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Kunena 5.1.15 Released (27 Oct 2019)

The Kunena team has announce the arrival of Kunena 5.1.15 [K 5.1.15] which is now available for download as a native Joomla extension for J! 3.9.x. This version addresses most of the issues that were discovered in K 5.1 and issues discovered during the development stages of K 5.1.

× This is for users to help other users, to discuss topics that relate to migrating from other web-based forums and converting the data into a form that will operate with Kunena.

It is important to note that the Kunena team does not have a standard, recommended or supported protocol for these ideas and that posting questions in this category may not receive advice from team members.

Merged Migrating from NING.com

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9 years 5 months ago #1 by Hinson
I'm moving my site off NING and need to import the message board posts into Kunena. I have an xml file that was supplied by NING with all the posts but need to figure a way to import rather than cutting and pasting a few thousand posts, one at a time. Any ideas?

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9 years 5 months ago #2 by xillibit
Replied by xillibit on topic Migrating from NING.com
Hello,

It's not possible to import into kunena, kunena and the system ning are differents so you need to make adaptations or create a php script to do that.

I don't provide support by PM, because this can be useful for someone else.

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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #3 by sozzled
Replied by sozzled on topic Migrating from NING.com
G'day, Hinson. I don't know a lot about NING.com (the messages in this forum are quite hard to locate) and the only previous reference I found to this site/network was an unanswered question written a long time ago: Can someone help us I want to add a kunena forum to our Ning website . So without any helpful background it's going to be difficult finding help for you.

I'm going to make a few assumptions and, perhaps you can correct any errors that I make, but it seems like NING.com is one of those "three-clicks-and-you've-created-a-website" sites. Is that about the size of it? After spending only a couple of minutes at their site, it looks similar to a cross between Facebook and Windows Live Spaces: you sign up, you're allocated an area to manage/play with, and you get a couple of freebie "goodies" (like a calendar or a forum) into the bargain. I'm not intending to pass any value judgement on these kinds of sites, but it's not what most of us would call a real website. It's a pre-packaged web-based solution for people who want to create their own web presence without the hassles of having to find a webhost or obtain their own domain name.

The problem with these "three-clicks-and-you've-created-a-website" sites is that they use their own proprietary technology that is not, generally, made available to the public. Further, the data is actually owned by them - not by you - and you may have no right to export the data from their systems. Most of this information should be defined in their "Terms of Use". You'll have to read it to see what rights you have in this regard.

If it were possible for NING.com to provide you with a copy of your forum data (undoubtedly this is the first question that you need to ask them) the data format may not easily translate into either MySQL terms or a form that's easily adaptable to Kunena.

This leaves you with three options:
  1. Laboriously copy/paste the existing contents of your NING.com forum discussions and put them into your new Joomla/Kunena website;
  2. Ask NING.com if they have a way of converting your forum data into a form that can be imported into a MySQL database and figure out how to map the data fields into Kunena's database structure (or pay someone to do this "migration" for you); or
  3. Close the NING.com forum, put a signpost to show where your site has moved to, and leave it as an archive.
I know which of those options I would choose! ;)

Moving your user base to another platform gives you a wonderful opportunity to clear out a lot of the "dead wood". Some of the discussions that you enjoyed in days gone by will have lost their appeal or they're no longer topical. Some of your users may have lost interest or they've moved on. Some of your users may not want to follow you and you've also got new opportunities to broaden your user base, too! So, rather than cling to ancient relics, perhaps you should look at this as a way of being able to start again ... and do it better!
Last edit: 9 years 5 months ago by sozzled.

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9 years 5 months ago #4 by Hinson
Replied by Hinson on topic Migrating from NING.com
Sozzled; thank you for posting such a detailed reply and I do apologize for not acknowledging sooner. I had neglected to 'subscribe' to the thread and just now saw it.

You pretty much nailed the description of NING. I'm not at all knowledgeable about coding/scripting for websites. I know how to do the frontend/backend management (worked for AOL for almost 20 years)and have picked up a bit of HTML and CSS along the way but PHP, ASP, Java and the rest are out of my league.

