Archive Reboot Fail – I hate moving

A quick glance at the sidebar will show you that, like my friend Stephen Curry over at Reciprocal Space, I have had a go at importing the not-all-that-extensive Not Ranting… archive from the blog’s previous home.

Unfortunately, the import functionality is a bit limited – or else the Textile mark-up/ formatting that Nature Network used to use – and don’t even mention MT4 –  is not well understood by WP, at least when saved in a text based format. Probably one of those “But he said…” “No, but HE said” kind of things.


I did try out a couple of online Textile-to-HTML converters, but they balked at anything where the tags were embedded, so did not make things very much better.

The upshot is that the posts with a lot of formatting and links  in them all look pretty comprehensively borked, to the point of near unreadability.

Now, Stephen Curry perceptibly likened this moving blog to moving house. You get the boxes packed, and then shifted, but then restoring order afterwards takes some considerable time.

In my own case, the last time I moved house was about ten years ago.

Just last month, when I was having the windows in the house replaced and hence shifting boxes, I noticed that a few of the ones I was shifting were the same ones from ten years ago, as yet un-unpacked.

Which does not bode altogether well for the restoring of the blog archives…

However, rest assured that I WILL work my way through the archive here and try and make it readable. I will be starting with the recent stuff and working my way backwards. I will do the posts first, and then the comments threads later.

In the meantime, you can still find older posts “unscrambled” over at the blog’s old home on Nature Network.

About Austin

Middle-aged grouchy white male. Hair greying but hasn't all fallen out yet. Spreading waistline ill-concealed by baggy jumper.Semi-extinguished physiology researcher turned teacher. Known for never shutting up. Father of two children (aged 6 and 2) who try to out-talk him. Some would call that Karmic Revenge.
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6 Responses to Archive Reboot Fail – I hate moving

  1. cromercrox says:

    Sympathies, Austin. Mrs Crox and I used to do Extreme Conveyancing in the same way that other people do bungee-jumping. About a year after one house-move I was looking for a particular book. I searched high, low, and in the middle. Twice. I gave up, and sat down at the dining table, whereupon I kicked the box that was always underneath the dining table for some reason, and had been there fore a year. No, you’re way ahead of me.

    I’ve decided to leave my archive at NN. The posts are really old, and there are an awful lot of them.

    Importing my more recent posts from blogger was faster than a hot buttered ferret down a Teflon(TM) trouserleg.

  2. Jenny says:

    I haven’t tried yet importing mine yet, but people keep saying that one M. Fenner holds the magic key to pain-free export…is this just an urban myth?

  3. Austin says:


    That kind of stuff happens to me at home and at the office. Usually I manage to remember just about where stuff is, but when I do forget it is usually in the order of an Epic Fail. I sometimes keep two copies of things to get around this, but of course that just increase the amount of paper still further.

    If I remember I may add a home and office pic to illustrate the scale of the problem. ..


    Yes, I heard that Martin Fenner rumour. I can sort of believe it, as Martin has a couple of orders of magnitude more computer/IT skills than lesser mortals like me. Thus he might well have discovered a Textile –> HTML converter that does the job perfectly. There were certainly several different things online that said they were Textile–>HTML converters, but most were program routines that you would have to run in some kind of computing environment, rather than standalone “Paste your text in this box and press GO” things.

  4. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    I’ve imported my Blogger archives (incredibly easy), but after the hassles you and Stephen have had with the Nature Network archives I’m glad I held off.

    (I realise this doesn’t help you at all. Sorry).

  5. Austin says:


    Well it LOOKS incredibly easy to import the NN textfile archive – WP successfully detects all the posts, with the correct dates, and all the comments too. It is just the formatting within the posts (and comments) that is borked.

    The frustrating thing is that one doesn’t usually use that many formatting commands in Textile: I can “read” them (by looking at them), ergo there should be a translator programme somewhere that can do it. It is just not trivially easy to find one.

    I reckon it takes me about 40 min to “fix” the formatting in an averagely lengthy Austin post. Since the archive was only just past 20 posts that is a do-able job, though annoying. I actually did about half a dozen of them last night, as the cable TV was out. Of course, it takes longer if you want to fix the formatting in the comments too.

  6. Austin says:

    PS Just did a couple more – 40 min the pair, including a couple of extended comments. Have now “fixed” almost all the stuff more recent than July.

    Used this converter, which helps a bit.

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