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New forum feature – Forum Archive

Posted on Friday, July 4th, 2008 at 1:24 am (22) comments

SD Mobile
Hello everyone,

Over the course of the next few days we will be gradually rolling out a new feature, called Forum Archive.

It’s no secret that the SlickDeals.net forums have grown very large and will continue to grow. Every once in a while our servers knock on our door and say “We want a vacation.” So, we are going to give them a vacation, and maybe a bonus or something (but don’t tell them, it’ll be a surprise).

What it means for you as users?

There will be 2 sites which when combined together will contain the whole forums as you came to know them. The link for current forums will not be changing, it will stay http://forums.slickdeals.net. The Archive will be accessible through http://archive.slickdeals.net and will largely look identical to the current forums, except it will be read-only.

Here is a brief Q&A on what will be different, and how things will work.

Q: What will be archived?
A: Only threads, and their respective posts, and post edit histories, including wiki post information

Q: What will determine which threads/posts are archived?
A: All threads which have been dormant (i.e. had no activity/posts) for at least 180 days will be archived

Q: Why is this happening?
A: To reduce the load on the servers and provide everyone with smoother forum experience (faster loading times, browsing, changing pages, etc)

Q: What is the expected time of completion?
A: Within the next 1-2 weeks

Q: Are there any exceptions?
A: Yes, there will be exceptions. “Stickies”, and select other threads (see below) will not be archived, at least for some time.

Q: Will I be able to post in archive?
A: No, it will be read-only

Q: What will be shared between archive and live sites?
A: Just about everything else other than threads and posts (and related content, such as search) is identical between live site and archive. That means while browsing the archive site, you will still get notifications about private messages, etc.

Q: Will most functions work in archive?
A: That depends. Since archive is read only any changes, or new items will have to be done through the live site. This includes PMs, calendar, changing signatures, user titles, etc. Most of the links visible on archive that are responsible for this activity will take you to the live site from archive. You will not be able to create any new content or make changes to your user information, profiles, etc. in archive itself, since it’s read only.

Q: Will I be able to search archive?
A: Yes, the search system will remain the same as on the Live Site. You will also be able to search Archive directly from live site using Advanced Search, and choose the Archive radio button in the bottom section (currently not visible to users).

Q: Will Front Page be archived?
A: No, it will not. The threads which some front page posts are linked to, however, will be, but the links will still function.

Q: Will the old links to threads and posts work?
A: Yes, all links will be automatically redirected to forum archive, it will be transparent to the user who clicks a link, whether the thread is still in live site, or has been archived. The inverse is also true – links to threads in the archive which are still in the live site will be correctly directed to live site.

Q: What to expect during rollout?
A: If you click on a link to a thread or posts which has been archived during the transition period, you should be transferred to archive, and you will receive a brief message while this is occuring. The rest of the forum operation should remain unchanged.
Some search functionality may be temporarily unavailable for threads and posts which have been archived. All the recent threads and posts (within the 6-month window from the time of last post in a thread) will be fully searchable, accessible and will not be affected otherwise.

Q: What is expected from users?
A: If you know of a thread which may have been inactive for over 6 months, and is not a sticky, and there is a compelling reason to not archive it, please post a link to the thread and reason why it should not be archived. Moderators will review them and mark the threads as non-archivable so that they are not moved.

Q: I realized that a thread which really shouldn’t have been archived has been archived – who do I contact for help?
A: Contact one (or all) of the administrators of the site: slickdeals, bryantq or redsolar.

Q: Will there be any downtime to the forums or front page?
A: Yes, after the threads are moved we will need to turn the forums off for a brief period of time, which will be announced later, to performe some necessary maintenance, for approximately 1 hour. Front page will also be affected. This will happen during a dark night time, when most users are seeing their best dreams .

Beyond that, everything should be as normal.

Of course, if you notice odd things happening, let us know

Thanks for your help and patience during the transition.