#7759 Redirect old Ask Fedora urls to askbot
Closed: Will Not/Can Not fix 3 years ago by kevin. Opened 3 years ago by haghighi.

Hi
After using a new platform for Ask Fedora (Discourse), the address of old one (askbot) changed to askbot.fedoraproject.org , but as mentioned in here, it takes a long time for search engines to use/index new “askbot” address and also we can not update all existing docs and pages to change ask.fedoraproject.org to askbot.fedoraproject.org . After all we have some useful information in askbot which is not expired and they are general and usable for several years.

So I suggest to redirect incoming requests started with "en/question(s)" to askbot.fedoraproject.org and forward the others to ask.fedoraproject.org. The mentioned prefix is not used in Discourse (as I know).

/cc @mattdm @ankursinha

Related links:
https://ask.fedoraproject.org/t/407
https://pagure.io/fedora-websites/issue/953
https://ask.fedoraproject.org/t/591


Metadata Update from @bowlofeggs:
- Issue priority set to: Waiting on Assignee (was: Needs Review)
- Issue tagged with: discourse

3 years ago

One problem is that we can't keep askbot forever -- I expect it'll go away by the end of the year.

I agree redirecting en/questions to there for now might make sense (and is better than the non-customizable 404 error from discourse) but we should make it clear that this isn't permanent.

Fedora Infrastructure does not have a way to do either of these tasks. We do not run either service and have no way to put in redirects in either place. This would normally be a ‘Closed Can’t Fix’ but I think we need to have a better method for where any such change should be filed.

@smooge Is askbot not behind the overall proxy?

No both are just cnames.

[smooge@smoogen-laptop ~]$ host ask.fedoraproject.org
ask.fedoraproject.org is an alias for askfedora.hosted-by-discourse.com.
askfedora.hosted-by-discourse.com has address 64.71.168.213
askfedora.hosted-by-discourse.com has IPv6 address 2001:470:1:3a8::213
askfedora.hosted-by-discourse.com mail is handled by 10 mx-sjc1.discoursemail.com.
[smooge@smoogen-laptop ~]$ host askbot.fedoraproject.org
askbot.fedoraproject.org has address 45.79.98.57

Sites which we put our proxies in front of usually require a bit of configuration which we didn't control. It can also cause session problems and other 'I expected to talk directly to the browser not through this httpd->haproxy->varnish nightmare.'

We also do not want to maintain a long list of redirects. Every time we do so they are said to be temporary, and then end up being a constant 'oh we need this one more thing, oh can you change this?' which are fragile and break and then need to be redone whenever a website sneezes.

I guess this is best something for the discourse folks.

If desired we could proxy all connections to ask, but that might be undesireable for a number of reasons. If you do want us to do that, please reopen and let us know. Otherwise, I'd suggest asking the discourse folks if they can setup some redirects or let you add them self service somehow.

Metadata Update from @kevin:
- Issue close_status updated to: Will Not/Can Not fix
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

3 years ago

I guess this is best something for the discourse folks.
If desired we could proxy all connections to ask, but that might be undesireable for a number of reasons. If you do want us to do that, please reopen and let us know. Otherwise, I'd suggest asking the discourse folks if they can setup some redirects or let you add them self service somehow.

So we asked the Discourse folks, and our plan does not include setting up redirects so it can't be done from there. They have a simple permalink system available in the admin panel, but even that didn't work for me (or I haven't done it right): https://meta.discourse.org/t/custom-permalinks/56867/9.

We can add infra folks as admins if you'd like to have a look?

A fellow community member took the time out to submit askbot information to the internet archive: https://ask.fedoraproject.org/t/where-have-the-old-posts-gone/655/65?u=franciscod

Any chance you could setup a redirect from https://ask.fedoraproject.org/en/(.*) to https://web.archive.org/web/20190517/https://askbot.fedoraproject.org/en/$1 Where $1 is a back-reference to the .* expression. This URL schema should work for every single English language question.

Could this be achieved by our infra somehow?

Not that I can think of without a lot of work on our part which might break other things. Currently ask.fedoraproject.org is a DNS entry which says is an alias to a specific discourse dns site. The only part that a user's system sees fedoraproject.org is in that DNS lookup. Their browser never touches any of our systems and so the traffic is always going to discourse.

For us to put in any redirects, we have to Man In The Middle with a proxy server. That means we take their entry, we parse it and see if it needs to be redirected and then we proxy over to the discourse servers. However the discourse servers are going to 'break' in various ways because they are expecting the user to be directly talking to them. You then have to set up even more infrastructure where we do various things to redirect the user's browser to a place that discourse is happy with. However that is then broken at times due to various browser security settings which you then have to set up even more fixes for.

It is solvable, but it would take a lot longer than we have been given to do this and a lot more planning on what is really wanted.

I agree; the old information is valuable, but so is getting a new site up and functioning. And we don't have a lot of spare cycles for projects like this.

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