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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Hello Everyone.

    Remember how Wizards of the Coast shut down their Forums in November? Well, they did. Fortunately, they gave some lead-time warning. So, at the beginning of October, just after they announced that, since there wasn't time to sort through all the threads, I started the process that ended up downloaded every D&D/D20 System thread.

    This is actually the third time I've done this. (I did this previously in 2005 and then in 2008 just before 4E was out).

    I want to put it all online as a lifeboat/archive, but it needs to be sorted out first.

    So, I made a program to do it, and I've made it so people can help.

    http://www.secretsofthearchmages.net/Threads/SOAM.zip

    It's a Microsoft Access Database, so unless you have Microsoft Office Professional, you'll need the viewer.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down...s.aspx?id=4438

    The program is simple. After unzipping it, (and installing the viewer if required), you launch the file like you would any other file.

    Your first time running the program, you'll be asked for a User Name. This is required for sending results to the FTP server. The filename format is the handle you enter, and the date.

    Working in the program is simple. By default, you'll have no work. Select one of the two 'assignment buttons', to give yourself 100 threads to review.

    The buttons can either assign work from the entire thread list randomly, or select them from whichever Year/Forum you choose. (i.e Wizards of the Coast, 2008, Magic and Spells)

    The choice buttons are along the bottom. The current beta also shows the link/file path you're looking at. Depending on traffic, you might have to wait a few seconds for a thread to load.

    The Choices are:
    Has Content: There is something mechanical in this thread. i.e Something you could find in a source book.

    Questions or Rules Discussion: Meant for threads were people were asking for and explanation on how something worked, discussing custom house rules, or the like.

    Ideas: Catch all for anything not mechanically related, but has in game use. This includes people discussing or posting character creation/optimization and the like.

    Humor: For things like '1001 funny character' deaths and the like

    No Content: For Trolling, complaining, or threads like 'hey, where do I find....' or 'Can someone send me a copy of...'

    Upload Results send the files to the FTP server I've set up.

    The idea up uploading results is, say Rob does 300 threads this week, and Bob does 200. They send their results to the server. I download them, and combine them into a single file.

    You then use the Download Results button to pull those results in, and your copy of the database is update. Now, Bob will never be assigned the 200 he did, or the 300 Rob did, and vice versa.

    This will minimize people doing the same work, and will hopefully let this be a coordinated effort.

    At 630,520 threads, it would take me years to go through it all. (I figure 23 years at 100 threads per night). But, if 200 people help, and manage 100 threads per night each, this could be done in a little over a month.

    Oh, and if you want proof of intent, here is what I squirreled out of just the Magic and Spells Section, and partially from the Monsters Lair Section, from the 2008 download

    http://www.secretsofthearchmages.net...ts/Results.htm.

    So, please, download and help out?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Can this access the 2005 archive you mentioned too?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Can this access the 2005 archive you mentioned too?

    The 2005, 2008, and 2015 downloads are all part of the project.

    Also, the Mailing-list lists archives as well (i.e Realms-L, Spelljammer-L, etc, etc)

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    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Would the 1001 silly spells and 1001 silly monsters threads go in content or humor?

    Also, how big is this archive? Would it be also possible for someone to download the entire archive?

    EDIT:
    Also, is there a Libre Office equivalent of Microsoft Access?
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2016-03-18 at 04:10 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    EDIT:
    Also, is there a Libre Office equivalent of Microsoft Access?
    I don't know that there's a Libreoffice version, but Openoffice on the other hand allows you to handle databases.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Props. I was hoping somebody would do this.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles and other terrain stuff (100 MB)

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Dec 2008

    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    A quick update.

    While updating the database copy with my results prior to making this a 'group' project, I found two issues in the code.
    First was what was an integer should have been a double.
    The other was for larger updates (4000+ results), you get a recordcount error.

    Both have been fixed, and the database updated.

    Upload any results you have to the server, and redownload the database with the corrected code.

    Also, the first results are up. Turns out I've looked over 55,000 + threads in the last 6 years.

    I'll address individual questions later this afternoon.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I don't know that there's a Libreoffice version, but Openoffice on the other hand allows you to handle databases.
    Excellent. I'll try to get on this after easter then.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Dec 2008

    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I'm working on a F.A.Q (which, ironically, has answers to most of the questions asked so far, and I started it two days ago....)

    Bohandas: If there is a full mechanical write up, go into Content.
    When in doubt of a category, put it into Content

    Ericgrau: Then download and start reading :) And convince your friends to help, and advertise it!


    If LibreOffice or OpenOffice doesn't work, the Access Viewer doesn't require you to own MS-Office.
    If you don't have a Windows based computer, let me know.

