My forum uses a combination of custom written shell and Perl scripts that were authored in 2002. Unfortunately, the site relies on flat text files to store data as opposed to an actual relational database. The author of the scripts abandoned the project several years ago, and so regular maintenance has been difficult.
The scripts have worked, for the most part, until last year when the server OS (FreeBSD) was upgraded to the latest version. Unfortunately, the method for backing up the data used by the hosting provider's tech support didn't preserve file permissions. Since then, the search facility has been completely broken and the stats writing/logging/processing has been a shambles. A shell script responsible for creating and tidying these stats files is producing enormous log and txt files which cannot be processed at regular intervals, resulting in a webserver hang. I've disabled the permissions on one particular file and that has prevented further webserver hangs, but the referrer toplist, which depends on the stats, is no longer functional.
The critical tasks that need to be performed are to restore the search facility to working order, and more importantly, reign-in the scripts responsible for stats processing. As for less urgent tasks, the shell scripts and extensive Perl code could use some updating and optimizing.
Once this has been accomplished, a discussion about the feasibility and practicality of addressing the data stored in flat files can begin. It would be great if the data stored in the flat text files could be remodeled and converted to an MySQL database. This would require a great deal of changes to the original code, so it would probably be a more long-term project.