A few days ago I read that the VZ Netzwerke (a group of dying social networks once popular in Germany) will be renamed to or restarted as idpool. Reading about those networks alone reminded me that ever since I stopped using them I wanted to backup all my messages. Hearing that the platform will be undergoing serious change some time soon made me take immediate action.
I wrote a Perl script to extract the messages and store them in json-files. To view the messages I wrote a simple web interface in PHP.
I ran into some problems with SSL connections which is why the script uses a session ID instead of an e-mail address and password as a launch parameter. Additionally, when dealing with large amounts of messages the script decided to freeze after a certain amount of parsed messages, so I wrote a second version using threads to parse messages and in case they freeze simply parse the message again. This second version, however, is painfully slow because of my crappy implementation — but since it does a job that only has to be done once I'm fine with that. :D
Concerning the web interface one thing was very important for me: having messages and answers that belong together being displayed at the same place. A thing that the VZ Netzwerke never offered, you only have your in- and outbox. Separated. Absolutely terrible if you want to read an old conversation again. So ... my web interface shows all messages to and from a person at one place. : )
In case you'd like to backup your messages too, here you go: vz_messageparser.tar.gz
perl vzmp.pl studi|schueler|mein <sessid> (use vmzp_crap.pl if neccessary) and view the index.php (webserver required ofc) as soon as the script finished.