As SQLA 2.0 seems to be available soon:

I'd like to get to know the resume that has been taken from the results of Mark's (not too unambiguos) poll "What do you want done with the newsgroup data?".

So, dear SQLA 2.0 developers, please let us know what kind of newsgroup import variant or archive site are you gonna present to us?

(No, I won't ask why...)

asked 09 Nov '10, 16:06

Volker%20Barth's gravatar image

Volker Barth
accept rate: 34%

edited 18 Mar '11, 11:35

Mark%20Culp's gravatar image

Mark Culp

I know all of you are eager to learn about what we have been doing, so here is the current state of SQLA 2.0:

We have spent the last many months porting OSQA to use SQL Anywhere as its back end database (the port actually only took an hour or so since SA's django driver "just worked" :-) and making enhancements to it to be able to better serve our needs. Some of the changes that we have made are:

  • The login authentication allows the user to use the MySybase credentials in addition to Google OpenID. (Other OpenID providers may be added later).

  • Comments are "threaded" like they are in newsgroups. i.e. there is a hierarchy to the comments. You have the choice to view the comments in chronological order (similar to SQLA 1.0) or in their hierarchical order (with child comments indented slightly from their parent).

  • The owner of the question, the owner of the answer, or a user with sufficient reputation can promote a comment to be an answer. When a comment is promoted to be an answer all of comments that are its children follow the entry and become a comment to the now-new-answer.

  • OSQA was modified to use SQL Anywhere's full text search capability.

  • OSQA was enhanced to support attachments of arbitrary content (not just images).

  • The system will mark entries that have been imported from other sources (e.g. from SQLA 1.0) to indicate that those entries are covered under a different license (e.g. SQLA 1.0 content is covered under Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 - see Chris Kleisath's response).

  • Various other minor changes: logos, styles, etc.

  • ... and a few other changes (that I cannot think of at the moment).

We have been using a version of the revised OSQA software internally for quite a few months and believe it is ready to go live.... but we need to wait for Sybase IT to do some "magic" to make the site visible to the internet.

Once SQLA 2.0 is accessible to the world we will load in the SQLA 1.0 data - i.e. this site's data - and then plan to have a period of time where the user community can try it out and give us feedback. Sometime during the beta period we will announce the date for the official switch-over to occur. On that date we will take a final dump of the SQLA 1.0 data and put it into the new SQLA 2.0 database. Note: Any data entered into the SQLA 2.0 site during the beta period will be lost.

At some later time - within a few weeks to months of SQLA 2.0 going live - we plan to load the newsgroup data into SQLA 2.0 and all SQL Anywhere related newsgroups will be changed to be read-only.

  • A posting will be made on all of these newsgroups prior to the switch to warn all current SQL Anywhere newsgroup users and to ask them to start using the SQLA 2.0 site instead. This posting will be made sometime after SQLA 2.0 goes live.

  • When we import the newsgroup data into SQLA 2.0, each top-level question will become a question in the Q&A site and each response to the newsgroup question will become a comment to the question. Since SQLA 2.0 supports threaded comments the threadedness of the original newsgroup information will not be lost.

  • Since SQLA 2.0 comments can be promoted to be an answer our hope is that over time each posting that contains a viable answer to the question will get promoted to be an answer in SQLA 2.0.

  • All content that originated in the newsgroups will be owned by a special user (e.g. NTTP) and will be apropriately tagged to indicate which newsgroup it originated. The content of the entry in SQLA 2.0 will contain the original poster's name.

Note that I have not given any dates to when any of this is going to happen because at this time we don't know the answer to that part of the process. This community (and the newsgroup community) will be notified when we know this information and everyone will be invited to participate in the new SQLA 2.0 Q&A forum.

... so stay tuned!

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answered 09 Nov '10, 18:04

Mark%20Culp's gravatar image

Mark Culp
accept rate: 41%

edited 09 Nov '10, 18:10

So user "NNTP" is gonna have a whole WHACKLOAD of reputation points from day one, right? :)

(09 Nov '10, 18:24) Breck Carter

@Breck: No. User NNTP will not initially have any reputation because when we load the NNTP data "under the covers" there is no adjustment to the user reputation. Once the data is loaded and users choose to up-vote entries owned by NNTP then the user will gain rep points.

(09 Nov '10, 18:55) Mark Culp

@Mark: Great information, and fine that it is available now:) Just a few more questions (call me curious...): 1. Any plans to count upvotes on comments as rep points (cf. 2. Any plans to associate particular NNTP users with SQLA users (cf. Breck's comment on - or a facility to take ownership of a imported NNTP question/comment? (Note: All regarded as "nice to have" features!)

(09 Nov '10, 20:05) Volker Barth

@volker: 1) Nothing has been done so far to award rep points for upvoted comments. 2) This is difficult to do in a fair and equitable manner. Our current thought is to keep the data import process simple so we can get it done this century :-) I would in fact like to go live with the newsgroup data in SQLA 2.0 but, again, we are trying to make the switch to SQLA 2.0 as soon as we can and we want to make sure we get it right, so we are doing one step at a time. A subset of the newsgroup data may be put into SQLA 2.0 during the beta period so users can see what it is going to look like.

(09 Nov '10, 22:30) Mark Culp

@All: I should also note that in OSQA there is no limit on the length of a comment (actually, the size is admin-configurable but I see no reason to make the size limit fairly large). Also, comments can be formatted in the same way that questions and answers can be formatted - if you look under the covers at the OSQA DB schema you will see that questions, answers, and comments are all in the same table with each type of entry having a different "flag" to indicate what it is.

(09 Nov '10, 22:36) Mark Culp

@Mark: So you are motivating me for more that loooooong comments? - I'm not sure whether this is for the good of the community:) - Besides that, I agree that a fast launch is better than too much features. Your plans sound well-thought - thanks.

(09 Nov '10, 23:07) Volker Barth

@Mark: Will the current users be ported to SQLA 2.0 or will everyone have to create a fresh login?

(10 Nov '10, 14:43) Reimer Pods

@Reimer: According to, your login can be ported as long as you supply an email address:)

(10 Nov '10, 15:35) Volker Barth

@Reimer: Volker has already answered your question, but I wanted to add that once SQLA 2.0 is accessible to the internet we will need to do some additional testing (and possibly some tweaks) so that the users get moved over smoothly. In the meantime, make sure that your SQLA user account has a valid email address so that it can be used to reset your SQLA 2.0 account's password. This may not needed but I think it is better to have a fallback solution than none at all :-)

(10 Nov '10, 17:47) Mark Culp
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To answer my particular question, I dare to quote from Mark's elaborate explanation:

At some later time - within a few weeks to months of SQLA 2.0 going live - we plan to load the newsgroup data into SQLA 2.0 and all SQL Anywhere related newsgroups will be changed to be read-only.

That's the Migrate to SQLA (Bulk Load) approach, it seems.

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answered 09 Nov '10, 20:09

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Volker Barth
accept rate: 34%

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question asked: 09 Nov '10, 16:06

question was seen: 3,871 times

last updated: 18 Mar '11, 11:35