Hello everyone! What do you think?

Well, I’m OK with the quick-docs approach; but I wonder if an archive of old ask fedora would help creating content for quick-docs too.
About the man power, that was why I’m even OK with a database dump. Someone might be able to do something with it in future!

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So we cant keep askbot running because thatll require us to keep paying for it. The database dump isnt that simple either because it will at least have to be anonymised before it is made available (and available where?).

(So, if stuff needs to be moved to quick-docs, it needs to be done now before we stop our askbot subscription.)

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I’ll look into possibility of crating a static snapshot of current Ask Fedora, that could be hosted as loads of html files.

You will probably still need to anonymise it. IANAL, so you should check with -legal.

I was thinking about getting all questions with wget, without logging in, and removing some unwanted elements (edit/login links, form elements, most/all JS, etc.) with regexes (I see that there’s some read-only mode in Askbot, which would simplify the clean-up). So everything publicly available and licensed under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 and, in case of Askbot, GPLv3. I’ll ask on legal@lists.fedoraproject.org.

On second thought what also might be useful:

  • user profiles might be required to satisfy attribution requirements (also only public part);
  • disclaimer of it being a read-only archive;
  • some email address for complaints (hidden behind captcha);
  • information about and link to Discourse and Quick Docs.

Would it be possible to put it under e.g. https://olddiscussion.fedoraproject.org? I’ve got hosting where I can create sub-accounts, but if it takes something more than some random dude’s hosting for a subdomain of fedoraproject.org, I could send ready files elsewhere.
Redirecting (with just few rewrite rules) to this new domain all addresses starting with language codes (the Askbot link structure: /en/question/…) would minimise number of 404s on Discourse (important for site’s reputation in search engines) and land people coming from web searches on questions they were looking for.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180320053101/https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/en/questions/ ?

Edit: not complete, questions arent archived

How about we think of where the data will go after youve investigated how easy it is to get it?

I still think it’s not the best use of the limited resources we have—I’d really prefer it be spent on quick-docs—but it’s your time :wink:

As a side note, we still havent seen much action on quick docs: Pull requests - fedora-docs/quick-docs - Pagure.io

Could we move more of the important questions that we’re trying to save on askbot there please?

(I will be back to it myself next week—waiting on my new machine, the old trusty one finally passed away a few days ago :cry:)

@ozeszty It’d be really great if you can do it

@FranciscoD I do understand your position, but I don’t agree. I’d say that there is lots of valuable info on current ask fedora, and our limited resources are not enough to move (or even identify) the useful ones in a short time.

I for one might not be able to put some time for converting even my own answers to quick-docs in short term. And if I came back to quick docs later when there is no access to old data, I really don’t like to spend my time on something that I’ve already spent time some day.

In other words, it’s true that the content in current Ask Fedora was ‘free’, but people have spend ‘valuable’ time on them and it should not be taken lightly. It is really a waste. Even for Fedora, the time spent on rewriting data can be used to do new things.


Will someone please point out at least some of these bits that we want to spend all this effort keeping? Maybe others can work on moving them now?

A plan that is based on “someone in the future will move it” is not really a plan. Someone has to volunteer to lead this work, to get people interested, to convince people to help out, like any other task/project in the community.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on askbot myself https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/en/users/, but it has been very rare for me to have answered two identical questions unless they were repetitions of common (sticky) issues. Each troubleshooting issue is more likely to be unique than a repetition. So if we are going by anecdotal evidence, mine does not suggest that the info is worth archiving. Instead, similar to how we troubleshoot issues on the IRC where there is no access to past discussion, it suggests that each new query needs to be dealt with as a new one by starting the diagnostic process from scratch, i.e., working with each user, going through the investigation (and teaching them bits in the process). The info on askbot is not going waste—it already served its main purpose by helping the users that asked their questions.

This is the last I’ll say on this topic for now. When we do have the archive, we can see what can be done with it. Until then, lets get back to getting this instance ready for public use. Are we only waiting on the start here docs? Is anything else still pending? :thinking:

@ozeszty: we’re thinking of pulling the plug on askbot and formally making this instance ask.fp.o before F30 releases in ~4 weeks. Would that be enough time to pull your archive, do you think?

@not-mattdm-at-all: is there a date when our subscription to askbot expires? Would it be possible to keep it in “readonly” mode until the expiry date—we can disable logins, and move the URL to archiveddiscussion.fedoraproject.org (or something)?

Yes, that’s enough, and knowing rough deadline helps :wink:

If we could schedule an hour in next week, when you’d set askbot into read-only mode, that would be very helpful. I’d grab some pages and see how much work it’ll save.

I’ll have to check with Bex. (And, I’m going to be away for a week or so, as my grandmother just passed away. I’ll try to remember when I get back.)

No worries, please take your time. We’re really sorry for your loss.


Hi, are there any plans to migrate users’ badges from Askbot to Discourse?


No, unfortunately there is no straight forward way of moving anything from askbot to discourse without directly accessing the database, and we’re not doing that at all (we cannot, and if we could we wouldnt due to lack of man power).

I wouldnt worry too much about the badges. Discourse has an excellent gamificiation system so we’ll all get loads of badges here too :clap:

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Wouldn’t it make sense to give users of askbot a notice that the platform will be shut down by xx/yy? I think it would be good to advise users ahead of time, so they know what to expect.
Maybe a banner type of notification (like when askbot was in read-only for the platform migration)?!


I am new to the Discourse way of things, so please forgive any stupid questions. Here is the first one, will stuff like This is a list of commonly asked questions - Ask Fedora remain read-only? Is there a way to comment on that?