Having said that; my site on NING was a genealogy site with about 400 members. While much of the content posted by members was general chit-chat, the majority was genealogy data that is extremely valuable to the site. If all else fails, I will have to go with your number one suggestion and do a cut and paste for each post that I wish to keep.

However, I would rather figure out some method of importing. I found that an RSS reader would read an XML file and that actually works fairly well. I can read the file, copy and past the whole thing into an archive post on the forum. Unfortunately, when someone does a search, it brings up that whole post rather then the individual portion that includes the data they are looking for.

I can convert the file to excel or .cs but still have not found a way to use the original XML or either of those to post the individual posts to Kunena or to get it into the MySQL database.

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9 years 5 months ago #5 by Hinson
Replied by Hinson on topic Migrating from NING.com
xillibit; thank you for your comments. Have no idea how to create a PHP script so I'll have to keep looking or start cut and pasting :)

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9 years 5 months ago #6 by xillibit
Replied by xillibit on topic Migrating from NING.com
Hinson wrote:

xillibit; thank you for your comments. Have no idea how to create a PHP script so I'll have to keep looking or start cut and pasting :)

I think you will find practically nothing about this, but you can check for a freelancer or someone interested to do it.

I don't provide support by PM, because this can be useful for someone else.

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9 years 5 months ago #7 by Hinson
Replied by Hinson on topic Migrating from NING.com
Thanks again. I'll figure out something.

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5 years 9 months ago #8 by harmlessdrudge
I have made a migration from Ning. If anyone needs to do it send me a private message.

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5 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #9 by sozzled
Replied by sozzled on topic Migrating from NING.com
There is no private message facility on this website. Perhaps you would like to share your method to migrate from Ning with other members if the community?

*** Topics merged ***
Last edit: 5 years 9 months ago by sozzled.

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5 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #10 by harmlessdrudge
No private message facility? :woohoo: OK.

Briefly, the procedure is as follows:

1. Install the NingNetworkArchiver application (will require installation of AdobeAIR first).
2. Download the JSON files for all components to your computer.
3. Install Wordpress and then the following plugsin: Buddypress, The Events Calendar, Export User Data, Import from Ning
4. Follow the instructions for Import from Ning

Key points: (poorly / not documented)

Ning downloads are routinely corrupt. ning-discussions.json and ning-discussion-local.json may differ significantly in size. Just copy and rename the larger file (1st) so you have two identical files with different names, otherwise you be missing some discussions and identifying them could be a headache.

Do not install BBpress, the replacement for Buddypress Forums. Go ahead and activate the retired version of Buddypress Forums and use that. Do not run the Ning import until this is set up ok.

Possibly useful: install XCloner backup plugin and make a backup of the environment one you are ready to go. It took me a few attempts to get everything working perfectly and it was handy to be able to revert to an as-new setup. (The restore instructions annoyingly deficient given their simplicity but that's another story). If you have an alternative use that.

The import will transfer blogs, forum contents, users, groups, and calendar entries.

Save the users details, including any extended profile data, to a spreadsheet using the Export User Data plugin.

If necessary transfer the Wordpress database to the system with Joomla installed on it.

Make the following changes to the user data in the spreadsheet

1. Add 100 to each userid: this will ensure that there is no collision with Joomla privileged accounts such as 42. (NB: both in the users file and later in imported tables)
2. Delete the extra data (columns not needed)

then

3. Use Export Quoted CSV ( support.microsoft.com/kb/291296/en-us ) format to save the file
4. Use a text editor such as Editpad Lite similar to add a couple of blank ("",) fields for the last two fields so that the nr of columns matches the jos_users table in Joomla.
5. Import to Joomla using PhpMyAdmin or similar (e.g. HeidiSQL).

You now have the user data transferred. Next

Get the subforum (category) numbers used by Buddypress by inspecting the wp_bb_forums table in Wordpress and then either reuse these in Joomla (edit jos_kunena_categories) or make appropriate changes to the records you import.

