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Migrating from Wikispaces

You are probably aware that Wikispaces has announced a phased shutdown of its services with that for SQLite Tools for RootsMagic terminating on 30th Sep 2018. After much gnashing of teeth, I have started investigating alternatives to which the wiki might migrate. I would welcome your help in the process, especially if you are knowledgeable in this area, to arrive at a decision. And if it ends up as a page by page manual copy and paste to the new system, then volunteers to do so for batches of our 277 pages would be a huge help. Let me know if you can help.
There seem to be many possibilities with different strengths and weaknesses and ranging in cost from free to formidable. The biggest hurdle is the completeness and fidelity of the transferred content. I started a forum for Wikispaces Organizers to pool their ideas and experience at https://wikispaces-refugees.groups.io and have been dabbling with Groups.io as a possible host for our wiki at https://groups.io/g/SQLite4RootsMagic. Both are public so you can lurk at will and can subscribe to participate.
We have six months left before the lights are turned off! Use the Discussion area below to advance your ideas, offers of help,...
P.S. I added A Migration Test Page late on May 21 to test subsequent exports and imports.P.P.S. Here are export files on Google Drive for those with site development skills to play with. (HTML, DokuWiki, MediaWiki, PDF)



Migrating from Wikispaces

Brian_Neale 19 March 2018 19:47:09

Thanks for the note on progress, I have little knowledge that would be helpful.

I can report that the NMUG (Norwich Mac User Group) went to Groups.io some 6 months ago, and everything is fine so far. I am in the UK.


alerum68 21 March 2018 03:45:55

I've been reviewing the options, and I think the two best options would be WordPress wikiWP, or to host and create a custom made wiki using MediaWiki. Google Sites, PBWIki, group.Io, and EditMe all have major drawbacks. Google doesn't allow direct import of html with its new format. Group.io isn't will suited for the needs of the wiki. PBWIki and EditMe would have much higher support cost.

I am more partial to a cheap or free web server with apache, php, and mysql support. With a self created MediaWiki site, you will only have to recreate the site once, and will never be dependant on having to migrate to a proprietary format like now.

I see this as less work than the WordPress migration, and again frees the site to move as need and retain format.


Migrating from Wikispaces

Ed2017 22 March 2018 14:47:29

I migrated from TMG to RM7 and I am still cleaning up data that did not transfer correctly. Looking at Wikispaces generated pages there are many proprietary functions and the code is very specific and not relative. Every link points to a fully resolved URL and would need to be changed many times for each page that you have. Also there are many resources that are part of wikispaces that would need to be recreated for use once wikispaces goes away. I can give more specific examples if needed. It looks like you would need a large manual effort to recreate what you have already created. (I tried copying two pages to see what the effort would be to convert to relative addressing and it would be as time consuming as the manual effort)

If you define the functions that you need they would be:

Create an account for a user with login and logout features similar to what you have.

Provide for user input for their suggestions on SQL for Rootsmagic.
Have an easily navigable structure similar to wikispaces.

Migratable code in case your next effort results in the same problem as wikispaces
Provide for rock solid solutions that a user cannot edit. A user would submit, possibly visible to the public, and the suggestion or code would be verified by you or a support group and when it is ok, moved to the general layout of your site.

I have copied/stolen/appropriated some of the content from your site to preserve it for my own use should something happen to your migration plans. I have created a spreadsheet of your database structure and a graphic of the database of my own showing how the tables all relate and which fields that are used to link the tables together. This is not complete yet. I was able to generate very simple code to display the spreadsheet and the spreadsheet itself was created using Excel and saved as an html file. This simple code could be transferred intact to many many hosting sites as it is just plain vanilla code therefore protecting your next effort from changes like what you are seeing now.
I have had some programming experience so I would opt for something like this:

A webpage(s) that would be static and be only updateable by a select few. A hosting site that could be as cheap as $4 per month. No logon or databases required as it would be viewable by anyone.

I would probably create a facebook page that would allow for public input and comments and discussion and posting here would be caveat emptor and your group would move the suggestions/code from the facebook pages into your static site.
The facebook page and the static website could be linked together so it presents a single consistent interface.

Just my 2c on this issue, with no in-depth experience on any of the other solutions mentioned, but then I don't always chose the easiest options.


Migration Attempt

alerum68 23 March 2018 01:36:07

I've tried a migration to mediawiki, and I agree with Ed that it's gong to be more time consuming and prone to errors to migrate as opposed to recreating the site from scratch. I took five pages and tried the migration, and recreating the pages from scratch, using copy and paste directly to the wiki site on the usb stick. It was quicker and cleaner then trying to find and fix broken links.

I like to concept of a wiki much more then a static web page, but feel keeping the site in a format that that isn't priority is important as well. MediaWiki is the best solution if you want to maintain a wiki. Next best option would be a static webpage with a separate forum. I think this would require more work in the long term to maintain than the wiki. Either option will require php, sql, and apache on the server to operate fully.

What is the size of the whole wiki now Tom? If it's small, I remember there were a few free servers they had these built in.

ve3meo 23 March 2018 02:53:28

Was "priority" autocorrect for a mis-typed "proprietary"? Yes, in response to both yours and Ed's points, I am concerned about the transferability of content. Wikispaces, to its credit, is pretty good about it. If you are following my Wikispaces Refugees group at https://wikispaces-refugees.groups.io/g/main, you will see the export options listed.

MediaWiki is one of the formats and I could send you the 70 MB ZIP file (PM me with coords). One of the alternative sites suggested by Wikispaces is Referata.com which uses MediaWiki but I discovered it wants the page in XML format, not any of the formats exported by Wikispaces.


XML files needed

alerum68 23 March 2018 22:19:25

Tom, I need access to the pure XML dump... Can you give me access or post it on google drive?

ve3meo 24 March 2018 03:25:30

There is no dump in which the pages are exported in XML. I think all of the exports except PDF include a XML file of page Discussions and Comments.


Comparative Trials

ve3meo 11 April 2018 19:16:54

Thanks to cooperating providers, I have multiple trials going for migrations of this site. I hope to get around to making some comparisons and observations but you can look at them yourself and make your own. They are all listed in the Wikispaces-Refugees Databases table "Wikispaces Migration Examples" at https://wikispaces-refugees.groups.io/g/main/table?id=4607&q=%22sqlite+tools%22

ve3meo 08 July 2018 03:24:27

Trials hosted by EditMe and CiviHosting have ended - they both gave me more than 30 days but would not do so until September. I am occasionally futzing around with free hosting for HTML, DokuWiki and WordPress. Page Comments and Discussions are still the biggest hurdle but there are numerous other issues; the former may simply have to be copied into their page. EditMe did the most complete and easiest import but their hosting fee structure is too limiting and costly. Groups.io is still so Yahoo Groups import focussed and email reflector oriented that I cannot see it working except either with an external host for images and other files or as a discussion group loosely linked to the main website. I'm not satisfied by anything yet so, ultimately, the best of poor alternatives will be what I go with. Basic HTML for a non-discussion website is easiest... WordPress is prettiest...