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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

3:05 pm
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Sometimes things are more complicated than they need to be.  Like Macbook Pros running OSx Leopard.  You’d think that the “common man’s” laptop that’s supposedly for the “artist-driven” and “creative” folk would make some sense.  But everywhere I turn, things are just plain confusing.  

More on that later.

This post marks my 1000th post.  I just upgraded to WordPress 2.7 a few moments ago after writing up the following.  After fixing some plugin issues (a few caused my admin page to give server errors), I came back to edit my post and noticed I had 999 posts.

1000 posts is pretty big.  I wonder if I should give something away.  Then again, I’ve given some things away on past entries that I still haven’t finished delivering (but I will, I promise!).  So maybe the upgrade to 2.7 is my own gift to myself.

This post is about my convoluted WordPress upgrade.  Wordpress is what I use to run my blog.  I’ve been on WordPress for a while now (3.5 years) and have been through a fair share of upgrades.  I’m also pretty geeky – I can do lots of stuff from the command line and know WordPress well enough.  I’ve upgraded other blogs to the latest WordPress 2.7 without a problem, and usually in less than 5 minutes.

But I have a little problem, as I’ve mentioned before.  With all these upgrades I’ve done over the years, there’s something amiss with the blog.  Specifically, the database has issues.  Anytime I try to do a backup of my blog with the tried-and-true WP-DB-Backup plugin, it fails (stuck at wp_options, and the page doesn’t refresh itself).  

Here’s how stupid it is – this backup hasn’t worked for over a year now.  So, what happens when I go and re-try it again just now, just so I can get a screenshot?

Go ahead, guess.  YUP.  The stupid thing actually WORKS.  So now I have a good backup.  SHEESH.

The other problem I constantly had was when I try to use the built-in Export function of WordPress, it fails as well (server error 500).  Maybe I’ll be lucky and it’ll work this time.

Nope.  Well at least half of my complaints are still valid.

Anyway.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, failures.  Ok, so now I have a backup.  I like having more than one backup, so I also want to do a MySQL backup *and* a filesystem backup.  I’m putting those in the extended entry below for those of you who’d like to know how to do that.

Now that those two things are done (see the extended entry for additional info), I need to download the latest 2.7 upgrade.  I keep all my plugins, themes, and code in my ~/src directory.

(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
--14:20:41--  http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
          => `latest.zip'
Resolving wordpress.org...,
Connecting to wordpress.org||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: unspecified [application/zip]
    [  <=>        ] 1,849,558      4.80M/s
14:20:42 (4.79 MB/s) - `latest.zip' saved [1849558]
(uiserver):whall:~/src/wordpress > mv latest.zip latest-27.zip

I also like having the multiple versions around, so I move latest.zip to latest-27.zip.

The next thing to do is double-check and triple-check the Upgrading WordPress guide.  Here’s what I did with this upgrade:

  1. Verified my backups
  2. Did more backups
  3. Said a little prayer for my backups
  4. Downloaded the latest wordpress files (above)
  5. Deactivated plugins
Now I need to follow more of the directions.  I unzip the wordpress files into a separate directory (~/wordpress)
(uiserver):whall:~ > unzip ~/src/wordpress/latest-27.zip
This extracts the files into ~/wordpress for temporary use.  Note that my blog is in ~/blog, remember?  Some people put their blog into ~/wordpress, so if you actually have your blog in that directory, you’ll want to do something else.
The directions say to delete the wp-includes and wp-admin directories.  I know in the past when I forgot to do this step, it’s not a good thing.  So make sure you do it.
(uiserver):whall:~ > cd blog
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > \rm -rf wp-includes/ wp-admin/
Notice I used backslash in front of “rm” because I didn’t want it to use an alias, if any.  I frequently alias “rm” to be “rm -i” so that it confirms deletions.  This way, with the -rf option, it recursively deletes the two directories in my blog directory.
Then I use my special tar command to take the new wordpress 2.7 files to stomp on top of my existing directory, but keeping any other files that I have.  This is important, because I don’t want to lose my plugins, themes, or uploaded files. 
(uiserver):whall:~/blog > cd ../wordpress (uiserver):whall:~/wordpress > tar cvf - . | (cd ../blog; tar xfBp -)
See the extended entry for more info about this tar command.
The final step is to visit the wp-admin page of your blog to check for an upgrade and continue on.  If all goes well, the upgrade is complete and you can start turning plugins on one-by-one to make sure they work.
Now, I wrote all of this BEFORE doing my upgrade, so I’m about to do another backup and then actually perform the steps.  If it all goes well, I’ll be on WordPress 2.7 and will publish this post. 
If not, well, I might still publish it just to complain.
Update: it seems to have gone well, since I’m now editing this post in all it’s WordPress 2.7 glory.  Now to publish and hope it doesn’t break, and then to maybe do some more backups now that I’m on the latest version.


