|Archiving status||In progress...|
|Project source||yahoogroups-grab, yahoo-group-archiver|
|Project tracker||yahoogroups, yahoo-groups-api|
|IRC channel||(on hackint)|
Yahoo! Groups was Yahoo's combination mailing list service/web forum, the result of the acquisition of eGroups and some other Yahoo! stuff. In addition to archives of and a web interface for mailing lists, it offered file uploads, photo uploads, links, polls, and an events calendar. It had been stable for a long time (since the late 90s), long enough for some specialised software to be developed to do backups of it. (Not many other websites can say that.) It now functions only as a mailing list.
Uploading of new content was disabled 2019-10-28, and all content, including message history, was made unavailable on 2019-12-14. After negative media attention, Yahoo said that they were extending the deadline for users to use their official (incomplete) "GetMyData" export tool to 2020-01-31. By 2019-12-21 they hid group content from the web interface. They stopped accepting GMD requests on 2020-02-04.
Yahoo's GetMyData misses a plethora of attachments, databases, polls, photos, and metadata.
Group admins and members, please see Yahoo! Groups/Archiving Project FAQ for group members or join IRC if you have questions.
- 1 Nominating notable non-private groups for archival
- 2 Adding private groups to the public archive
- 3 Joining groups and submitting data
- 4 Private groups of interest
- 5 Statistics
- 6 Site structure
- 7 Python Yahoo! Group archivers
- 8 Other archivers
- 9 Programs to view mbox files
- 10 Other archiving efforts
- 11 External Links
- 12 Coverage
- 13 References
Nominating notable non-private groups for archival
Groups can be nominated for archival using this form. Please note that this form should not be used for groups that require administrator approval to join.
Adding private groups to the public archive
Administrators / Moderators can request that their private group (we consider a private group to be one that requires approval for new members) be included in the public archive. Before you do this, please ensure that the members of the group are happy about being part of the public archive.
To add the group to the list of private groups to be archived, all you need to do is send a membership invite to the email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note that only group admins can do this). We'll be monitoring that email regularly to accept any membership requests we receive. Once that account is a member, the group should be scheduled to be part of the public archive.
Please make sure that when you invite the Archive Team account, you do not select the Add only to mailing list option, as this will prevent Archive Team from archiving the group.
Joining groups and submitting data
Yahoo Groups Joiner extension for Chromium-based browsers: https://github.com/davidferguson/yahoogroups-joiner
Joiner leaderboard: https://df58.host.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/yahoogroups/leaderboard
After you have joined groups, please go to https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/getmydata and follow the directions to make a GMD request (it may take 10 days to get processed). When the request comes through, save the all the files that come back (recent GMDs have been split into 2 GB ZIP files), upload the data to an online file-hosting service, and then send the link to email@example.com. If you joined groups after submitting the GMD request and they're not included in the response you'll need to submit another.
There may be old malware in the GMD ZIP files. Modern email software and operating systems are expected to be mostly resistant to this old malware. Some antivirus software may see the malware and may modify or delete the ZIP file. We don't want that to happen, so please make sure that they don't get deleted or modified in any way, except to remove private groups that cannot be shared in the Internet Archive collection..
- Other upload instructions: See https://codeshare.io/5QJbBm
Private groups of interest
numberactivation (see all the press coverage; FOI request). Some external lists: List of groups with Fanlore pages (contains both private and public groups), Archive Trans Yahoo's list (all private at last check), Archive South Asian American Yahoo Groups (all public), and Queer Digital History Project (no groups listed, presumably all private).
As of 2019-10-16 the directory lists 5619351 groups. 2752112 of them have been discovered. 1483853 (54%) have public message archives with an estimated number of 2.1 billion messages (1389 messages per group on average so far). 1.8 billion messages (86%) have been archived as of 2018-10-28.
The following graphs are slightly outdated:
There was a convenient JSON API, most endpoints of which are now down. Some endpoints require logged-in group membership or other permissions (depending on group settings).
