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#11 2020-07-30 18:40:56

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,246

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

I’m inclined to agree that we can tweak the upgrade instructions for the next release – especially with regard to plugins. One of the tweets I put out this morning refers to this, at least gently: twitter.com/textpattern/status/1288727766314221568

The snag I see with any upgrade instructions is you won’t cover all the bases, so it’s a best-effort attempt to at least keep some people interested. There will always be people who go the Bill O’Reilly “Do It Live” approach and to hell with the docs, and there are people who will read absolutely everything and still not be sure if they’re OK, and everyone in the middle.

I would propose something along the lines of:

  • make and check known-good backups
  • check the plugin status for current support info (this is the grind part)
  • be aware of the order that you need to do things in – disable plugins, upgrade them, whatever
  • upgrade as per the docs
  • go about your day

The old-old sites will always be tricky because the masses of plugins that were deployed. One client I had earlier this year had >30 plugins, that was a nightmare to work with. After the upgrade was done, there were about 5, and some of those weren’t really actively used.

So yeah, some words and advice on plugins is definitely a smart idea, from my point of view.

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#12 2020-07-30 19:38:56

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,835
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

Without trying to derail the thread, the way plugins are handled is going to change in 4.9. We’ll be offering upgrades from the Plugins panel directly and build compatibility checks in, as well as some other niceties that are already partly built.

This could open the door to doing something like maverick suggests, although without an in-site Txp upgrade procedure this might be tricky. The problem is we won’t know about compatibility issues in plugins until the admin-side is loaded for the first time, as that’s when the second half of the upgrade process occurs. So any plugins that are incompatible will do so before we get a chance to trap them.

The only way round it would be to do what you suggest and when an update is triggered, make a note of which ones are on, turn them off, do the upgrade, then perform a compatibility check per plugin (which is network-expensive unless we find a way to permit multiple queries in one request) and only turn on ones that are known compatible.

Finally, we’d need to somehow notify (maybe in the upgrade announce message at the bottom of the screen) that a new version is installed and, btw, your site’s likely to be broken because we’ve disabled such-and-such plugins, so go fix them now.

Not sure if that’s better or worse than a broken admin side or site. Probably better. Even so, we still can’t legislate for PHP issues. Some plugins just don’t work on newer PHP (>7) because they use direct MySQL calls, for example. Things like that are going to break the site whatever we do (though tagging such plugins as incompatible with a particular version of Txp might help).

In terms of upgrade preparation, I would be more inclined to do this:

  • On the Diagnostics panel alongside the ‘new version’ link add a ‘compatibility check’ link/button (or a new ‘compatibility check’ entry in the Detail dropdown if a new version is indicated as being available).
  • When initiated, that will perform a single network request to the plugins site for all active plugins in use. We can then comb through the returned set and indicate which ones are likely to be problematic. Perhaps link to their entries in the Plugins panel, individually or as a set (via a simple search) that shows all the incompatible plugins so you can quickly multi-edit to disable them.
  • Alternatively, find some way on the plugins panel itself to show which plugins are compatible, not with the currently installed Txp, but an arbitrary future version you pick from a list. At least then you could be prepared.

Dunno. Lots to think about and lots of things we could do to smooth the upgrade process. In the meantime, anyone who wants to tweak the upgrade documentation please be my guest to change it if you have commit rights or send in a PR.


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#13 2020-07-30 20:37:19

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,393
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

Compatability check sounds good. You could put a big red button somewhere but you’d still get people ignoring it (as long as I’m around :). A couple of things I also noticed:

Sometimes Diagnostics shows .htaccess contents, sometimes it doesn’t.

In READme upgrade instructions, it says “NOTE: Versions prior to 4.2.0 should be upgraded to 4.2.0 before subsequent version upgrades.” But I don’t see any links anywhere to get hold of such a version.


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#14 2020-07-30 20:44:01

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,835
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

zero wrote #325021:

Sometimes Diagnostics shows .htaccess contents, sometimes it doesn’t.

