Monday, July 27, 2009

Updating Alt. BM Site State of Progress

Oh bloody hell. Well, if you've gone by the site, you have seen it is still down for maintenance and is looking rather pale.

Now I'm going to try to reconstruct the weekend. Yeah, this is a me pounding my head against the desk post, but hopefully, it'll give me a clear path to start tonight when I get home. If I get home with time or a mood to work on anything; Mondays have been running late at the paying job.

So I reread Drupal instructions on creating a test site until I finally understood them. If there was pay involved, I would seriously consider helping write their technical manuals. I got the database exported and saved to my harddrive. I could not get it imported into the new test database. Did not feel like going around with the server's help desk, so I started working on the test site anyway. It doesn't bother me if there is a policy against database imports, but I couldn't find it anywhere.

A crucial step went wonky somewhere--besides the need a new copy of the database--and I discovered the changes were going onto the live site regardless of the measures I thought I had taken to prevent that. So then it took at least another hour before I get logged in after putting the whole shebang into offline mode. This was so not what I wanted to do. I wanted to have the breathing space of a test site to get most everything right before changing the production site.

So I managed to get the whole thing updated to Drupal version 6.13, turned on the new versions of the modules already in use, turned on new modules I think will help, and created a new Zen theme but didn't make it pretty yet. I really rushed through that whole part too quickly 'cause now I'm facing all the problems and don't know where to really start.

Problem number one: the new modules wrecked the navigation menu. For some reason, the links to get to their admin pages ended up there instead of on the admin page where I've always seen them go before.

Problem number two: I lost some pages made with views and it took a few hours to stumble my way through recreating them in the new Views admin pages.

Problem number three: AcidFree albums are no longer under development. And that means finding a new gallery module. Let's just say that I'm less than thrilled with my first choice at this point. That may change if I hear back from the developer with some clear instructions on how to set things up and make them a little more automatic.

Problem number four: the cron job refuses to run. I haven't even begun to figure that one out yet.

Problem number five: fixing the theme CSS. Actually, I don't see this one being a headache, I just haven't reached it yet.

Any good news? I don't have to retag anything, all the taxonomy terms moved over without breaking. I haven't lost any data and the database appears to be running normally. I think the biggest issue I'm having is a) losing track of what I'm doing because something else that is wrong snags my attention, b) have more patience figuring things out, c) frantic to get it done before the users get disgusted.

This has hammered home the need for a secure test site that won't talk to the production site and change anything for all the Drupal sites I have now. I'm fairly certain I have enough disk space on the external harddrive to set them up, and I should do that while I'm trying to hammer out the changes on Alt. BM Site (that mostly involves waiting on FireFox to unfreeze). It took long enough to work out the kinks with FFGarret and the Circulation Desk; I don't want this snafu to happen again.

Set up a Windows test server using XAMPP
Windows-specific guidelines
Import a MySQL data dump with BigDump
Create a test Site

Read Free!
The BookWorm

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