- - Known params: maxHits, offset, query, sortBy (values: OLDEST, RELEVANCE, MEMBERS, LATEST_ACTIVITY, NEWEST)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/dir/categories/0/ (list of subcategories and discoverable groups under the root)
- - Known params: start, intlCode (au, in, sg, uk, us; ar, e1, es, mx; br; cf, fr; de; hk; it...)
- - Pagination: Page size is 10. Does not have a count param. start is the result index, not the group id. start values 500 and up all return the same set of results.
- Groups are listed in fixed but arbitrary order. /0/ is a special value that shows the root node; subcategories can be accessed by using the subcategory id instead (the full "idList" value is not required).
- Defaults to the US view of the English directory tree. Different languages have different directory trees. Supplying a different intlCode parameter (list not exhaustive, must be lower case) accesses the corresponding view of the appropriate language's tree. Subcategory ids are language-specific and must be used with an appropriate intlCode. The intlCode -> language mapping may be checked at the /0/ endpoint; the root "name" is always "ROOT", but "id" is language-specific. Different intlCode views of the same language list groups in a different order, may have slightly different category names, and appear to have slightly different numbers of categories in the full tree; their group overlap is about 99%.
- The "count" field appears totally inaccurate.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/ (specific group information)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/statistics (more group information, with partial overlap)
- - Known params: count, start, sortOrder (ASC, DESC), direction (1, -1)
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 10, with no known limit. start is the message id, not the result index. sortOrder adjusts the order of results in the json response's array, whereas direction determines which way to iterate through ids from start (default: DESC, -1).
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/messages/1/ (specific message)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/messages/1/raw (specific message, raw content including headers)
- Original email is largely recoverable from rawEmail field.
- Message headers and textual body parts have email addresses redacted, with the hosts replaced with "...". For example, "From: firstname.lastname@example.org" and "From: email@example.com" both get turned into "From: ceo@..." Some addresses may not have been redacted correctly.
- Some messages may have encoding issues. Sometimes (as in the linked case) the non-raw endpoint has the correct characters, sometimes it does not; this is likely related to the originating email client. Removing non-ASCII characters and ^M characters from the 7-bit text should result in valid RFC822 emails.
- Some emails longer than 64kb (minus attachments) may be truncated. This truncation affects not just plain text, but also HTML and encoded Base64 content. Deleting the string "\n(Message over 64 KB, truncated)" from the end of the message part may help prevent parser breakage.
- All attachments are separated, with attachment bodies replaced with the string "[ Attachment content not displayed ]". Recovering the emails involves finding those MIME parts, looking at the filenames, comparing with the list of filenames listed in the "attachmentInfo" section, matching on similarity, and replacing the contents with the downloaded attachments. In very rare cases where a matching MIME section isn't found, it may be necessary to append those attachments as new MIME attachments to the email while reconstructing.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/history (calendar summary)
- - Known params: ts, tz, chrome
- - Redundancy: Generatable from /messages data.
- - Known params: count, startTopicId, sortOrder (ASC, DESC), direction (1, -1)
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 25, with a limit of 100. sortOrder and direction as for messages.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/concatenative/topics/1 (specific topic)
- - Known params: maxResults.
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 30 (messages in topic), with no known limit (maximum tested: 57). No known start param.
- - Redundancy: Generatable from /messages data.
- "messages" field is an array, each element of which seems to have the same contents as the corresponding /message/<id>/ (non-raw) endpoint; metadata ("totalMsgInTopic", "prevTopicId", "nextTopicId") could be reconstructed. Not known whether a message can fail to be associated with any topic.
- - Known params: count, start, sort (TITLE, TIME), order (ASC, DESC)
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 20, with no known limit (maximum tested: 93).
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/<groupname>/attachments/<attachmentId> (specific attachment)
Attachment may be of several types: photo, file, ...?
- - Known params: sfpath (pass in a pathURI to retrieve the file listings of this subdirectory)
- - Pagination: None.
- Entries with "type" 0 are files; 1, directories.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v3/groups/a_furrys_world/photos (list of photos)
- - Known params: count, start, orderBy (MTIME), sortOrder (ASC, DESC), ownedByMe (TRUE, FALSE), lastFetchTime, photoFilter (ALL, PHOTOS_WITH_EXIF "Originals", PHOTOS_WITHOUT_EXIF "Shared")
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 20, with no known limit.
