Migrating content from old forums

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Hi all, just saw this topic. Hope you don’t mind my opinion in addition to the many above.

After reading the topic post, I was convinced on Option 2 – let’s just start over! And, after reading all the comments below, I came around to those who are advocating for Option 1.

In the end I think the best would be an Option 1.5 – we can migrate some of the forums which are super active (like the de / ru communities) while also starting fresh on some others.

Reason being I’d love to see the users from the old forum find a place here and not be bitter about getting archived, and in addition would like to start fresh with a different forum hierarchy / category layout building upon knowledge of on what worked / didn’t work well in the past. I think we can have both.

I’ve proposed to do a test migration on a test Discourse to get feedback prior to actually do a migration.

It’s true that some very low activity part of the old forum may also be “archived” in a separate category in Discourse.

We will see, I hope soon :slight_smile:


First migration test, with the latest 100 topics only to reduce import test time.


Good job!
Is there a painless possibility to move country categories to language categories and add country tags should we want to ?

Technically, a lot of things can be done… but we must make choices: language based fragmentation or country based fragmentation or both, see Proposal - Language and location based content and categories

Langage detection on past posts seems possible and adding a language tag to them too.
I think this can be even done afterwards.

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Is it possible via the admin interface of discourse to later convert

  • tags to categories
  • categories to tags
  • or maybe even remove categories?

The last few days there was some talk about this and related decisions being final.

I completely understand those that would like to avoid language-categories mainly to avoid silos (I brought it up myself after all), but the viable alternative (Edit: that I see) - by default auto-translate all topics, at least the titles - is out of reach yet because we neither have the plugin installed, nor does it offer that feature (yet).

So, is there no going back once we got those categories imported, or could they be restructured into tags etc. later if the technical situation changes?

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All of that can be easily done, we can mass handle messages on tags and categories and move it around as needed.

After a certain time of use, restructuring is not only a technical question. A community consent is also needed - maybe, this could be a challenge.

The intention is that changes are not a technical decision (although we’ll have to take in consideration technical limitations or constrains), and these forums are owned by the community, that’s why most of the initial decisions are being open for debate during these weeks.

The governance/accountability and decision making model is being discussed here.


The plan based on last week’s meeting of the @forums-governance team is to go with Option 1, i.e. we will attempt to migrate content from the old forums while also using a redirect mechanism to keep existing incoming links functional. This is made possible by the amazing technical work by @cquest which is showcased here.

The initial structure of categories for sub-communities is going to be primarily location-based.

See this answer for a summary of the meeting results.


So what’s the current status on the migration topic? Can we help with testing, chasing bugs? Anything else maybe to move this forward?

Hi @mmd

Unfortunately the forum governance team is still waiting to hear about any updates on the migration. As decided during last week’s meeting, we are going to start accepting new category requests from communities here and merge messages later once the migration takes place.

As soon as we have an update on the migration testing status we’ll post it here.


Thank you for the update. From what I understand, @cquest is mainly working on the migration, but has some limited bandwidth right now (of course, SotM France is just around the corner, so this makes sense).

As @cquest didn’t participate in the meeting you’ve mentioned, did you double check with him, if creating those categories wouldn’t interfere too much with what he has planned to do, or cause some significant extra effort?

What about the moderator per category topic? IIRC, some previous meeting minutes mentioned the need to have 2-3 mods per category. Would that still be a requirement right now?

Sorry if this sounds a bit pushy, that’s not the intention. I’m just trying to make some sense out of the meeting minutes.

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We have been trying to get back from him for some time now through different channels, but unfortunately he hasn’t been online since early May. Once he is back online we’ll have a better picture on the migration. Our understanding is that message merging from a future imported category to an existing one is possible.

At least 2-3 moderators is something that is believed to be important for a self-sustainable moderation and the intention is to support communities to get there. If this turns out to be impossible, I expect work with communities to accommodate.

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Out of curiosity, what is the status on the migration? The sticky topic on the old forum is there for a while now pointing to this topic without new information being provided.

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@Firefishy has taken over the task after unsuccessful attempts to reach out to @cquest. At the @forums-governance team’s meetings, this is regularly the top-priority topic, but unfortunately, we still aren’t ready to perform the migration.

We do encourage people to already use this new platform in the meantime, though, as we’re confident that it will be possible to merge content from the old and new platforms during the migration process.


Thanks for your status update.

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from my marginal point of view, I notice that

  • people around what’s currently my area, at least as of today, aren’t yet really using this new community, and I don’t see them using other OSM platforms, they seem to prefer keeping the discussion on external platforms, like Telegram just to mention the least proprietary.
  • myself not intending to lose track using two distinct platforms, I’m still opening topics on the Panama forum, but I’m looking forward for all the forum threads being migrated here.

in a migration, I would expect the old platform to become read-only, and that all old URLs be redirected to the new platform, maybe to see the original if specifying some ‘redirect=no’.

we are now a few months further, is it already clear when the data from the old forum will be migrated?