now looks
                  THIS BIG.
                  ... The old site had scale ranges from 0 to 28 (or so), while this new template scales only from 1 to 7. Any imported data with a size delimiter of more than 7 gets shown as "7", ...which is pretty honkin' huge. ...Don't know is anything can be done about this, ...but thought I should point it out. Can the 'size' delimiters be reduced during import, ...divided by a factor of 4 maybe? ...
                  Any thoughts? (BTW, I know I'm posting a lot of things that are going wrong, but really mostly things are going very right. vBulletin and ImpEx are great products.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                    Okay, I guess we'll try lumping all the issues here in one thread and see how that works.
                    That's how it's done opposed to create loads of threads so we can keep the context of what's going on.

                    Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                    So, my next issue is that nearly all (all but one, in fact) of the ranks failed to convert. A brief search through the forum yielded this thread, which (again) seems to address my problem almost exactly, but has no answer.

                    Like that thread's author, we use the ranks for determining who is labeled "site supporter", so I need to get that info over. Any thoughts?
                    What is the error given during the ranks module ?


                    Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                    Another thing I just noticed:
                    Welcome to our newest member, a

                    I think I saw some other posts that mentioned this problem, but obviously I can't search for "a", so I can't find them now. Just for S&G I clicked on "a", but it isn't a valid user (as expected). Any ideas what's going on with this?
                    Have you followed all the after import steps to clean up ?

                    http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/impex_cleanup

                    Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                    Okay, here's one that's a little hard to explain, so I'll just steal the words of the beta tester who reported it:

                    Any thoughts? (BTW, I know I'm posting a lot of things that are going wrong, but really mostly things are going very right. vBulletin and ImpEx are great products.)
                    You can use cleaner to replace the [size=X] tags afterwards if you want to shrink them.
                    I wrote ImpEx.

                    Blog | Me

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                      What is the error given during the ranks module ?
                      I dunno; all I saw was a bunch of "failed" messages, then it jumped back to the main import screen. How can I see what the error was?

                      Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                      Have you followed all the after import steps to clean up ?
                      Yep. Definitely did all those steps.

                      Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                      You can use cleaner to replace the [size=X] tags afterwards if you want to shrink them.
                      Cleaner? What's that?


                      Still outstanding: how to tell which users failed, and which tables I have to blank out if I just copy my test data DB and start with that. (AFA that last one goes, I think I'll post my table lists I've got so far. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                        I dunno; all I saw was a bunch of "failed" messages, then it jumped back to the main import screen. How can I see what the error was?
                        Set this in the ImpExConfig :

                        PHP Code:
                        define('step_through'true); 
                        Then you can see what the items are failing on.



                        Yep. Definitely did all those steps.



                        Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                        Cleaner? What's that?
                        tools/cleaner.php

                        It's a simple replacement script that changes one string for another.


                        Originally posted by barefootcoder View Post
                        Still outstanding: how to tell which users failed, and which tables I have to blank out if I just copy my test data DB and start with that. (AFA that last one goes, I think I'll post my table lists I've got so far. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.)
                        Blanking which tables for what reason ? There is a link at the top of every ImpEx page to Database Clean up that will remove any data that ImpEx imported.
                        I wrote ImpEx.

                        Blog | Me

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                          Set this in the ImpExConfig :

                          PHP Code:
                          define('step_through'true); 
                          Then you can see what the items are failing on.
                          Ah, good tip. Thanx.

                          Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                          tools/cleaner.php

                          It's a simple replacement script that changes one string for another.
                          Ah, excellent. I'll give that a try.

                          Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                          Blanking which tables for what reason ? There is a link at the top of every ImpEx page to Database Clean up that will remove any data that ImpEx imported.
                          No, I'm not talking about removing previous import data. I'm talking about the situation I outlined above. I said I wanted to import part of the data (e.g. permissions, styles, vB options) to my conversion test area from my "fooling around" test area. You suggested I instead copy the entire test area over. This, of course, brings along a lot of data that I don't want to copy (e.g. users, forums, threads, posts). None of that data that I don't want is converted data. It's just data from us playing around with a brand new piece of software and discovering what it can and can't do.

                          So currently what I'm doing is I've made a list of all the vb_* tables, and I've divided them up into 3 groups. One group I copy over verbatim from the test DB. One group I copy from a previously set up, completely blank vB DB. And one group I start with a blank version and then import from test selectively. It's not working too badly. I just wondered if you had any tips on which tables go in which groups.

                          Or if you have a different idea of how to do it entirely, I would happily entertain that as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you download ImpEx again and ensure that this is set in your config :

                            define('impexdebug', true);

                            Then you can browse the impexerror table to see which source data was skipped.

                            It's very very unadvisiable to copy some tables andnot others between databases.

                            There are two ways of doing it :

                            1) Set up the vBulletin board as you want, with styles and mods, then take a back up. Import into that and then set up the imported data and if anything goes wrong revert to the back up.

                            2) Do the import, then set up the whole board, with styles and mods etc.
                            I wrote ImpEx.

                            Blog | Me

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                              If you download ImpEx again and ensure that this is set in your config :

                              define('impexdebug', true);

                              Then you can browse the impexerror table to see which source data was skipped.
                              Ah, excellent tip. Thanx.

                              Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                              It's very very unadvisiable to copy some tables andnot others between databases.
                              By which I think you mean you won't help me work on that part.

                              But actually, it's working really well for me ATM. As I said, I have a lot of experience with SQL, so it's fairly easy for me to set up things like bringing over forum permissions while converting all forumid's/userid's/usergroupid's. If I knew what every table actually did, it'd be a snap. Unfortunately, while my SQL is solid, my PHP is not so much, so it's hard for me to run through the code and work out all that stuff.

                              Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                              There are two ways of doing it :
                              Yes, but both present problems for us. While I wasn't looking, our test vB area got used for two things simultaneously:

                              Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                              1) Set up the vBulletin board as you want, with styles and mods, then take a back up. Import into that and then set up the imported data and if anything goes wrong revert to the back up.
                              1) a play area to try out new things and just do whatever anyone wanted, which engenders a huge amount of crap that cannot be in the post-conversion data, thus we can't use your #1 suggestion, and

                              Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                              2) Do the import, then set up the whole board, with styles and mods etc.
                              2) a staging area to work on the set up of how the new site will supposedly look and operate, which engenders a huge amount of non-crap which must be in the post-conversion data, thus we can't do your #2 suggestion either. Well, technically we could, but a) it would be a huge amount of work to recreate all that, and b) half of the stuff they did they don't even remember any more, so there's just no way we'd ever get all of it ported over.

                              Additionally, I'm running conversion tests 3-4 times per week now, in an effort to make sure we shake out every last glitch before we do it for real. So even if we were to decide to do it the hard way, it wouldn't be practical to do that for every conversion test, which would mean that my tests wouldn't be reflecting what would really happen during the conversion, which would in turn mean that they weren't very good tests, right?

                              So I completely understand your position on this, because I'm deviating from the script and you don't want to be responsible for helping me screw something up (I'm a developer myself, so I can't say I wouldn't take the same stand as you were I in your shoes), but ANAICT I'm just stuck here with the approach I'm taking and I've got to make the best of it.

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