Beware that Adobe forum content created between Aug 22 and Sep 12 will be LOST
Wow, I just noticed some news today, Sep 3, which–to me–is tragic. (This is about the CF Forums, though, not this CF portal where you are reading this.) If you visit the front page of any of the Adobe CF forums or subforums (like for CF Administration), as well as several other non-ColdFusion Adobe forums, you will see a message stating that:
We are excited to announce we will be delivering a modern community experience to you in the very near future!
For our Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, eLearning Suite, and Technical Communication Suite customers, we will be launching on September 9, 2019. For our Experience Cloud customers, we will be delivering your new experience later this year.
Between August 22nd through the launch date of September 9th, we will be transitioning our Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, eLearning Suite, and Technical Communication Suite community experience. During this time, we wanted you to be aware that all new threads posted and replies to existing posts in these forums will, unfortunately, be lost. [emphasis mine]
We apologize for the disruption but appreciate your patience as we prepare to bring you a fresh and engaging community experience.
So yes, the “good news” is that there will be a new “modern” forum experience, but it comes at the cost of loss of any new posts or replies between Aug 22 and Sep 9. I’m really amazed to hear this.
Update 1: well, the cutover didn’t happen until Sep 12, after all. The new forums are at https://community.adobe.com/t5/ColdFusion/bd-p/coldfusion. In there, content created or edited in the forums between Aug 22 and mid-day Sep 9 is indeed missing.
Update 2: but here’s some good news is that I learned after writing this that the CF team had indeed been synching the forums with the portal, so you will find that the portal (this site, where you’re reading this) DOES have copies of the forum threads, even up to mid-today.
For instance, here’s a thread on CF licensing issues for asserted “SAAS” companies, which was on the forums at https://forums.adobe.com/message/11252710, and which is showing also on the CF portal as https://coldfusion.adobe.com/discussion/2648828/, including content written today, Sep 12, the day of the cutover (see update 2, following). Interestingly, the forum thread URL does work today, at 9p on Sep 12. Not sure how long such forums.adobe.com messages will remain, before they cutover to the new equivalent at community.adobe.com (such as this one today on that new version of the forums: https://community.adobe.com/t5/ColdFusion/How-to-handle-gt-200mb-data-file-using-ColdFusion/td-p/10604743.)
The rest here remains from my original posting on Sep 3, which was to tell you about the issue of the pending loss of data between those dates in case you missed it, and to share some thoughts (which I’m sure some others will hold).
(And in case you may think, “maybe it doesn’t apply to the CF forums, since it’s not named among those products above”, it does. I know because because as an ACP, I was just given today advanced access to see the new forums that will replace it, along with an indication that they are due to take effect on Sep 9. I’m unable to speak about the new forums, naturally. Suffice it to say that there are lots of nice things about them, and also some challenges as I have shared in private feedback today.)
And I am updating this post to clarify that this news is only about the more long-standing Adobe *Forums*, such as https://forums.adobe.com/community/coldfusion/, not the newer CF Portal (https://coldfusion.adobe.com/), where you are reading this.
Back to this loss of content before then, some may think I’m making too much of this. But the forums are a valuable resource of knowledge. Google searches lead to them, so people do rely upon them. To just lose 2 weeks of content is just amazing.
Would this be tolerated for “important” data?
This seems to suggest an architectural decision someone made to base the new version on a backup taken on Aug 22, without any recourse to protect the new posts AND replies offered to any of the forums after that date.
This is really tragic, for the sake of the info that will be lost–and across all these forums, even the non-CF ones.
For example, the front page of the ColdFusion forum shows 13 discussions going back to 5 days ago (as far back as it will show). And in choosing the “get a feed of this content” option offered at the bottom of the page, it lists up to 50 items in the RSS feed which have had new or replied content since Aug 22 (and between now and the rest of the week that could easily approach 100).
It just seems a shoddy choice that would never be tolerated for information deemed “important”, and that someone has decided these forums posts and replies for two weeks (across the several dozen Adobe forum spaces, well beyond just CF) are not “important” enough to worry about their loss. Why isn’t the new system being based on a backup taken instead the weekend before the cutover? Where is this being discussed, if it has been?
How would you know (or how might you miss) this news?
So it is indeed quite lamentable to learn of this LOSS of information, without any provision to protect it. And you’d be forgiven for not knowing this was happening. I did not, until today.
As I showed at the opening, this message appears on the front page of each Adobe forum. But I never saw it until today, because I hardly ever go to the front page of the forums. Instead, I get notified of them by email (an option in the old forum) and I then follow the link offered to go directly to the forum post in question.
So again I am pointing this out here for others who either hadn’t noticed or hadn’t seen that warning.
Can anything be done to preserve the content? It doesn’t seem so
So can we do anything about it? It seems not, or at least not easily. First there’s capturing it, then there’s re-posting it. Neither looks promising to automate, if Adobe is not going to do it for us.
To be clear, that RSS feed I referred to only lists the title and brief content from the top-level posts that are new or replied to recently. It does NOT hold the content of those replies (or the entire new thread message), so we can’t rely on that.
And I mentioned getting email notifications about posts and replies, but that’s only for the forums I follow. Again, this is happening across ALL those Adobe forums mentioned above.
If you have any key content you’d like to preserve, you’ll want to do it now. And then I guess post it again in the new forums, if you want people to see it. Indeed, I’d recommend those who created important threads may want to capture both their post AND the replies so far, so that when they may re-create it in the new forum, they can post both their initial message AND the replies. While in doing that the connection back to each contributor will be lost, at least the content will be there to be captured by Google going forward.
Of course, time will tell how well content in the new forums DOES get captured by Google and other search engines. No way to tell that for sure until then. And yep, change is often hard.
Again, this is not just a ColdFusion issue
Before closing, I want to reiterate that this is not a “CF issue”, and it is not controlled by the “CF team”. It’s an Adobe-wide issue, controlled by an Adobe team, affecting dozens of other products beyond CF.
And perhaps there may well be some supporter of another Adobe product who has raised a similar blog post of concern about this coming loss of data. I am not aware, as I don’t frequent any other Adobe product forums or follow bloggers on other Adobe products.
But surely many users of all the affected forums will not know of it, for not seeing this or any such blog posts, or not noticing or seeing the warning on the forums.
It just seems so sad that potentially thousands of forum threads and replies (across dozens of Adobe products) and reflecting the work of hundreds of participants (and perhaps thousands of hours of contributions) are just going to be “lost”. Poof.
Grr. Anyway, at least now YOU know.