Once you have users and forums set up the forum contents are next. In Buddypress two tables are involved:

wp_bb_topics
wp_bb_posts

In Kunena it's three

jos_kunena_topics
jos_kunena_messages
jos_kunena_messages_text

The main differences are that Buddypress is set up to handle an initial post and a series of replies in a linear manner whereas Kunena can accommodate replies to replies, and in addition it uses an extra table for message contents (also for attachments)

It's reasonably straightforward to transfer topics and message threads to copies of the appropriate kunena tables. It requires a little field mapping and some SQL update queries and use of the unix_timestamp conversion function. I have a record of what I did but it's not yet tidied up and ready for posting (probably could be shortened and smartened up so the whole thing could be automated).

There are of course some non-correspondences but this will do to transfer most of the content. This account omits attachments as I didn't import them, mainly as the references to them were broken in the ning export I used. A supplementary reason is that I want anyway to move them to cloud storage and integrate reference to them there, and there weren't that many. It could be a showstopper for some.

I have attached a screen grab of a spreadsheet showing the field mappings I used. I don't guarantee it's error free (I might have missed updating it slightly; topic_status and locked are not equivalent but it doesn't matter: both 0 anyway). Fields that are directly transferrable are shown with a > beside the target. Those in italics required transformation as mentioned earlier to convert dates to integers. Those with "< Query" after them were populated with a SQL query

At this point I'm just trying out Kunena, which I like the look of better than BBpress, and have not used it in production (I manage one Ning site and, obviously, wish to part company with Ning). This is a first pass at escape. I'm happy to help others with the same objective.

One thing I'd like to see is a narrative account of the kunena tables and fields. All I found to go on was a schema showing the relationships between the tables. Even to see this I had to register with Oracle and download a large piece of software (MySQL Workbench).

Update:

Tip: The numbering of topics messages and messages in Buddypress tables, reflecting their order of export from Ning, is as follows: most recent message = 1, most recent topic = 1. Within threads the messages are ordered as follows (in a thread of 9 for example)

1 (first post), 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2

This will import and work ok (just look odd) in Kunena, as far as I can tell, apart from one detail: the last_post_message will be incorrect if you assumed a 1- 9 order. If the ids in the jos_kunena_messages and the jos_kunena_messages_text tables are resequenced in thread and time order then the last_post_ids in the topics table will be correct and the last_post_message can be updated with a SQL query. This will still leave the overall numbering of messages looking slightly odd in that numbering begins going forward (back in time) from the date of the conversion, then resumes with the present. It doesn't seem to matter; if it doesn't I haven't run into any issues yet.

Update 2:

Something to look out for: I discovered, when I went through the process of identifying which attachments needed to be attached to which messages*, that I had an orphan attachment, which led to the discovery that I was missing the very first thread from the Ning forum. It was exported, last, and was not imported into Buddypress. Ning doesn't give a total number so I had no instant way of checking (even if I eyeballed both ends I might have missed it because of how Ning presents threads).

*not handled automatically, alas

This had some important material and I was reluctant to discard it so some manual editing of database records was needed. HeidiSQL is a useful free tool for this. I realised that my assumption about the parent field (in field mapping) was wrong and I corrected the values so that the value for each messages points to the preceding message it, logically, i.e., in the same thread.

Update 3:

Adding images wasn't quite as I expected. One needs to convert links to images on the ning site in the form sitename.ning.com/hashedpath/imagename.jpg to a reference to a local file. Embedded images are just a special form of attachment.

Attachments are added straightforwardly enough. You sort them into separate directories by userid (i.e., \joomla\htdocs\media\kunena\attachments\# where # is the userid), get their filesizes and MD5 hashes:

the utility md5sum.exe will do, with md5sum *.* > files.txt
the editor Sublime Text (free) will cut columns to paste into Excel

Excel can then be used to generate the SQL records, these can be edited into a SQL export of the attachments table. To get an image to display as an embedded jpg rather than an attachment enter 'image/jpg' in the filetype column of the attachments table.

The embedded reference to the file is in the form

(attachment=number)filename(/attachment)

with square brackets instead of those shown and where number is, of course, the id in the attachments table.
Attachments:
Last edit: 5 years 9 months ago by harmlessdrudge.
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