Victory!

After many hours of effort, much downloading, re-downloading, checking and double-checking, some headaches and discoveries...


...I can now declare VICTORY! I have saved this blog from the folly that is Photobucket!


***


I will post a more detailed account of what I did soon, but a few highlights:

  • I hadn't written any Python code for at least five years. Google searches saved me.
  • Google also frustrated me in its lack of documentation for its Blogger API, at least in certain key areas.
  • Google drove me a little crazy too: there's a bug in the Blogger API so when you get a post's content, one important (to me) part of the html code was unexpectedly modified. Having to write code to deal with other people's bugs is a significant part of programming unfortunately.
  • It's pretty satisfying to see your "finished" code working as expected, churning through 2000 blog posts and downloading image after image.
  • It's even more satisfying the second time you do it (because there was a problem with the way you did it the first time that you didn't notice...)
  • It took about 4 hours to cycle through all my posts and download all 22,000 images. 
  • The second time I did it in 4 parts concurrently, so it only took 1 hour. Work smarter, not harder!
  • I got to review a lot of my old posts -- I probably wouldn't have done this otherwise!
  • I found some posts with broken image links (and fixed them)
  • Scarily, I discovered that the Blogger "import content" button does not work. Yes I can use the "Backup" button to download a huge XML file of the entire blog (posts, comments, etc.), but with no way to restore it, what's the point? 
Some of you will probably want to know which image hosting service I chose to replace Photobucket. (If you don't remember why I went through all of this, please read this older post)

The answer is: none.

I have no desire to go through something like this again. What if the host I chose went out of business, or decided to start charging lots of money, or reduced the quality of their service? (Or any other crazy thing that they have the right to do.)

No thank you! I instead just copied the image files to one of my hosted websites, in this case nimblemill.com. I control what's on that site, and I'm already paying for it so why not use it? (You can't see any of these images if you go to nimblemill.com, but they're on that same server.)

I've done lots of checking of the results, but...

...I would appreciate help in reviewing some of the older posts. After one change I made the "read more" links were mostly broken/removed, so the entire posts were being displayed on the main page (without having to click "read more"). I believe I've fixed all of these, but if you find one -- or any other problem -- please let me know! 

(Note that the fastest way to look for this problem is to use the blog archives links at the left. They show a full month's worth of posts at a time, and it's easy to scroll through and see if anything is showing as a full post instead of a snippet.)

Now that this fun but frustrating task is finished (hopefully), I can start posting again. I have a few things that I've been dying to share!

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danger garden  – (October 23, 2017 at 11:54 PM)  

Congratulations! Of course my happiness for you is tinged with fear. Reading your highlights I’m confident if something like this ever happens to me I’m screwed. There’s no way I could do what you describe!

Alan  – (October 24, 2017 at 5:40 AM)  

Loree: but you know somebody who can do it now. :)

Lisa  – (October 24, 2017 at 5:45 AM)  

Congratulations and thank you for all of your hard work! I am down to reading about four blogs on a regular basis and yours is still on the top of my list - relatable content and wonderful photos keep my coming back!

outlawgardener  – (October 24, 2017 at 9:14 AM)  

Impressive that you were able to do this. Like Loree, I'd have no idea what to do in a similar situation and would probably just give up. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 24, 2017 at 2:41 PM)  

Whew, you must be relieved that it worked--and I'm so glad it did.

So if the Import Content button didn't work, what did you do?

Alan  – (October 24, 2017 at 2:56 PM)  

Gerhard: I'll have details soon, but I used the Blogger API to access each post and update the content.

Anna K  – (October 25, 2017 at 11:42 AM)  

I am beyond impressed - not only that you did it, but that you figured out HOW to do it. My hat's off to you, and I'm so glad you did it. I would hate for your blog to disappear!

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