Jonathan had three questions:
(1)Is the goal to have them [the archive content] searchable, with the information available in mailing headers, and perhaps other things that could be parsed (e.g. Greek words used, Scriptural references)?
(2) Or is the goal to have an edited collection of the good stuff, perhaps in the phpBB system?
(3) Or is the goal to integrate them somehow with the existing system? (This seems ambitious to me if phpBB is the starting point - but perhaps a standalone search page covering both would be more feasible.)
(3) I think it would be very difficult to bring the archive content into the php format. Providing links to relevant threads may be the best we could hope. But even this is fraught with difficulty. Take the post from July, 1998 (one of the first real content posts in the most recent e-mail archive forum http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/1998-July/thread.html
) titled "Concepts and Words" http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/1998-July/000447.html
. This thread, which is a broken thread (not nested) had about 10 responses. The archives are grouped by month, so there could be replies to that thread in the next month's archive, or even later. The topic of that post is really 'The meaning and etymology of προσκυνέω'. Eventually a reference to John 4:22 comes into the picture.
The motivation (of developing a method of linking to or cataloging the archives is that there is 18 years of great content on the B-Greek e-mail list that is eternally archived. The switch to the php-forum is not the problem, because on the email list, a person still had to know that messages were archived and had to know the URL of the archives (there are two main archive email formats) in order to find them. The main problem is that there are no links in the current php forum to the last 18 years of B-Greek content. (We can be happy as B-Greek members that we are not in the same boat as Textkit, who lost years of their content when their php forum had been compromised).
In my opinion, the thing that would give the most bang for the buck, and be seen of value to our members, would be to provide a gateway to the archives in each sub-forum. Currently, many new members do not even know that of 20 years of B-Greek postings, only the last two years are available on our php forum platform. An interface needs to be set up to allow interested and helpful members to go through the archive content and match posts to a sub-forum in the current php Forum, using: (1) Greek words, (2) Scripture references, (3) Topics (key words) (not necessarily the header of any given e-mail in the archives)
(2) Importing 'the good stuff' into the new php forum would mean that (1) content would have to be filtered (2) edited and (3) posted by an anonymous B-Greek archives user. I think that there is a place for resurrecting certain posts from the e-mail list into the current forum only if there is an ongoing discussion of a topic that was extensively discussed on the e-mail list. But to do such a project wholesale would be a task that would never see completion. Perhaps we need an additional forum titled 'Best of the Archives' where we can make the link between proto b-Greek and neo b-greek happen.
(1) Yes. Having the archive searchable from the main B-Greek forum page would be ideal. The current php "Seach" and "Advanced Search" are able to retrieve content only from the current forum and only if the search term is not pervasive (pervasive = too common). I've tried to use the php Search field numerous times, and most of the time get the result
The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words: word.
You must specify at least one word to search for. Each word must consist of at least 3 characters and must not contain more than 14 characters excluding wildcards.
If I want to find content on B-Greek, I usually have to go to Google or Bing and use the advanced search limiting the search to the URL http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum
and if I want to also search the archives, I have to find that long string of URLs (site:..... OR,) and paste them into my query. This is not easy, not fun, irritating (should not technology be simple?) and 95 times out of 100 will never happen because the querying member just gives up because of the extreme hassle of trying to do such a search.
So the real question is the answer to the #1 question. How does the current php forum (1) link to the archives and (2) provide opportunities to search the archives.