[Lyceum-users] blogs.jhu.edu now runs Lyceum!

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Sat Sep 2 01:04:19 EDT 2006

Thanks to the help of Rich Ercolani, we migrated our users' data at 
blogs.jhu.edu from our installation of LiveJournal (which is GPL software; 
see livejournal.org) to Lyceum.  This involved a few Python scripts and 
patches that you can get from my public svn repository:


Each *.py file has a section called HOWTO that says how to use it. 
There's also a directory called "patches" that are the patches we applied 
to Lyceum and LiveJournal.  Specifics on those patches are documented 

LiveJournal has a built-in difference between community and personal 
blogs.  If this isn't evidence enough of "weird" design, you can actually 
*log in* to LiveJournal's web interface as a community.  Freaky.

Anyway, the strategy we took in doing the export was:

0. Install Lyceum 0.34 branch somewhere via "svn co ..."

1. Download all usernames and passwords and email addresses for LJ users

2. Patch Lyceum so that the batch user creation form at
    http://blogs.jhu.edu/system-admin/user-management.php takes passwords
    as well as usernames and email addresses, plus it doesn't email users
    on creation of their blog

3. Patch LiveJournal so that it exports the author of a post (which it
    didn't do before, meaning community export was useless!)

4. Patch Lyceum's LiveJournal importer so it respects private entries and
    better handles titleless posts, as well as disabling the "Welcome to
    WordPress!" default blog entry

5. Programmatically export all users from LJ, yielding a directory of XML

6. Programmatically import all users to Lyceum based on those XML files

7. Repeat (5) and (6) for "community" (i.e., multi-user) blogs, but
    manually create the "community" blogs first since I didn't succeed at
    automating their creation

8. Announce!

Note that comments haven't yet been imported.  I haven't figured out a 
reasonable way to automate that.  The code and patches to do all this (and 
more...) is available at 
http://svn.asheesh.org/svn/public/code/lyceum_livejournal/ .  Comments and 
questions welcome.

A million thanks to Rich Ercolani, who helped a lot with the code to make 
this happen, and to Venkatesh Srinivas, who provided the essential 
prodding to motivate me to actually do this.

Comments and questions welcome.  You should probably only reply to the 
list(s) you are subscribed to; this is a bit crossposted.

-- Asheesh.

The American nation in the sixth ward is a fine people; they love the
eagle -- on the back of a dollar.
 		-- Finlay Peter Dunne

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