Archiving the Catholic forum : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Some weeks ago ther was talk that the Greenspun forum is no longer being maintained, and that from this point on, any significant crash may be its last.

This forum is such a treasure trove of good information--why don't we collaboratively begin to archive and organize those posts that are worthy of preservation? Perhaps we could put them into an Access database and I could build a ColdFusion website to search and reference it.

-- Skoobouy (, October 04, 2002


The alternative I can think of is a Catholic group @ Members join and recieve e-mails advising on new discussions. It would be a shame to see all this participation evaporate.

-- aka max (, October 04, 2002.

Hello, Skoobouy.

I can think of a way in which the labor of copying and protectively saving could be divided among us and accomplished. (I am referring to saving pages [copying and pasting the HTML source] to our own hard disks and/or diskettes.)

However I don't know how the saved pages would then be reassembled at an alternate site. Can you explain, in more detail, what you have in mind?

I use a couple of Microsoft Access databases at work, but they have nothing to do with the Internet. Why did you mention Access?
Also, I have no idea what a "ColdFusion website" is. Can you send us to one that already exists?

How would you load the archive? How would you get all the saved pages from those participating -- by e-mail?

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, October 04, 2002.

aka Max,

The Catholic Group @ Yahoo is a beautiful site! Thank you for mentioning that.


-- MaryLu (, October 04, 2002.

aka Max,

What happened to Xavier?

I miss that guy. He use to give me a good laugh!


-- ::: (:@:@:@:@:@:@.@@.@), October 04, 2002.


ColdFusion is a competitor to ASP--it is a Web scripting language that connects a simple Web site to an Access database.

The first step would be to collect the entire HTML source of the Catholic forum, sift through it, and find the threads and posts of genuine value. Then, I build a Website with a ColdFusion form to copy and paste the contents of the good threads into an organized Access database. This will allow users to search the database contents by author, subject, etc. using simple HTML forms.

A lot of big companies use ColdFusion; you can tell by the *.cfm file extension on their Web pages. I learned how to do it last summer and I have a couple of projects pending right now, of which archiving Greenspun would be a kind of "2nd priority," next to the vocations page for my diocese.

-- Skoobouy (, October 05, 2002.

Well, Skoobouy, that helped a bit, but you'll have to pardon my ignorance (despite my having been in computers for over 25 yeras). Try to imagine my frustration when you referred to ColdFusion as a "competitor to ASP" -- since I have no idea what ASP is!!! My work has been in mainframe computers, so I have been gradually dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of microcomputers (from the late '80s) and the Internet (from around 1994).

Oh, well. I guess that it is good enough to say simply that I am with you on this. Though my free time is extremely limited, I would try to lend you a hand. If/when the time comes, let me know what you'd like me to do.


-- (, October 05, 2002.

Ahhh, John. A man after my own heart. It has only been 18 years (well, 22 if you count college) of computer work for me. The first 10 were strictly in the mainframe world. But 10 years ago I went into the Unix world. Love that. Hate Microsoft software, programming and servers.

But we must go where the work is.

Skoobuoy, if you decide to go ahead with this, let me know via the forum. I'll help if I can.

-- Glenn (, October 07, 2002.

I'll try some "one-upmanship," Glenn ...
I hate both Microsoft AND Unix!
But glad to hear that you have some sympathy for mainframe dinosaurs like me. [I started on IBM 360s and 370s.] I look forward to retirement!

-- (, October 07, 2002.

Hi John,

Actually, I defined what they are in my post: "it is a Web scripting language that connects a simple Web site to an Access database"

ASP (Active Server Pages) is made by Microsoft. ColdFusion was invented by Allaire, and is now owned by Macromedia. Macromedia also has another one, called JSP (Java Server Pages).

I would be happy to do all of the programming and stuff. The biggest challenge is simply knowing which threads to preserve, how much of them to preserve, and whether they are preserved in their entirety.

-- Skoobouy (, October 08, 2002.

In many cases, threads will be obvious "keepers."
In some cases, threads will be obvious trashcan material.
In some cases, it will be a toss-up, and we may need to vote!
Well, maybe every thread should be kept or eliminated by a "majority rules" vote of a panel (odd number of people).

When a thread has been chosen to be copied, someone will have to read through it, looking for useless junk to purge. (Maybe posts should be "nominated" for elimination, again according to the vote of a majority.)

This will be time-consuming! If we are thorough about it, we may not have time to participate in the forum itself! What about copying everything for starters -- and then slowly/gradually eliminating the trash later?

God bless you.

-- (, October 08, 2002.

Let me warn you that Access does not scale. We'll need something a bit more robust - mySQL or Microsoft SQL. If this gets going, send me know and I'll try to help.

I had starting something a while back on my own website, but didn't have the time to dedicate. I currently have a discussion thread with a Microsoft SQL backend that is designed for my CCE students.

-- Hollis (, October 09, 2002.

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