Why Mokka mit Schlag?

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

About a year ago I launched a The Cafes with some fanfare to host shorter writings on a variety of subjects that didn’t already fit into Cafe au Lait or Cafe con Leche. That site was a partial response to my feelings about the shortcomings of a lot of existing weblog management and CMS software. In several ways I think it’s still superior to a lot of what’s out there, including the WordPress engine that hosts Mokka mit Schlag. But not in all ways.


Don’t Confirm Me!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Over the last few days I’ve been trying out quite a bit of new software as part of a couple of new projects. This includes the Vienna RSS client, the WordPress blogging engine, and the PHPMyAdmin web-based interface to MySQL. Along the way I’ve noticed the same repeating problem in each of these products, and it’s one that I’ve seen in numerous other products over the years. (more…)

Upgrade Instructions Considered Necessary

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Some thoughts on upgrading open source server software

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours avoiding real work by upgrading my software. Specifically I upgraded MySQL 4.1, Apache 2, and PHP here on cafe.elharo.com after noticing that MySQL had crashed. I didn’t do any major version upgrades, just moved everything up to the latest point release of the branch I was using. Along the way I noticed big, gaping holes in the documentation for all three. Not one of them had any upgrade instructions. They all had poorly written instructions for a first time install (Apache was probably the least bad here, PHP the worst) and a couple had instructions for moving between versions (e.g. 1.3 to 2.0 or 4.1 to 5.0) but not one had anything to say about how you should upgrade from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2 while keeping your data, configuration, and extension modules intact. Since point releases often fix security holes, these are the most critical upgrades. I had to go to IRC to figure out how to upgrade MySQL, where I was told it would happen by “magic,” which would be nice if it were true, except it wasn’t.