    There are no links actually in the database (just a virtual link system I coded in)
    If you can't get the database to work, let me know, and I'll tell you how to get to the threads for review, and we can figure out a system for you (and non-windows users).

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I'd offer my hand in marriage if you have the "Forgotten Freedom" threads saved there somewhere. Or a pat on the back or something.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayar View Post
    I'd offer my hand in marriage if you have the "Forgotten Freedom" threads saved there somewhere. Or a pat on the back or something.
    Do you remember the subform?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    No, but I do have the defunct links if that would help.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayar View Post
    No, but I do have the defunct links if that would help.
    It should. PM away

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I found the threads Bayar sent me, and that gave me an idea.

    I'm going to put up a list of all the threads that are part of the project.

    if people want to search to see if a thread is there, awesome. (You'll be able to search by title, but not original thread link. However, if you know the thread number, which is part of the link, you'll be able to search by that as well by that as well.)

    If you want a copy of the thread, I'll exchange threads for work. (Seems fair to me....)

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I'd be willing to help out after a FAQ is provided since I've had no previous experience working with databases.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I can explain the entire thing with a single screen shot :)

    Expect an update indicating one in a few days (family stuff to do today)

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I lied, it's two screen shots (shrugs).

    The FAQ is nearly completed. I'm currently pulling a list of all the Thread Titles/Thread Numbers so people can go 'Hmmm, does he have this old thread....', find out I do, and then decided to help....

    Anyway, the screen shots. First shot is the 'first time run/log in screen'. This will only appear once.



    Simple, and straight forward. Put a name in the Box, and hit 'lets begin'.

    And here is the work screen....



    That's all you see. The big area with the thank you message is where the threads will be shown, one at a time.

    Hopefully, the buttons are self-evidence. You start with no work, so you hit one of the assign work buttons. You'll get 100 threads assigned to you at random. You skim over the first thread, and hit one of the results buttons at the bottom. That will move you to the next thread. Rinse and repeat until done. Once you've done a bunch, you hit 'upload results'. Occasionally, hit download results to update your copy with what others have done to limit duplication of work.

    That simple.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    There is now a front page, FAQ, how the program works, and a list of all the threads in the project....

    http://www.secretsofthearchmages.net/index.html

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Holiday Weekend Bump....

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Hello

    One of the people using the program has noted a problem between 32bit and 64bit (bloody hell it Microsoft....)

    He's currently testing out the database with the conflict removed. (a keyword that tells 64bit the code is safe from 32bit, but it's not supported in 32bit but all the documentation I found said it was, sigh...)

    Once that's confirmed as working, I'll make the code change in my copy, and there will be a 32bit and 64bit version of the database online for download.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    It's a good thing I didn't try and do anything meaningful a couple of days ago due to some virus problems, as both my computers run on 64bit Windows.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Is there any way for me to do a bulk download of all the archived threads?

    I'm a bit of a digital pack rat too and would love to have my own local backup archive.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2016-03-26 at 05:36 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Is there any way for me to do a bulk download of all the archived threads?

    I'm a bit of a digital pack rat too and would love to have my own local backup archive.
    As of right now, no. Primarily because I want people to help me sort them out first, then everything online at that point.

    'course, if ya helped out, they'd be online quicker.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Solauren View Post
    As of right now, no. Primarily because I want people to help me sort them out first, then everything online at that point.

    'course, if ya helped out, they'd be online quicker.
    Will do. I should have some time tomorrow (provided of course that I don't forget like I forget everything)

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I just wanted to pop in to say that I'm glad that you're doing this. Well done.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Has anyone else been experiencing crashes? Or is it a compatibility issue with LibreOffice?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Has anyone else been experiencing crashes? Or is it a compatibility issue with LibreOffice?

    It's probably LibreOffice. I've heard it and Visual Basic for Applications doesn't get along.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    I have issues with Access. Downloaded the 2010 AND 2007 versions, made sure they are x32 as my new OS, both give runtime errors when trying to open the database.

    Edit: Never mind, got the 2010 to finally work.
    Last edited by Bayar; 2016-04-24 at 10:15 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Complete Copy of the Wizards of the Coast Forums now online for Everyone!

    Quick update.

    I change the website somewhat....
    I added Index pages for each Forum and year, and now anyone can see the threads
    Meaning you and help out without using MS-Access.

    The index.html has the explanation

    http://www.secretsofthearchmages.net/index.html

    I still need help reviewing them, however.....

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    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: I saved the WOTC Forums before they closed, and need help sorting them out....

    There was a really long old thread where people were coming up with new abyssal layers, do you know if you have it?

    Also, I want to double check, we email results to Thread_Results@SOAM.NET now?

    And how to format that? Something like?
    Rules on Ascension to Godhood? SOAM-ID19406 ! 3 Question or rules Discussion
    or just the numbers?

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