How about a plugin that allows automatic export of all PMs as individual messages into a local folder, saved by PM name and author? Has anyone made something like that?
Cuz we're gonna need it. At least, I will.
I have 27 pages of PMs I've saved for reference over the years. That's just in the Inbox, and doesn't even include the subfolders with things I've categorized for easier finding (I'm gonna guess without looking that those contain at least that much more). And it doesn't include my replies to people, which will probably be that much more again.
I'd REALLY not like to have to dig them up locally every time I need them, expecially since the export functions all suck (see details below).
The only functions that exist in the forum right now to export them are to take one page at a time, in one folder at a time, and Export as (CSV, CSV (Excel), or XML).
None of these works in a really usable way, because the exported file is all just one giant page of text. Anything quoted just has the word quote with some characters around it, on each end, and if there wasn't a CR/LF between it and the replied text, it'll just be concatenated together.
CSV doesn't even save who the message is from or to, or the date, time, etc--it's just the message text, more or less.
XML has that info, at least, but still has the other problems.
The only way I can see to save things in a usable way is to manually open every single PM, one at a time, and copy/paste into a freshly made local file, and then save that file with the date, subject, sender/receiver as part of the name (so I can find the info later).
None of the attachments are exported, either. I don't see any way to do that other than opening every single PM one at a time, seeing if it has an attachment, and then saving that locally, too.
If I have to do this manually, it's probably going to take me weeks, probably months, so you are going to have to give a MUCH MUCH longer grace period than just 30 days.
I may need at least till the start of the new year to get it done, since I cannot spend very much time each day on it, and I expect it'll take a few minutes per PM to do. With thousands of messages, that's a very very long time.
And spending that time saving the PMs means not helping anyone on the forum for those weeks or months--I won't have time to read anything or help with people's projects, etc.
So either we need to delay this "haircut" quite a long time, or a better, actually useful, export function needs to be installed or created first.