Yeah, it looks a little different

Observant readers will note that things look a little different around here; I’m not quite done tweaking, so ping me in the comments if you find breakage.

Observant readers will note that things look a little different around here, and there is actually more at work here than just a new coat of paint: new version of WordPress, new theme, new version of PHP under the hood. I’m not quite done reworking all of the plumbing and I still need to hang some pictures. Ping me via the comment-stream if you find breakage as I continue tweaking and tuning.

WordPress 2.8 Upgrade

Auto-upgrade failed, but the manual upgrade went flawlessly and took less than 10 minutes.

Auto-upgrade failed, but I actually didn’t expect it to work given past experience with .x level upgrades. The manual upgrade, however, went flawlessly and took less than 10 minutes. The auto-upgrade seems to work on .x.y level version changes, but this is the second time that it has failed at the .x level, and is likely more a function of the hosting than the WordPress software itself. From my perspective, the manual steps to upgrade are easy enough (at least for me), that it really isn’t a big deal.

The biggest thing I notice about the new version is that it seems faster, which makes sense given some of the changes they have made to the underlying blogging engine. Now back to work on that updated theme for the blog… No, really. I’m working on it. Really, I am.

WordPress Auto-Update Fails

I noticed earlier this week that WordPress had announced the availability of a minor update. With the new auto-update feature, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. Wrong-o.

I noticed earlier this week that WordPress had announced the availability of a minor update. With the new auto-update feature, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. Wrong-o. An hour and a half later, I ended up manually updating. Not impressed.

I poked through the forums, and there are quite a few people that are bumping into this upgrade problem with 2.7.1, but there seems to be a wide variety of potential solutions that people are suggesting, none of which seemed relevant or helped me, and none of which seem to really solve most other people’s problems.

A couple more thoughts: the whole concept of an auto-update is really a great idea, but I’ll admit I was kind of dubious about it in practice when I read that the WP team was including it: just too many ways that things could go sideways. And the reality, at least for me, is that I can do a manual update (aside from the database backup) in less than 5 minutes.

And the reason I wanted to update, aside from just trying to stay current, was that I had a few things I wanted to write about (so it was frustrating to get stuck on something like that when I really wanted to be writing).

At any rate, there’s a post coming here in the next day or so.

WordPress 2.7 — wow!

Ran a quick upgrade to get my blog to the newly-released WordPress 2.7, and my first reaction is “Wow!”

WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane” was released yesterday and given that I had a few minutes to spare this morning, I went ahead and upgraded. As has typically been the case for me in the past, the upgrade went flawlessly (at least, as far as I can tell) and took less than 5 minutes. The only kink I ran into was that I needed to flush by browser’s cache/history because something in there was causing the administrative interface to go wonky. I’d sit on either the dashboard or the “Add New Post” page without touching anything, and after about 5 seconds the page would auto-reload to a page showing what appeared to be the formatting buttons used in HTML mode. All is, however, now well.

All I can say at this point is “Wow!” The WordPress team has given it a major overhaul. It looks and acts completely different. It’s definitely faster, more customizable, and much more polished.

Busy Couple Weeks in Open Source Land

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with new releases (and pre-releases) of several key software packages, and the benefits of using a rolling-release distribution of Linux like Arch Linux are again pronounced.

It has been a pretty busy couple of weeks in the land of open source software:

  • OpenOffice.org‘s new version 3 made it into the regular repositories in Arch Linux last week. One of the aspects of a rolling release distribution like Arch is how quickly stuff like this becomes available particularly in light of the recent announcement by the Ubuntu team that they will stay on version 2.4.1 in their next upcoming release. Both my Arch boxes have been updated, and I’m impressed with the changes and the speed improvements.
  • Firefox’s beta 1 of version 3.1 was released up, too, and I’m running it on 3 of my boxes, including my Mac at work. It feels much faster — even without turning on the disabled-by-default new JavaScript engine which is still reportedly pretty buggy — and some of the UI changes are pretty nice.
  • Mozilla Messaging release an alpha 3 of the next release of Thunderbird, and I’m running that as my primary mail client on my Mac at work. It has picked up some nice Mac UI changes, provides integration with the Mac address book, and the re-tooled IMAP support is noticably better that the current stable version 2 branch of Thunderbird. And how could you not like a mail client named “Shredder”?
  • GNOME‘s latest release — version 2.24 — made it into the stable repositories earlier this week, and both of my Arch boxes are now running it. Most of the changes aren’t all that obvious at this point, but it is noticably faster and feels more responsvive. The upgrade was painless (aside from the big download) and seems to have gone flawlessly on both boxes.
  • Finally, WordPress released a minor point release to fix a security hole.