- "totalPhotos" field in response gives total in group.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v3/groups/a_furrys_world/albums (list of albums)
- - Known params: count, start, albumType (PHOTOMATIC, NORMAL), orderBy (MTIME, TITLE), sortOrder (ASC, DESC)
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 12, with no known limit.
- albumType defaults to NORMAL. PHOTOMATIC albumType requires the "READ" permission for "ATTACHMENTS". "total" field in response gives total number of albums of the selected type in group; however, this seems to have an off-by-one error for the NORMAL type of albums.
- - Known params: similar to /photos and /albums endpoints, with additional ordinal sortOrder option
- Photomatic albums must be loaded with the albumType parameter set to PHOTOMATIC.
- - Known params: linkdir
- - Pagination: None.
- linkdir takes the folder parameter from a dir. Nested folders should be joined with '/'. You need to keep track of the path to a given folder yourself (eg, linkdir + '/' + folder).
- - Known params: count, start
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 10, with no known limit. There is no "total" field in the response.
- Polls return all votes cast, non-anonymised, including identifying metadata for all viewers.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/a_furrys_world/database (list of tables)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/a_furrys_world/database/1/ (specific table)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/a_furrys_world/database/1/records (table contents)
- - Pagination: None.
- - Known params: format (CSV, TSV)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/iswipe/members/confirmed (list of confirmed members)
- - Known params: count, start, sortBy, sortOrder, ts, tz, chrome
- - Pagination: Page size defaults to 10, with a limit of 100. No known limit on total results.
- May be blocked for normal members (as may all the other members endpoints). Includes moderators and bouncing members, with identifying metadata.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/iswipe/members/moderators (list of moderators)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/iswipe/members/bouncing (list of bouncing members)
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/iswipe/members/suspended (list of suspended members)
- Very often (always?) blocked for normal members.
- https://groups.yahoo.com/api/v1/groups/iswipe/members/banned (list of banned members)
- Very often (always?) blocked for normal members.
Overlaps with Yahoo Calendar API, check yahoo-group-archiver code.
Python Yahoo! Group archivers
- yahoo-group-archiver scrapes a group using the JSON API and (for private endpoints) the two cookies Yahoo uses to verify a logged-in user. Optionally, it can produce WARCs. Essentially fully featured at the time of closure.
- Yahoo Group Archive Tools (a Perl script) converts yahoo-group-archiver output into clean rfc822 and mbox files, with separated attachments correctly reattached, and many Yahoo truncation/redaction bugs corrected. It also turns list archives into PDF, using email2pdf, which many non-technical list owners prefer.
- YahooGroups-Archiver is similar, but scrapes only messages (not files or any other data). It has been deprecated in favor of the above.
- yahoo-groups-backup scrapes a group's messages and files (but not any other data) using Selenium, storing message info and metadata (both rendered message body and raw email) into a Mongo database. It also provides a script to dump its data to static HTML pages that can be viewed in the browser.
- PGOffline: Windows, proprietary. 14-day free trial, after which download and export is disabled (but view still works). Includes attachments. Stores data in a SQLite database internally.
- pgo2mbox converts PGOffline pg4 files to mbox.
- Yahoo Messages Export: Chrome extension. Messages only. Saves as mbox.
- Yahoo Group Archiver: Perl, defunct.
Programs to view mbox files
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Method using addon: https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/importexporttools-ng/
- Method without addon: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/Reading+an+mbox+file+with+Thunderbird
- Instructions: https://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/doc/manual/en/sylpheed-15.html
- Detailed instructions from Doranwen: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dXeXfY5Huri_8NTUn4hl-iUZq9MMRL1Qbo7bp5YZpmE/edit
Other archiving efforts
- Yahoo Groups Fandom Rescue Project
- Mods and Members
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- • • •
- This id can also be accessed with an appropriate intlCode, but contains the same twelve groups for all languages: the groups in the categories for musical artists "Roots, The" and "Rusted Root", three groups which appear to be Yahoo tests, and one group which appears to be a spam test.