Hmm, really? That is weird. I’d like to see the contents of an .htaccess file that Diagnostics doesn’t show just to check there’s nothing in it that’s causing the display of it to throw a wobbly.

In READme upgrade instructions, it says “NOTE: Versions prior to 4.2.0 should be upgraded to 4.2.0 before subsequent version upgrades.” But I don’t see any links anywhere to get hold of such a version.

True. We could maybe add that. They’re all available from github.com/textpattern/textpattern/releases, either to browse or access directly by adding tag and the version number (4.2.0 in this case).


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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#15 2020-07-30 20:50:40

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,393
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

I looked around textpattern.com for the 4.2.0. Perhaps that’s where others would look? Perhaps at the end of the Get started page? Most things I’ve ever downloaded are on a page with other downloads available.

I’ll dig out offending .htaccess files for you soon.


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Safe Reiki Harmless natural healing.
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#16 2020-07-30 21:24:49

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 9,835
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

zero wrote #325023:

Perhaps at the end of the Get started page?

Good idea. We could always add a little section on the end of the Get Started page with a link to GitHub releases to obtain “legacy versions” and just strongly discourage their use unless it’s for upgrade hopping.

I’ll dig out offending .htaccess files for you soon.

Thank you. If there’s anything sensitive in them you don’t want to post here, drop me an email.


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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#17 2020-07-31 01:01:16

maverick
Member
From: Southeastern Michigan, USA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 975
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

Bloke wrote #325020:

Not sure if that’s better or worse than a broken admin side or site. Probably better.

Love your thinking and am excited for the next level plugin management coming!

My thinking on the disabling plugins vs messing up the front side of a website – I get it’s a personal preference. I’d rather have my front of site messed up temporarily than to edit the database directly to disable an offending plugin.

Back on topic – thank you to each of you for the great job improving great software.

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#18 2020-07-31 05:44:00

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,246

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

zero wrote #325021:

In READme upgrade instructions, it says “NOTE: Versions prior to 4.2.0 should be upgraded to 4.2.0 before subsequent version upgrades.” But I don’t see any links anywhere to get hold of such a version.

This is partially my doing as I did the scoping out for upgrading old-old versions to new releases. Point taken about it not being hugely helpful as-is, but searching for “Textpattern 4.2.0” on a variety of search engines just now brings up the release notes blog post as the first or second hit. Searching textpattern.com for “4.2.0” brings the same post as the third hit right now. Not really ideal, since we use “Textpattern CMS” in the blog title so any searching for “Textpattern 4.2.0” only catches outliers.

There’s also this forum article which ranks quite highly in SERPs: forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=48695

…and one for the archivists/librarians/packrats: github.com/textpattern-community/textpattern-releases

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#19 2020-07-31 07:31:05

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,393
Website

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

gaekwad wrote #325027:

There’s also this forum article which ranks quite highly in SERPs: forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=48695

…and one for the archivists/librarians/packrats: github.com/textpattern-community/textpattern-releases

Great stuff, Pete. I didn’t think of using a search engine to look for it, I just went to textpattern.com and had a quick look round. I suppose anyone with the task of reviving such an old site would be more likely to do as you did, rather than my dopey way.


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Safe Reiki Harmless natural healing.
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#20 2020-07-31 08:13:15

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,246

Re: Feedback for: Textpattern CMS 4.8.2 released

zero wrote #325028:

I didn’t think of using a search engine to look for it, I just went to textpattern.com and had a quick look round.

Your point is valid, though – and I wasn’t being snarky, I hope that’s not how that came across. There’s a branding guideline that we have, broadly speaking when we refer to Textpattern we call it Textpattern CMS the first time, then Textpattern after that…and release articles tend to be more keyword oriented given their wider audience (i.e. not just forum frequent flyers).

Not sure how we solve this – offering a download archive on .com might send mixed messages…but then there’s essentially an archive on GitHub, so…dunno.

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