Update On Migration Of developerWorks Content
January 15, 2020 Alex Woodie
On New Year’s Day, IBM fulfilled its promise to turn off the developerWorks Connections website, which hosted technical content posted by members of the IBM i community. But before it hit the “delete” button, Big Blue worked with content owners to migrate the most active content to other websites, to redirect browser traffic, and to archive the rest.
IBM made good on its previous promise to ensure that no content was left behind when it permanently shuttered the popular developerWorks Connections website. It was forced to make that promise after it caused an uproar in October, when it announced that the developerWorks Connections website would be turned off on December 31 as part of a housekeeping effort to “reduce the number of duplicate client interaction portals.” IBM’s plan was to consolidate the developerWorks Connections content into two main locations, including the IBM Community website and IBM Support.
Driven by fear that their work would be deleted, a number of IBM i community members scrambled to find ways to copy anything of value they had posted to their developerWorks Connections websites. That turned out to not be necessary, as IBM already had plans to archive the content, even if it didn’t tell users that.
According to Greg Gorman, the IBM director who owned the developerWorks website (which IBM has rebranded as IBM Developer), IBM has been working since September to contact the owners of developerWorks Connections content to determine where to re-host the content. While not all of the content will be re-hosted, IBM has made progress in rehosting much of it.
Gorman and his team put the old developerWorks Connections content into three buckets, depending on the volume of Web traffic to the site and whether a content owner was able to be identified.
In the “A” bucket are developerWorks Connections pages that have no traffic or very low traffic (basically just Web crawlers) and where content owner could not be identified. This represented the vast majority of sites, about 3,500 in all, Gorman said.
In the “B” bucket are sites where the content owner was identified and the content was successfully migrated to a new site. There are about 200 sites in this category.
In the “C” bucket are sites where the content owner was identified, but more time was needed to complete the migration. There are about 20 sites in this category, but some of them are quite large.
“We have as of 2 Jan applied HTTP 301 redirects for sites of type ‘A,’ sending them to the home page of the new IBM Community site,” Gorman tells IT Jungle via email. “The content is archived and if/when someone needs the data, we will be able to provide it. We don’t know who the owners/curators are so we can’t decide what should move where (Support, Community, Knowledge Center, Doc) for example. The site is still technically ‘alive’ but hidden, so we can quickly bring back a community if an owner is identified and then get them the data and advise them on the best location for it.”
For type “B” content, IBM has placed strategic HTTP 301 redirects to the locations that the content owners have provided, Gorman says. “It can be many places, depending on what the content is and how it is used,” he says.
For the “C” bucket content, Gorman says: “We are actively working with them (these are the larger sites like [System] Z) to help them move. Their sites are currently untouched and still fully active.”
IBMers have also affected by the move. The IBM i Technology Updates wiki that previously was hosted on developerWorks Connections portal can now be found on the IBM Support portal, Db2 for i Business Architect Scott Forstie announced via Twitter the first week in January.
Forstie and friends have completed migration of the IBM i Services (SQL) portion of IBM i Technology Updates that used to be on developerWorks at IBM Support, which can be accessed at ibm.biz/Db2foriServices (or www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/1119123). However, attempts to access the full IBM i Technology Updates or even Db2 for i updates were presented with a “Yikes” 404 error. “Migration progress is noteworthy, but not yet complete,” Forstie tweeted.
Other teams are making progress, too. The IBM Rational Developer for i Hub has moved to the IBM Support portal and can be accessed at ibm.biz/rdi_hub (or www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/1105665 if completely non-descriptive URLs are your thing).