Upgraded to Drupal 4.7.2

At the time of writing, you’ll notice that the author pictures in posts have gone AWOL, and i’ve no idea why, but am working on it. If that’s the only thing that went screwey when transitioning from 4.6.8 to 4.7.2 though, it’s pretty damn good.

The move to Drupal 4.7.2 has taken about a week of coding, and really i’d rather have been doing other things, but if we don’t upgrade, we’ll not be able to use some of the fancy new features in 4.7 — and besides, the dev list are already discussing 4.8, so it’s high time we got it together before we did much more work on Partners.

Forms API — the Biggest Nightmare

By far the worst thing with this upgrade was painstakingly going through all of the Metrics code and updating to the new Drupal forms api. It’s so much easier to do this stuff if you wrote the original code yourself!

It all seems to be working well though, but of course if you spot oddness in anything, do let me know.

Odd Characters?

I had a hell of a time updating the DB. For some reason it just did not want to update nicely on our staging server, despite a flawless execution on an almost identical server here at home. So I had a bunch of fun trying to “beat the clock”, see the sanity checklist for the gory details…

One thing you may notice right away, is that the encoding on the DB is now UTF-8, and we may have a few issues to work out with odd characters showing up in old posts — really we wont know till we’ve all had a chance to use the site for a while whether this is a big issue or a small one, but im aware of it, and am looking out for it.

New Look for Forums

Also, the Forums got a new look. They look much nicer now. In fact, to be precise, it’s more of an old look, as i discovered some long lost CSS that got bungled when we moved to the current server setup. They really are quite pretty now though, and should be more usable too.

Modules and Functionality

If you’re interested in Drupal, and would like to see implement any of the newer functionality or modules, let me know, im open to suggestion.


Lastly, please do take the time to report any weirdness, bugs or problem here in this thread, or in the forums

Thanks everyone,

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42 thoughts on “ Upgraded to Drupal 4.7.2

  1. >>as long as the metrics menu in the block on the right is a drupal menu, should be all set

    It’s not. Once you leave “my metrics” for a specific blogs metrics, it’s all out of drupal unfortunately

  2. @Greg: Yeah, I know πŸ™‚

    I was talking about visible comment numbers in the thread.

  3. Nick – as long as the metrics menu in the block on the right is a drupal menu, should be all set.

    Markus, the comments are numbered, but the number isn’t displayed at the theme level. For example, “your comment in 9642 was brief”.

  4. BTW: I would like to see the comments numbered. A reply to a specific comment would be easier like “@Nick (13): ”

    The policy for updating comments should be: If last comment append update. If other comments have been appended write new comment. That way an updated comment would not jump down to the end of the list because of then updated date stamp.

    As always just my 2c …

  5. Thanks Greg, will check it out..

    though the metrics system is not strictly a part of the drupal framework (long story..) so it could be tough with that bit..

  6. would like to see implement any of the newer functionality or modules

    I’d like to see the Javascript Tools module and more specifically the ActiveMenu module. It provides fancy dynamic menus that expand down – which would be a huge benefit for the Metrics menu system – though it degrades to the normal functioning for non-javascript browsers.

  7. @Nick: I am only a consumer of that update πŸ™‚

    I can only hope that it is not by design ..

  8. Im aware that it’s annoying Markus. but what i meant was: Is this by design, or is it something we need to “fix”.

  9. Updating the comment date stamp is a bug because it destroys the linear thread.

    It’s similar to answering a mail the TOFU style – like in Outlook by default – but the other way round plus some chaotic mixing of content.

  10. That will be because it updates its datestamp I guess, thanks for the pointer markus. Keep up the great testing work!

  11. @Trisha – if you just use the core drupal features, then upgrading is a piece of cake. If you start using contributed modules then you have to be sure that they are either popular enough that someone will make the upgrade path easy and modify the code for you OR…be willing to ditch that functionality in the case that it is not popular enough for someone else to update the code to the latest version.

  12. Hopefully it would be that difficult for me to upgrade then, since I won’t have all those extras things on mine.

  13. metrics, launchpad, blogrank and im prolly mising some.. are all proprietory modules (some for good reason, others cos i jsut havnt gotten round to putting them in the drupal cvs yet) and they all needed updating to fit with the new structure….

    metirics was HUGE with a capital H.

  14. Why did it take so long to do the upgrading? I thought of trying out drupal for my next blog – but if upgrading is that difficult I may not. Was it mostly because you have done lots of customization?

  15. ok thanks,that’s cool

    i spent some timet today working on a copy of your specific database, and could not, for the life of me, convert it to utf-8 and have the characters show correctly…

    what i wonder, is if the conversion can do nothing for old posts, but may affect new ones?

