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Recovering a forum from ProBoards

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by vord, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. vord

    vord Member

    ProBoards don't offer an export option and I'm not clever enough to write a scraper. Could anyone point me towards a way of recovering existing posts from a proboard forum (have a spare vB3 series I could import into).

    It's not one of my forums it's a club I'm a member of. Might give me an opportunity to play with xenforo once it's out.
     
  2. feldon30

    feldon30 Well-Known Member

    I always hoped that a scraper program would be written by Jerry at vBulletin, but my understanding is, he had an ethical concern with releasing or crowdsourcing such a script and never proceeded on it.

    In short, a scraper script would allow *anyone* to make a complete copy of all the forum data on a forum. Not just the owner of the site.

    But the difference to me is, people will sign up for, and associate their posts with their new accounts, on the REAL site, not the clone. The clone is just a public backup, something anyone could do.


    So thus far there's no way out for ProBoards users. :(
     
  3. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    Isn't that why they did InvisionFree imports in-house?
     
  4. vord

    vord Member

    Not sure what the content licensing arrangements are with proboards, but they certainly don't want to offer exports claiming their software is incompatible with anything else. An XML file would be fine - I'm sure someone would offer an importer for one of them.

    Doing it manually could be an option - there are only 2500 posts and 500 members on this forum. A few very boring afternoons, but I did that moving from photopost once.
     
  5. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Any sort of scraper - forum, TV listings, etc - needs to be managed constantly if the site you're scraping from is in constant development. 1 minor change to the HTML and it could be completely broken. It's a lot easier to fix those issues when you're the one using the script.
     
  6. Quillz

    Quillz Well-Known Member

    I've used ProBoards in the past and have never seen a "scraper" or anything of that sort. Since it's remotely hosted and flat-file (at least until v5), I believe the only real viable option is to just manually recreate the topics on a new board.
     
  7. Jerry

    Jerry Well-Known Member

    Correct, hence why I didn't, or have any desire to get into a manual service doing it.

    Though if you get the data via the company themselves, then have the SQL/XML/data an importer can be done.
     
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Well-Known Member

    Then it isn't your content. In fact, I believe that ProBoards have a section in their TOS that your content belongs to them, so even if you're the board admin, it'd be quite against their TOS to run a scraper on their boards. Regardless, you're asking someone for something which is capable of cloning someone else's forum. You're treading on risky ground, doesnt matter if you're a 'club member' or not.
     
  9. vord

    vord Member

    Sorry, I put it badly - the club has asked me if I would like to look after the forum for them. I see disadvantages for the club in having the forum hosted on a third party site.

    I do suspect proboards wouldn't like me to export the forum. But I'm not asking them ;)
     
  10. kyrgyz

    kyrgyz Well-Known Member

    Try this program:http://www.httrack.com/

    It'll save your board as html pages. You can then write a script, or hire some one, to convert it to, say, vBulletin or phpbb. Once XenForo is available, you can convert to it. I know vBulletin impex will be offered by XenForo pretty much right away. At least that's what I understood.

     
  11. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I originally started my forum on Informe.
    It was a long hard fight to get the tables off them but they finally gave them to me.

    They were so heavily modified though that a lot of work was required to get them to fit a vanilla phpBB install.
     
  12. Lee Lawson

    Lee Lawson New Member

    ProBoards do not take action if you break their ToS unless it is serious hacking. A forum that I have viewed previously in the past was hacked and ProBoards done nothing. Quite frankly, they could take action if you use a scraper. You can always ask them for a back up of your forum but it would cost as mostly there in for the money, you saw how much there phone app cost's per day?
     

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