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October 31, 2022


Not sure if is working or not. Comments not loading fully on other threads.

Good luck lj - I don't know (or care - you know my level of IT knowledge) exactly how you will do it, but like Janie I hope you are able to keep a) all the regular commenters and b) the archives so we can still search them if necessary.

It seems like yet another occurrence of the curse:
We live in interesting times.

Comments on the previous thread appear up through Hartmut's at 6:41am on Oct 28, page appears to be trying to continue loading but nothing happens. Also, clicking the Main button while in comments goes to a blank Obsidian Wings page with only left column displaying (authors, alumni, blogroll).

If Typepad had simply died over the past few days, I would have known of no way to let people here know if/that we were trying to restart this conversation among old pixellated friends on some new platform.

I have the email addresses for a few people that I've had reason to correspond with on the side, but on a quick glance, I don't see a way in Typepad to say "Give me the email addresses of everyone who has commented in the past year" (or two or three or five). (lj, do you know otherwise? I assume you know more about the back end than I do.)

If I get time, I can try to gather a list of email addresses, but I know from dealing with spam and other kinds of glitches that some of you don't actually put valid email addresses into the comment box.

So one suggestion -- if, in the event that Typepad fizzles and we get some new version of ObWi set up somewhere else, you would like to know about it, it would be a good idea to comment with a valid email address and maybe even say so. You know who you are, and I would be sorry to lose this thin thread of connection....

Some of the previous posts and their comment threads seem to be intact, some not. Eg, "The More Things Change" and its comments all load properly (load very quickly, I might add). I added a test comment there and that worked, although the new comment didn't visibly show up for a bit.

Some of the posts, including the front page, provide a partial load and then hang. Based on my browser's behavior, it's hanging long enough (minutes) for a TCP timeout to occur. I have software in my browser that runs when a page load finishes. It does eventually run on those pages which suggests the browser has noticed something (eg, TCP timeout) that it interprets as the page load finishing.

Poking around the internet this AM, it appears that a TypePad to WordPress migration is feasible for text, not for images, and that some tedious steps are involved. The first step, though, seems to depend on the database being intact.

Just FYI, I just tried to put up a new Open Thread. But it won't post.

If it suddenly shows up later, that's why.

Typepad's skimpy Twitter feed does not suggest that the problems are dealt with, so I wouldn't count on us being back for real.

Anyhow, from reading over the past couple of days it seems like they tried to migrate to a new version and failed, which suggests that the glitches that have been happening for weeks will continue to happen.

Janie please add me to your list. I have been around (almost always lurking) since the days of Moe all the iterations since, so would hate to lose these discussions.

Thanks, and also thanks for being here for those of us in the shadows...

Janie please add me to your list. I have been around (almost always lurking) since the days of Moe all the iterations since, so would hate to lose these discussions.

Thanks, and also thanks for being here for those of us in the shadows...

So, given what rdldot says, I hope we keep not only all the regular commenters but also all the well disposed lurkers!

By the way, that last comment buffered for ages, so that I thought it had not succeeded, I went away and came back to find an error message (sorry, didn't think to keep), but when I refreshed it had eventually loaded.

rdldot -- I will try to make some time to go scape email addresses from the back room. Thank you for doing a current comment -- that makes it easier to find you!

Poking further this morning, Wikipedia tells me (and a bit of checking confirms) that Typepad no longer accepts new accounts, referring them to Bluehost, a WordPress service. That's not promising long-term information.

@Michael: and that's not new news, either. I believe they stopped in 2020.

I am not optimistic about being able to save/archive/move ObWi's history, but it would/will be a shame to lose it....

@JanieM: There are sites that provide Movable Type hosting, with instructions for moving Typepad sites. Exported Typepad sites are one of the things that WordPress says can be imported. There are questions about moving images, and apparently some tedium in getting permalinks automatically fixed, but it all appears doable. At least given the assumption that Wordpress is going to get things to the point that the site contents can be exported. I have no idea how big your database has gotten over the years.

Michael -- I speak with no more knowledge than 30 seconds of googling brought me this morning, but a quick skim of a very recent migrate-to-Wordpress article (very rah rah Wordpress) included this:

Depending on the size of your, now old, blog it may take some time for everything to complete. Once done, you just need to assign the author. You can select the current author if you’re the owner of all the posts. In case you need to assign multiple authors, you can create new ones here and assign them to posts.

Still, if you forget to do so or change your mind about the author’s names, don’t worry because you can always edit the imported posts, change authors, and do whatever you want. That’s another great thing about WordPress, which lets you handle your blog the way you want to.

You know something about all this and I don't, but ObWi has what, roughly twenty years of history? A couple dozen (at least!) authors, thousands upon thousands of posts.... I just don't see any of us having the time to deal with it. If I'm wrong about that, yay!

I just clicked on Andrew Olmsted's last post, which is intact. That will probably be one of the first ones I'd try to save....

FWIW, posting even short comments now is almost a full time job: buffering for a very long time, (whether previewed or directly posted), and then an error 503 message (it would not let me copy the whole, long error message) with mention of the famous Odnamrod. Whether it does eventually post or not seems very unpredictable...

