© 1998-2003 Jan Wolter, Steve Weiss
Backtalk includes an "erase" function that allows the author of a response or a fair-witness or a conference administrator to erase individual responses. If someone accidentally erases a response that shouldn't have been erased, it is normally possible to restore it.
When Backtalk erases a response, it deletes it from the item itself (actually overwriting it with other information). If Backtalk was installed with CENSOR_LOG undefined, then there is no way to recover the erased response unless you can find it on a backup tape or in somebody's browser cache.
But if there is censor log (and we recommend keeping one), then a copy of the deleted response, together with a description of who censored it, will be stored in the log file. That way you can look at it to decide if it should really have been censored, and you can restore it.
If you look at the ``censored'' file (which is usually in the bbs directory where all the conference directories are). You'll entries that look like this:
response martian:2:4 (berryman) censored by (janc) on Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 ,T Doctor O, Doctor O, Fly me off to Mars. I want to know what Martians drink and when they close the bars. Why should I be paying cabs and smashing my cars, when Doctor Otto's rocket ship could fly me to the stars? ,EThe first line says that this was response four of item two in the ``martian'' conference, that it was originally written by user ``berryman'' and that it was censored by user ``janc'' on the given date. The text of the response follows, delimited by a ``,T'' in the begining and a ``,E'' at the end.
The easy way to restore it is to log into Backtalk as a conference administrator (usually the 'cfadm' account) and read the appropriate item. Next to it you should find an `Edit' button. Click this to bring up a form into which you can paste the text from the censored log.
Alternately we can use a Unix text editor to edit the item file (see the item editing guide). Since this is response four, we'd look for the fifth ``,R'' line (the first one corresponds to the item text, which is response zero), we find that what is stored there looks like this:
,R0003 ,U23,berryman ,APeter Berryman ,D34b25ccb ,T janc Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 Jan Wolter janc Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 Jan janc Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 Jan Wolter janc Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 Jan janc Tue Jan 6 11:33:45 1998 Jan Wolter janc Tue Jan 6 11: ,EHere the original contents of the response have been overwritten by as many repetitions of the name of the person who censored it and the date at which it was censored as it takes to obliterate the original. Also, the number on the ``,R'' line has be changed to flag this as an erased response.
To restore the response manually, you need to do two things.
,R0000 ,U23,berryman ,APeter Berryman ,D34b25ccb ,T Doctor O, Doctor O, Fly me off to Mars. I want to know what Martians drink and when they close the bars. Why should I be paying cabs and smashing my cars, when Doctor Otto's rocket ship could fly me to the stars? ,EIf you read the item with Backtalk, the response should now be restored.