Avoiding the Upgrade Problem

2009-08-12

I've generally been reasonably impressed with wordpress since I moved to it from my old, emacs-driven system. It seems to work mostly and it's reasonably easy to manage.

One problem has been the regularity of the updates; worse, they all tend to be security updates (2.8.4 was to correct a problem where a crafted URI allowed overwrite of the admin password). So, you have to update. Often.

Fortunately, wordpress provides an automatic mechnism for achieving this. Less fortunately, it doesn't work for me. We've finally pinned down why, which is too tedious to explain, but I don't like the mechanism anyway, as I have to give wordpress my username/password (for the command line, not for wordpress).

So, I'm trying another solution. Check the whole thing out of SVN. I've just moved over to this mechanism for the 2.8.4 upgrade and it seems to work. This is actually the same amount of effort as a regular manual upgrade; you just svn co rather than wget/unzip. In future, it should me much easier, though. Just a simple svn switch. No fiddling with moving wp-config across, and wp-content should be unaffected. Even better the one hack that I have had to apply to formatting.php every time should be automatically merged in, or will conflict --- in which case, it will good to be warned.

I'll post again in a few updates time if it all works; if this blog suddenly goes offline, well, probably this wasn't such a good idea after all.