Migrating phpBB to NodeBB

I recently set about migrating an aging phpBB forum to NodeBB and ran into enough problems that I considered cancelling the whole project.

The phpBB exporter script has been updated various times, and I managed to find a fork which appears to work with phpBB 3.2. Unfortunately, it refused to install itself correctly and appeared to land in the wrong directory, so I had to manually clone the Github project into the expected subdirectory.

And bingo! The import worked, and after disabling/deleting unnecessary plugins and updating NodeBB to the latest branch, the majority of things were working as expected. A few things remain to be fixed, in particular navigating mongodb’s structure to perform a few custom replacements where the import script had trouble deciphering bbcode.

Fortunately StackOverflow provided a good start:

Using this I was able to find and replace those tags which had been missed and replace them with valid markdown.

[Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash]

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— Victor Klemperer

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