Using RSS to Bring In the Old Content
The fine folks at 1&1 were able to pull a copy of my blog database out of cold storage. The upshot of this is that I have my old content back, which is a good thing for historical reasons if nothing else. The bad side of this is getting the content of the old blog into the new blog.
It turns out the easiest way to do this is to use the Aggregator2 module in Drupal. This will import items in an RSS feed and make them items in Drupal. While this can easily be used for nefarious means, I am using this on my own content, so I am only being nefarious to myself. Since I publish a full RSS feed and it was a relatively simple matter for me to make an XML feed of everything posted to my blog, it makes it very easy to import all the postings. It preserves the original posting date as well.
Almost. PHP, which is the language that Drupal is written in, puts an upper limit on how long a script can execute before it is automatically terminated. This can be a good thing to prevent a runaway program from running forever. However, it causes problems when you are doing something that is just going to take a while, for example importing 800+ blog entries. So I’m doing the import in two chunks. Still better than the alternative.
There are still going to be some issues, namely that in-line pictures may not work right and/or some content will be copied over to my personal blog. That is one reason I am importing the items unpublished so I can manually review them before publishing them. That process is going to take a while, but far less than the alternative process would have been.
In any case, continue to bear with me and provide feedback as desired.