Forums.centos.org redirects here and breaks all links to old forum posts

Google searches for some issues I am trying to solve led me to broken links to forums.centos.org. The whole domain seems to redirect here, without any way to view the old forum posts, since they weren’t archived by archive.org. Only normal pages seem to be archived until end of last month.

Why does forums.centos.org redirect here?
Are those old forum posts archived somewhere?

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The forums site was run by volunteers who decided to retire when EL7 was at EOL.
https://lists.centos.org/hyperkitty/list/devel@lists.centos.org/message/EGOA27SGN7W7ASFFFBNUZJ5BXSFT4NKX/
https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-devel/2023-February/142775.html
https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-devel/2022-October/164924.html

At this point, I would consider the information and links gone.

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Some posts do seem to be on archive.org — for example, CentOS 6 is now End of Life and there are no more updates - CentOS.

I can’t blame them (and they did provide a lot of advanced notice). CentOS, as many of them likely joined it, evolved into something different. All good things come to an end.

We should thank those volunteers for their past efforts (in some cases well over a decade?), and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Sure, but keeping the forum up in read-only mode would have been nice. I haven’t seen this forum before because I primarily used Debian. Now, getting into CentOS and its derivatives, I find that searching for the issue with CentOS instead of RHEL (mostly the paid docs) or Rocky/Alma does produce good results.

I would be happy to host an archive of that forum if the server costs are an issue. I don’t know who to contact to make this happen, and if that is even something the volunteers are open to. But I think it would be a shame to just let the information and history of that forum disappear.

You can use the old links and archive.org to see and get as many as possible.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140718121739/http://centos.org/

https://web.archive.org/web/20140625101548/https://www.centos.org/forums/

Or you check the archived website and see if you can contact the old forum hosters.

I already searched the archive.org links for the names and contact info of the admins/moderators, but they seem only to be accessible to logged in members. The forum FAQ states to contact them via the forum, which isn’t possible anymore.

No idea if the freenode CentOS IRC channel is still active, but I will ask around there.

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone knows who the admins were.

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I’m myself not looking at Discourse, but I was pointed to this thread. Having a “read-only” version of the forums would have been indeed another possibility, but also then having to maintain/update phpbb for no real activity (outside of archived post for releases that are also unmaintained)
For better visibility than Discourse, maybe worth engaging on the devel list ? (devel - lists.centos.org)

The main issue I have seen with hosting ‘read-only’ copies of forums is that the party hosting it has to respond to GDPR and similar requests for purging or reports on PII kept. This becomes a problem because you generally can’t prove the person requesting the deletion of data is the person who made the comments in the first place (which then leads to deletion of content by third party). As much as having the data gone is bad, having to deal with other problems can be much worse.

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That’s a good point I haven’t thought about. Not totally sure about that, but I don’t think this would apply to public forum posts. GDPR is for protecting personal identifiable information, which shouldn’t have been posted on a public forum anyway. If some old post discloses some PII removing it would be in the interest of everyone, regardless if the person can prove it is their data. I don’t think any forum is obligated to remove every post of a user when requested, that is not how GDPR can be (ab)used.