Exporting the database

I'm interested in playing around with ways to render large discussions, to see what is readable / easy to navigate. This is motivated by part in the 500-comment+ discussions that span indented posts across multiple pages. I've already hacked together something that parses the html on the site (Drupal generates really nicely structured html) and rebuilds the comment database, but it seemed a bit rude to spider the whole site.

My first question is do you mind people pulling off copies of the site to experiment with, maybe building a tool to render the site in a different format? Which may then lead to technical questions such as:

  • Is it possible to export the Drupal comment database in some way?
  • What format?
  • Can it export smaller slices, e.g. something like particular days?

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my $0.02 is, go for it

i hope if people get to really see how things could be better, that could hopefully help pave the way to it being really done in core ltu.

More of a toy than a serious attempt at replacement

I was thinking more of a personal toy to try out some different techniques. Extracting the forest of comments and then rendering it as such, probably using a radial tree layout algorithm. It's become possible to do in javascript since html5 added an addressable canvas object. There are already some impressive js frameworks for graph layout in the browser.