    I will have to cut and paste some german/danish/whatever chars and insert them into the “converted” table i guess, but right now im having a cold beer, and really can’t be arsed heh..

  16. @Nick, my most famous ‘anonymous addiction’ dealer was moved into my spam folder by Yahoo πŸ™‚

    Post views: Long, really long. Forever?

    As I have described I have just switched my header title variables to show the article title first. So now it is more visible because before there was always my long site name first.

    If I find some time I will PM you a list of PMetrics issues. as I said: Low priority for special characters πŸ™‚

  17. Markus, what about the question above re characters? I emailed it to you aswell…

  18. “Read more …” (if there is more) must be more prominent. At least like before the update.

    A newcomer/new visitor will never see the “read more” link. I had problems to find it and I am also always interested in knowing if there is more than the excerpt.

  19. “can you tell us if it was setting to public that allowed you to see the charts?” — come again?

    I didn’t change anything in my blog setup. The charts just all suddenly went to “chart not available” and now that you’ve fiddled something, they’re back.

  20. I fixed your blogname manually, can you tell us if it was setting to public that allowed you to see the charts?

  21. Yes – now it’s working again. My blog name is shown correctly and the charts are there again.



  22. Daniel, im not sure about the yellow light on your metrics, but i’ll ask chris to look into that this morning while i have a look at the characters issue.

    I think i need to look at running the metrics tables though a utf-8 converter, but will work it out today i hope..

  23. This *may* be related to the update — since the update, my Blog’s name is screwed up. It starts with “Daniel’s” — the apostrophe is now replaced with wierd characters.
    At the same time as that happened, my metrics disappeared and I get “Chart unavailable” for all metrics.
    Metrics were working perfectly two days ago.


  24. I’d say the RSS spec is pretty loose on it – I was referring to just the way that they happen to use it in the example on the W3 page. The W3C spec for RDF doesn’t seem to care and the is pretty valid as far as w3c is concerned.

    There are link filter modules that could tweaked and used to make everything absolute, but I basically agree with your initial assessment, that bloglines is more at fault than the feed and/or Drupal.

  25. So shouldn’t drupal do something to change those urls greg? It seems silly to have to write every url in a post as absolute when it could be handled relatively easily by the format_rss_item function?

  26. Search – The search functionality in Drupal4.7 was revamped so, as you found, you have to re-index the site. This is generally done inside of the cron.php which just needs to get called a couple times. You can accelerate the process in admin/settings/search and either clicking the button to reindex the site or bumping up the number of posts to index during each cron run

    Relative URL in feeds – should be absolute with the full domain. Some feedreaders handle this, but absolute is recommended. Check out the sample file attached to the spec:

  27. Markus do you mean there were problems before the upgrade with your special characters too? I know there were at the start but we thought they had been cleared up

  28. Thanks for the answer (search index).

    There have been problems in PMetrics regarding the special characters. Well, I thought with the Drupal update these issues might be solved.

    Don’t worry – low priority.

  29. Ok, the search thing is solved. Its only indexed 27% of the site, and will take a while to do the entire site is all, that’s why we’re getting poor results

  30. Markus, i still dont see any results for “zoomr”, are you now saying that you do, but the results are screwey?

    about the special chars, that could mean i need to run a convert script on the data in the metrics tables to convert them to proper utf-8, though in truth, i thought i had done so…

  31. All special characters (Àâüß) are gone in my post views list in my metrics.

    Search phrases are OK.

    SE details is also not showing the special characters.
    Update: phrases are OK but page titles are wrong.

  32. Sergio, im pretty sure that’s a problem with bloglines, as surely they should convert relative urls into absolute urls?

    I know it doesnt help, but that’s my take on it.

    Markus, it appears some CSS is marking the comment links as block level elements, which is causing the issue. I’ll put that on the todo list, thanks.

  33. Mark a text with mouse or cursor.

    I just wrote a mail to Kristopher at Zooomr and wanted to quote a comment title and link in my mail. That was not so easy because every time I tried to mark the text with the mouse it just produced a click on the comment title.

    text marking ~ text marker ~ highlight

    Got it πŸ™‚

  34. Hello Nick, I have just on small thing to appoint to your post.

    when you set the links for partners and for metrics, you didn’t use the complete URL, so when I’m trying to read your post on Bloglines and click on the metrics link I am forwarded to the

  35. Search is buggy.

    Simple keyword search:
    The search for “zoomr” or “zooomr” shows no results.
    The search for “flickr” doesn’t show enough.
    Example which is not found:
    Free Zooomr Pro Accounts For Bloggers

    Mark and Copy title of comments is not possible.
    Marking behaves like a click. favicon is gone

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