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Are there / were there any initiatives for standardizing forum content storage?

Over the years forums that I've moderated have gone through cycles where due to change in engine, old content was effectively gone forever. I am wondering if there is any kind of compliance that one can seek out in a forum engine so that migrating from one engine to another is possible.

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Jeff Atwood is one of the founders of this site. He since left StackExchange to create a forum product called Discourse. I found a thread on his site with comments from him that are relevant:

... "all data must be migrated" is the Vietnam of forum software, leading to massive retention of ancient forum versions across the web and a huge black eye for forum software in general. I heard an untold number of horror stories from companies that do nothing but specialize in forum migrations. I could see it in their eyes.. I remember.. I remember everything..

Based on his comments, it appears that there is no standard for forum content storage that would facilitate forum software migrations.

  • Damn, that's an authoritative view even if I disagree with Jeff. – Sridhar Sarnobat Dec 19 '16 at 20:30
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    Just a note that is relevant to me but not the question I asked - Jeff also says: What exactly would be the downside of 14 years of read-only forum archives at a slightly different URL, and the forum starting over? I guess that's the other half of this situation that I should consider - retaining the old forum read-only. – Sridhar Sarnobat Dec 20 '16 at 20:42

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