User:Conversion script

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The "Conversion script" was the script which converted Wikipedia from UseModWiki format to the phase II format. It extracted the latest version of all the pages from the UseModWiki database, then carried out the following additional tasks to convert the pages to Phase II format:

  • Moved all talk pages from the "<title>/Talk" to the new talk namespace at "Talk:<title>". Any pages with the title "/talk" disappeared from the database. All links to talk pages were fixed automatically.
  • Fixed subpage links. For example, if the animal article had a link to a page titled animal/Types, it would usually be written as "/Types". The script would change this to read "[[Animal/Types|/Types]]"
  • Automatically added links from a subpage to its parent page. This was probably done because subpages were turned off in the main namespace when the Phase II software was introduced. For example, see this diff at Geography of Poland, which was at the title Poland/Geography in January 2002.
  • In talk pages, it changed links of the form [[dog]] to [[:dog|dog]].

This conversion occurred on 25 January 2002. However, most of the edits by the script are dated from February 2002 due to an early database glitch that was once called the "great oops". Originally, no history from any of the articles could be seen from before the conversion occurred — most of the articles which existed before phase II appeared to have been started by the conversion script. On 20 September 2002, Brion Vibber managed to extract the surviving history from the UseModWiki era and added it to the main English Wikipedia database. However, the last edit to each page under UseModWiki was not imported, so the diffs of edits by Conversion script often show the last edit along with the conversion. See this diff and User:Ryguasu/conversion script AI for more details. Sometimes, the missing edit can be imported from the Nostalgia Wikipedia, and in cases where this has occurred, the diff will appear like this.

Some edits by the conversion script are attributed under the username 0 due to a bug in a very early version of MediaWiki.

The conversion script also ran on the Nostalgia Wikipedia in January 2005; some of these edits were later erroneously imported and appear to revert articles to their 2001 versions.

Edits under this account name were initially written to the database with a user ID number of 0 and the username "Conversion script" was not officially registered until April 2006, when a vandal created an account under this name and used it for spamming and blanking pages; it was subsequently blocked. The edits under this username were later moved to a non-0 user ID number, the same one generated during the April 2006 account creation, as part of the actor migration.

The code for the script can be found at convertWiki2SQL.php and importUseModWiki.php in SVN.


The Working Wikipedian's Barnstar
This is long overdue. Thanks for saving us humans from doing all that tedious work, Conversion script. Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:58, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

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