Notes on the Site Upgrade

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 15, 2008 - 9:54pm

This weekend I upgraded to use the latest version of Drupal, an open source content management system that is very powerful but, unfortunately, not very easy to upgrade. (Which explains why I let myself get two major releases behind).

The performance of the site should be improved, but much more for authenticated users than anonymous users, as the prior version had only cached content for anonymous users. Additional performance improvements will be made later this week as a kindly expert pigg has offered to help me optimize my database and web server configuration. In the meantime, hopefully the Drupal upgrade is a good first step.

This upgrade comes with some new features -- I am probably forgetting some but here is at least a partial list:

  • Subscription functionality is vastly improved. You can subscribe to be notified by email when content is updated or commented on, as before, but now you can specify subscriptions to users, content types, and categories in addition to individual threads. Unfortunately to make this work I had to blow the prior subscription info away, so all subscriptions must be recreated.
  • You can upload files to content -- not just images, but many filetypes including spreadsheets, etc. You can still upload inline images as well.
  • You can create polls as forum topics.
  • There is a new and improved search (though the index is slowly being rebuilt over the next few days, which may slightly degrade performance).
  • There is now a mobile "skin" so that if you view the site on your Crackberry/iPhone/etc., it will only show the main navigation box, the "Active forum topics" box, and the main content.
  • User profiles are now vaguely profile-y. You can view other users' profiles (though not their email addresses), upload a profile picture, and change your username.
  • There is now a private message system so that you can send messages directly to other piggs. Unfortunately it is still in development so it's very barebones. For instance, you are not notified when you have received a new message -- you have to explicitly check your messages. And you can't existing delete messages. Clearly it's a work in progress, but this feature will be greatly improved in the future, so I thought I would add it now and let people start playing around with it.

I made a lot of changes and had limited time to test, so if you see anything that looks broken please let me know.

update: A couple other things:

- I added a "quote" link at the bottom of content so that you can quote the post you are replying to.

- Something I forgot to mention on subscriptions. You can edit your user profile so that you will automatically be subscribed to any thread you comment on. (It's always easy to unsubscribe). This has always been a feature but it's pretty cool so I thought I'd mention it here.

(category: )

Submitted by NotCranky on June 15, 2008 - 10:23pm.

Thanks so much for your time and efforts Rich. Thanks to the pigg who is helping you too. Very cool.

Submitted by Ex-SD on June 16, 2008 - 9:18am.

Great job! Thanks for your efforts.

Submitted by an on June 16, 2008 - 9:59am.

Hey Rich, is it also possible to put the page jump link at the top as well as the bottom? It'll make it much easier when I'm on my iPhone :-). Scrolling to the bottom of a long page just so i can go to the latest page is kind of a pain sometime.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 16, 2008 - 10:24am.

Sorry AN, I would like that too but I don't know how to change that without digging further into the code than I am comfortable with.

My crackberry has a shortcut to go to the bottom of a page (the "b" key) -- I assume the iphone has something like that as well. On the computer, ctrl-end will jump you to the bottom of the page. Not ideal, I know, but the best I can offer for now....


Submitted by an on June 16, 2008 - 2:49pm.

That's cool, don't sweat about it. It's not too bad scrolling with the iPhone. Just thought if it's an easy thing to do, might want to add it. It's no big deal though.

Submitted by equalizer on June 16, 2008 - 10:28pm.

Thanks Rich. Where is the list of people online? Is it gone?

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 17, 2008 - 5:15pm.

Yeah, sorry, that's gone...


Submitted by Eugene on June 19, 2008 - 12:39pm.

Copying from a different thread...

* I can't attach files to messages, but I can attach files to images that I attach to messages.

* I can't upload anything because the web site says that I hit the 2 MB limit, but I can't delete any of the stuff I previously uploaded, and in fact I can't even see it. I'm effectively banned from uploading anything from now on.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 19, 2008 - 12:49pm.

Thanks, I will look into it.

BTW it would be better to email this kind of stuff to me --


Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 19, 2008 - 12:55pm.

I suspect #1 was caused by #2 because my test authenticated user can upload files -- maybe the forum is smart enough to not show that to you (thinking you've uploaded too much already) but the image uploader isn't.

I increased the max total uploads size enormously. See if it works for you now...


PS - Feel free to reply here now that I am watching it; my thing about emailing me was that I don't always see comments.

Submitted by Eugene on June 19, 2008 - 1:13pm.

I see the option to add file attachments here

but not here

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 19, 2008 - 1:40pm.

Unfortunately upon further research, it looks like you can't upload to comments, but only to images or forum topics. Too bad. Your clever workaround, to post a wee bogus image, is the way to go for now.

A comment upload plugin exists but has not been ported to the latest version yet. I will keep checking and we should get it eventually.


Submitted by Eugene on June 19, 2008 - 1:43pm.

Sounds good, thanks for looking into it.

Submitted by JC on August 21, 2008 - 12:37pm.

Would it be possible to get information on how to delete a post? I posted info that I belived to be true at the time and later learned was not.

I really should delete as it was an untrue characterization of someone's behavior. I apologize for the goof.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 21, 2008 - 1:19pm.

You can delete the content of the post (if not the post itself) if nobody has replied to it.

If you are unable to to that email me and i will do it.


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