8:19 am
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Note: This blog post is also available via audio.  It is read by the author on Utterli.

My blog is powered by WordPress.  You know, that open source, free-is-all-you-pay, all the OTHER kids are doing it blog software.  Me like it long time.  I host several blogs on my account since I have about as much bandwidth allowance per month as a Congressional Bailout and approximately 17 gobs of disk space available.  I have 100+ domains (some of which were just domain speculation and run nothing but domain parking) and host several blogs for other bloggers, too.

Recently, WordPress released 2.7 – probably the biggest, coolest, awesomest WordPress upgrade that I can remember.

I’ve upgraded a few folks to WordPress 2.7 for them.  I’ve installed 2.7 and like it a lot.  I’ve even set up a fake blog that anyone can register with and play with 2.7 if they want to try it out before they upgrade themselves.  Yes, that offer’s still open.  I also created a “mu” blog if anyone wants to play with the multi-user version of WordPress and actually create their own entire blog and not just blog with others.

But I have this problem with my blog.  [insert sappy violins playing sad emotionally carrying music].  You see, it was born a long long time ago when WordPress births were still a little difficult.  [pause to compose myself] It’s been upgraded and upgraded and upgraded so many times I’ve lost count. [sniff]  And now, sadly, I can no longer do [sniff] an export of the data.  [sob] I can’t even do a WP-DB-Backup any more! [cry].  All I can muster [sniffle] is a MySQL backup [sob] every now and again just in case something blows up! [uncontrollable crying].

[re-compose myself]

So, I don’t feel adventurous enough to complete a 2.7 upgrade for myself without good backups.  I’m worried that if exports don’t work and the wp-db-backup plugin fails, that the 2.7 upgrade will also fail, and then that’ll mean doing a restore process I haven’t tested.

Maybe I’ll try it over this Christmas break when fewer people are reading blogs.  Maybe now that I’ve slowed down my own blogging over the last few weeks (and thusly, the commenting), I might have the respite I need because business is slow, so to speak.  

Maybe I should try staples like Scrooge, played by Bill Murray, suggests.

I’ve mentioned a few times on twitter that I set up a playground site that anyone can register and use to see WordPress 2.7 (the release candidate version).  You get an author account by default, so you can compose blog entries, login, do comments, see the back-end, etc.

Offer’s still open.   Just visit, click “Register” on the right and voila! you have an account and can post.  Please be nice.  Don’t write about Catcher in the Rye from my blog please.

According to WordPress.org, the new and improved 2.7 should hit the public internet waves sometime this month.  I’ve actually heard it will be tomorrow, which is the same day gays don’t go to work (they supposedly are teaming up together to “call in gay“)  I did an utter on that topic this morning.  Go ahead and listen to it; I’ll wait.

Back?  Good.

One of the coolest out-of-the-box features of 2.7 is threaded / nested comments:

Of course, you have to have a theme that supports it, which is why I was trying out Aeros 1.0.5 since it’s one of the few that does.  It’s kind of a neat theme and I might switch to it.

The new wordpress also has a much faster, much cooler comment management system whereby you can use keyboard shortcuts like j/k and asd (like a unix text editor or some text/java games) to move up, down, approve, spam or delete.  You can also reply individually to comments right there in the admin console!  I haven’t seen email notification TO the commenter, but I’m sure some enterprising author will make one if it’s not built-in.

Actually, that “quick edit” feature right there is very interesting as well, because you edit it from right there inside the page and don’t have to launch another window to edit the comment.  Pretty handy for all you losers who keep forgetting I’m a PG-13 blog! (j/k) (and that means “just kidding”, not “down/up”)

Not only that, you get a neat “at a glance” dashboard showing the content you’ve authored and where the comments are, pending/spam wise

There’s also a new thing called “QuickPress” where you can just type in a quick title, content, tags and media and publish right from the dashboard.  To me, however, this seems a step backwards unless you can auto-categorize your “quickies” differently.  It’s kind of like twitter, but on your blog.  But at a minimum, it’s easy to jot down notes to yourself since it has a “save draft” button – wanna start the idea of a new post but don’t want to actually START a post?  write it in here and save it as a draft.

Oooh, and on my dashboad, it listed a plugin that I wanted to try, and I could install it right from the dashboard!  OMG!  I just clicked “install” then “install now” then “activate”.  How much easier can it get than that!??

Those are my first impressions, and I can envision me an early adopter, if for no other reason than for the nested comments.  

I even set up a new survey (the plugin I just installed) – have a go!  You can say how you like me. 🙂

If you’ve found out other cool features of the new WordPress, leave’em here.  And don’t forget you can get your own wordpress trial account on my test blog.

tsk tsk

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