If you didn’t know, the Roblox Forum Archive is a complete archive of the Roblox Forum which was shut down over a year ago. It includes many searching options that the original forum never had. This updates adds more features to make it even easier to browse through the history of the forum and find important posts.
Before getting into these updates I have to mention that the archive is running low on donations. Because of the gigantic size of the forum, the database is extremely expensive. Without more donations I’m not sure how much longer I can keep the site up. Please consider donating, even a small amount is helpful. Some of you may have noticed that I had ads on for a while as I was getting desperate. I have disabled ads temporarily because I think they ruin the user experience, but I would really appreciate donations to make up the loss. If I receive enough donations to pay for the server costs each month I will keep ads disabled, but if there continues to be a lack of funds I will have to add them back eventually.
Sorry this took so long. Here are the updates:
- Search by Keyword
- Opt-Out of Search
- Site Redesign
- Time Machine
- Developer API
- Search Posts Change
- View Original
Search by Keyword
This is the biggest addition. Simply use the search bar at the top of every page to search for posts using keywords. This will search through both post titles and post content. After searching you can filter posts by the user who sent them (essentially, you can search a single user’s posts) and/or you can filter by the subforum the post was made in.
Results are not sorted in any particular order (sometimes they may seem to be sorted by date, but this is just a side effect of the search method) and I probably will not add any sorting options. This is really the best I can do with what I currently have and already costs a bit extra. To implement even more in-depth searching would cost way more than I can afford with the current status of the archive and donations.
Opt-Out of Search
I really resisted removing posts because I have always thought of the archive as a historical record that should not be altered. However, with reports that the archive is sometimes being used for bullying and doxxing I am forced to reach a compromise.
You can go to https://user.froast.io to access the forum archive user dashboard and hide your posts from search. This does NOT delete your posts, it only hides them from all search methods in order to make it harder for abusers to find your posts. If someone directly views a post you made/replied to they will still be able to see your posts. It is impractical for me to delete posts from the archive files and they have already been publicly available for some time. This does not stop people from making a search of their own or using other methods to find your posts.
The entire site has been redesigned and rewritten in React.js (with server-side rendering). This should help make the everything run smoother. The site now uses a dark theme (there is no option to change back to light theme, sorry) and has been better optimized for smaller screen sizes (mobile). This is still not perfect but in general it should be a lot better than before.
Because the order of posts on subforums is based on the last post (posts can be bumped), it’s not possible to see what a subforum looked like just by going to a further page. Time machine uses the extensive information in the archive to reconstruct what a subforum looked like at a certain time and date.
You can use it by scrolling down in any archived subforum (not the one this post is in) and clicking on “latest” to change the date. You can also view a subforum relative to a certain post (eg. view the subforum when the post was actually made, or 5 minutes after it was posted) by hovering over the post, clicking the three dots next to it, and hovering over “Go to point in time”.
There is now a JSON API available that does not require authentication, you can check out the docs at https://api.froast.io/docs. Developers are welcome to use this for light uses. The rate limit is generous but you really should not be using it that much. If you ever hit the rate limit you are making way too many requests. Please do not make me regret making this available. DO NOT use the developer API to attempt to scrape the entire archive. You will have a better time simply downloading the archive files from an S3 bucket I have made available. You can read more about downloading archive files on the homepage.
Search Posts Change
Unlike before, searching for posts by ID or URL is not done through a separate page. To search posts by their ID or using a link just put it in the search bar at the top (the same place as the keyword search). The result that matches the ID will be first and will be highlighted in blue.
Since the archive files are now in an S3 bucket, it is possible to view the original html files of forum posts. Simply hover over an archived post, click on the three dots, and click “View Original”.
This is most likely the final state of the archive and it will not be updated much more unless people can recommend valuable new features or there is a significant increase in donations to support better searching.
Feel free to comment below or join the new Roblox Forum Archive Discord to discuss old forum posts or suggestions, feedback, and issues.