@JanieM, you're not nearly optimistic enough to be a programmer. Or an archivist, for that matter. Some time spent poking around this afternoon shows that the Wayback Machine has taken a lot of snapshots going back to November 2003. (I think someone else mentioned that.) That's not where I would start a project to recover the site content and host it somewhere else, but it does suggest that almost everything can be recovered.

Perhaps Typepad will get their sh*t together soon. And maybe the horse will learn to sing.

JanieM, you're not nearly optimistic enough to be a programmer. Or an archivist, for that matter.

I *was* a programmer for 35 years, perhaps that's why I'm not optimistic. ;-)

At the bottom of my pessimism is lack of time. I mentioned the Wayback Machine (don't recall if anyone else did), because I did go searching on it for a couple of posts that I could remember either the names of, or the dates of. Stuff is there, and this is the kind of project that I might have enjoyed gnawing on ten years ago.

But I have no time for it these days. As one of my friends said after she retired, "I don't know how I ever had time to have a job."

I did collect the email addresses of everyone who has commented in the past month or so -- painstakingly, since I don't see a way to make Typepad do it all at once. (There may be one; I didn't look very far.)

There are a couple of you who post nonsense -- maybe we should have a pinned post that if you want to know what's going on in the event of another outage, you should put a proper email address into the box when you comment. (lj? wj?)

Also, just for the record, I'm not the customer of Typepad, so I don't get any more information than anyone else can see in their Twitter account. *Someone* must be the customer of record and get notices from Typepad, but it ain't me. (For all I know it isn't anyone who's still around....)

I did collect the email addresses of everyone who has commented in the past month or so -- painstakingly, since I don't see a way to make Typepad do it all at once. (There may be one; I didn't look very far.)

Encouraging, inasmuch as that's information that will not be available via the Wayback Machine.

It's a bad week for my wife's disappearing memory, and I'm more dependent on the web for social contact than I would prefer. What would make me very, very happy is to hear from someone with some sort of site privileges saying they were able to go to Settings-->Import/Export, export the site contents, and download a file. There's 20 years of history, and probably rendered in an inefficient format, so hopefully a gig or two file. At that point I'd be fairly comfortable that the historical e-mail addresses will be accessible, and the site will survive.

Michael -- just for you...

It looks like creating the file will take hours. Then they will ask where I want to put it. We'll see how big it is and then I'll let you know. This file will not include images.

For lj: "With a paid Typepad account, you can request an export of all uploaded files, including images, by opening a Help Ticket in your Typepad account."


I don't even know if we're a paid account. And since there have never been that many images, and some have disappeared over the years anyhow, I'm not sure we need that.

PS not encouragingly, the progress bar had started to turn green, then the green disappeared, now it's starting again. I'm going for a walk and will check on it when I get back.

PPS During a disaster recovery phase may not be the best time to try an export... On the other hand, if the recovery doesn't work it may be our last chance.


Progress bar has started over a second time. (At least.)

Now I'm *really* going outside.

I've got the libjpn at gmail account off in a corner and it still works. So if we do disappear, write there and I'll let you know if we found a desert isle to have been washed up upon.

I should also note, it seemed that the recent comment and recent post feed had disappeared, so I was poking around the template to try and revive them and it seemed that deleting them and then adding them again brought them back (that's why there is a recent post widget at the bottom of the left side). It looks like all the comments are still there, so it is a display problem

I'm still wondering what to do. At some point this month, I'll also try and download a back up of the blog (it looks like it will be a plain text version) and then, if Typepad does go the way of all flesh, will at least be able to set up a replacement site, though what will get carried over is a big question. If worse comes to worse, we might just choose a handful of posts to get the site back up and then add others.

But all of this will have to wait until Typepad settles down, which I don't think has happened.

anyway, that's all, until there's more.

I will add, before turning in, that since I set the export going several hours ago, it has repeatedly looked like it was making progress, then reverted to the starting point.

There's nothing to indicate what's going on except a progress bar -- no words, no indication of whether it's reverting because it has finished a year or a section or what -- I suspect it's simply not working right, but I'm going to let it run overnight and see what it looks like in the morning.

The Typepad export went on like that all night and got, apparently nowhere. I'll try again when things seem more settled.

The Typepad export went on like that all night and got, apparently nowhere. I'll try again when things seem more settled.

After sleeping on it, I got up this morning and poked a little deeper at the Wayback Machine. It appears that all of the content from about six weeks ago back to the beginning of the site is there (Moe Lane's original post!). Doesn't look like too big a job to write code to walk the permalink list and extract post and comment text, along with names, dates, etc. I think I'll try a little proof-of-concept for the list walk this afternoon.

Assuming that works, my happy button is reduced to someone being able to extract e-mail addresses :^)

So of course, posting that comment worked just the way it's supposed to, with no delays or spinning wheels or anything :^)

Michael -- that's great. I was going to write to you via email about these matters to see if you wanted to at least consult about them --- and will indeed write later when I'm not babysitting. ;-)

Thank you!!!!! For inspiration and knowledge and a prod here and there for us not to just let this situation stagnate.

And so say all of us....

Yup, all my comments are currently posting just fine as well. Let us not assume our troubles are over!

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