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#1 2020-02-21 16:17:33

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,786

Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

Occasionally I undertake old Textpattern to new Textpattern upgrades. I’m actively working on one today. Sadly it’s a somewhat familiar story of a web developer installing old Textpattern (4.3-era), installing MANY plugins to achieve what they want, and then losing interest and wandering away. For the most part, I switch on Debug reporting on a test server, navigate around and pick the plugins to update first from the debug text. In this case, there are around 30 plugins, and I’m not even convinced a third of them are actually used in the code. I’ve upgraded and enabled about 6 so far and things are mostly working OK. More work to do, clearly, but dang.

This site has 45k comments over 1k articles. I estimate 90% of the comments are spam, because an old plugin seems to have bypassed the Textpattern spam check and bots have taken over. That’s a tedious job to remove comments from the database in batches.

Also, it’s interesting how much 2010-era web stuff has as good as gone: I was reminded of FeedBurner today. Nostalgia, huh?

The worst best part — and this is the take away I will offer anyone listening, in lieu of payment for listening to this venting — if you’re going from a very old Textpattern that’s been compromised by the spam bots, and each of the many-thousand spam comments has an IP address in it, your initial login to the 4.7 or newer Textpattern will take a very long time because each of the comments has to be processed to strip out the IP address (privacy issues). I had to extend to the PHP processing time to unlimited on my server because it kept bombing out with ugly timeout messages. It took 25 minutes to process the comments overall. Ouch.

End of vent. Thanks for reading.

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#2 2020-02-21 16:46:32

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,131
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

Ah the old upgrade heave-ho. I’ve done it too, though not as often as you by the sounds of things.

The slowdown as it processes the IPs is a concern. I wonder if there’s anything we can do in 4.8.1 to address that? I know it’s a corner case, but anything we can do to improve the upgrade experience is a plus. I’m sure there are many instances of Txp out there still running 4.4- or 4.5-era code because it just works. Until a PHP upgrade means it doesn’t.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#3 2020-02-21 17:20:06

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,786

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

Bloke wrote #321838:

The slowdown as it processes the IPs is a concern.

I’ve got a corpus of ~48k comments in a SQL query if you want to have some real fun…

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#4 2020-02-21 17:32:17

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,131
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

gaekwad wrote #321839:

I’ve got a corpus of ~48k comments in a SQL query if you want to have some real fun…

That was my next question: did you capture it so we can run some benchmarks if we get a chance to do this in a more batch-friendly way? Thanks!


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#5 2020-02-21 17:41:44

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,786

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

Bloke wrote #321840:

did you capture it so we can run some benchmarks if we get a chance to do this in a more batch-friendly way?

Yep – I’ll drop you a line directly.

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#6 2020-02-22 01:20:08

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,589
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

does anyone allow comments on their website these days?


…. texted postive

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#7 2020-02-22 05:50:57

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 7,776
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

bici wrote #321847:

does anyone allow comments on their website these days?

I saw sites that do. I guess that it depends.


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | NeMe @ github | Covid-19; a resource
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#8 2020-02-22 05:57:58

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 7,776
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

bici wrote #321847:

does anyone allow comments on their website these days?

I saw sites that do. I guess that it depends.


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | NeMe @ github | Covid-19; a resource
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#9 2020-02-22 06:34:54

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 1,918
Website

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

@gaekwad

48k ? ouch… I am no candidate to take over on that one.

bici wrote #321847:

does anyone allow comments on their website these days?

I do on a personal site, and do it for some friends site. Multiple sites I visit do.

It is possible that you don’t see the comments, though. Many content-blockers/ad-blockers have a section about blocking comments, and a number of widely used platforms have their comments hidden when enabled – *.blogspot, Typepad and many WP sites for example, or Disqus (that is an absolute blessing).

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#10 2020-02-23 19:42:08

WebmistressM
Member
Registered: 2011-08-12
Posts: 51

Re: Tales from the front line: an very-old-to-new Textpattern upgrade

Oh boy…totally have been here and done that with some old sites I created in version 4.3. I have actually wanted to do more projects of bringing TextPattern sites that are pre 4.5 into 4.7.x or the upcoming version 4.8. I do think that with TextPattern, it is common to find abandoned pages and projects. I would like to think with some of the improvements (including the display of resources and docs) would help with retention.

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