The long awaited oppopacolypse comes... and then seemingly stops just as quickly as it began. While it seems we have more time here, I for one don’t feel super secure with “G/O Media is reevaluating the options for maintaining Kinja user pages and they will remain accessible at this time”.
While we might be able to post and use oppo on kinja for some time to come, backing up any posts worth saving and figuring out a permanent home to post is still probably a good idea. Fortunately, there are options. At the risk of adding to the noise, I’ve tried to compile the options to one place since the information seems scattered everywhere:
The oppo lifeboat: Discord
Over 200 strong and rising. Most everyone there has carried over their usernames and icons. ‘But I like the blog format!’ you cry. So do I, and most of us. That is why Discord is the lifeboat - a good place to keep in touch and sort this out while the real-deal replacement is being built. Replacement you say?
Oppo 2: 100% less Kinja
Oh yes. I’ve seen a lot of posts throwing out oppositelock.com this morning, but figured I’d give as much of the story as I’ve gathered for anyone just tuning in: Brian, the life of purchased oppositelock.com some time ago for just this reason.
Of course, having a domain name is not the same as a full fledged blogging platform we can actually use. If you go to URL right now, what you see is a blog site with a test post or two. This is not the working replacement. I am throwing that out because in the heat of things this morning I saw a few people complain that they couldn’t create an account/log in.
While Brian has the domain, Nick has an Exxocet and at least one other oppo have been working at setting up a wordpress based blog that mimics the look and feel of Kinja (but hopefully with less bugs!). Based off what I’ve seen on the discord channels it seems to be coming along nicely, but will take some time to finish.
What does this all mean? Assuming Nick has the site all ironed out, Brian would need to allow the domain to be used for it. Hosting would need to be paid for on an ongoing basis. Many have offered to chip in for this if and/or when it happens. There’s also the potential for support by add revenue, which opens a whole other discussion. All that said, this seems like the current best solution to a permanent replacement to the oppo on kinja we know and love/hate/tolerate/?
Backing up old posts
Whether oppo ends up living forever here or not, given the uncertainty it might be a good time to back up your old posts/images. There are 2 ways I’ve seen to do that.
Option 1: less technical route - browser extension
Tripper posted a guide on doing this earlier today, but it got buried. I haven’t tried this method, but if you don’t feel comfortable setting up a Python environment than this might be your best bet.
Option 2: Thanks Just Jeepin’
Over in the Discord channels Just Jeepin’ posted some code he wrote to scrape out text/html and images from a user’s posts. I was able to use it successfully myself this morning so I know it works. It does, however, require installing Python and using the command line. I’ll try to explain the simplest steps to getting it going.
The link above is to the git repository for the code. If you’ve used git, then you can check out the repo that way... and if you can do that, you can probably figure out the rest of this yourself. For everybody else, read on.
On that page if you select the green ‘Clone or Download’ button you can download a .zip of the code without using git. Once that has finished you can extract it and see the following:
The readme is out of date, so ignore it. To run you will need to download Python. I downloaded version 3.8 for windows. A python environment in linux is probably more normal, but I did this in windows and it worked fine for me. The key when installing Python is this though:
Under advanced options, select ‘Add Python to environment variables’. That will make running the commands simpler.
Everything else will now be done on the command line. Clicking on the windows start menu icon and typing CMD should bring up the command prompt program.
Next I installed the required libraries used by the program. In the command prompt window type the following and hit enter:
This installs the beautifulsoup library required. I repeated this for all the libraries listed in the requirements.txt file, replacing beautifulsoup==4.8.1 with the next library
Now we’ll need to use the cd command to browse to the folder containing the kinja.py file. In the command line run the following (replacing C:\pathToFolder with the path to the extracted folder containing kinja.py)
With that finished, we can now run the backup. To back up just text/html the command is
python kinja.py YourKinjaUsername
to back up your images, run
python kinja.py YourKinjaUsername —-images
If it’s all working right your posts/images should download into folders, one folder for each year. Keep in mind that any images shown in the text/html version are linking back to the Oppo posts, so if Oppo gets nuked then those will be lost. It’s probably worth doing the photo download as well. Hopefully that worked and you now have all your glorious oppo posts backed up for all eternity (or until your hard drive expires).
So what now?·
It seems that at least for the time being, Oppo as we know it is safe. It might be permanent, or it might not. Even if it makes it through this current situation it might still go away next month or next year. While I tend to lurk and comment more then post here, I for one have really enjoyed our vaguely automotive community and will be sad if it ever goes. Knowing there is a plan to replace it is good, I just hope that we can all ride through the storm until a true, permanent, full-featured home is finished. Any time there is a migration from one platform like this to another, many users inevitably slip through the cracks and whole communities can die. I’ll find that sad if someday we are forced to move and the same thing happens. Even if we all stay on kinja for time to come, it might not hurt to be prepared. Join the Discord app and the mailing list at oppositelock.com. Back up your stuff. This is the internet and everything is always in flux. I hope what we have here can continue on no matter the format or the location.