Just finished updating WordPress to 2.5 from 2.3.3. Ran into a few problems. Normally I diff the old version of WP to the new version and just apply the generated patch to my “custom” install. Somewhere along the line I must have deleted extraneous files like license.txt because the patch failed to apply because some files listed in the diff didn’t exist in the directory I was applying it to… this is the first time this method of non-destructively updating WordPress had failed me. I could have edited the patch by hand but it was 100K lines so I wasn’t particularly interested in this method.
So I finally ended up actually following the upgrade instructions, deleted wp-admin and wp-includes, and copied all the files from 2.5 into my existing install. The database update took about 1 second to complete. The upgrade was technically complete at this point but of course it wreaked havoc with my theme.
One thing about the WordPress theme architecture is that if a failure occurs in a custom theme it kinda falls back to the default theme, this is due to CSS I guess. Problems with a theme, like my Binary Blue bastardization, also show up in the strangest ways.
For example, my last.fm plugin’s cache directory got blown away. The plugin could no longer find the image cache and was throwing a (fatal?) error to Apache’s logs. The site was being styled by what looked like a combination of the default classic and my own customized Binary Blue theme. What I do to fix this is an utter hack, I move the default theme out of the way and symlink the directory of my theme to wp-content/themes/default. Then when things go wrong it is still pulling from my theme. Then I go back and fix the actual problem.
The upgrade is complete. It took me about 30 minutes to migrate total. But I am more concerned about “corner cases” this time since my traditional method of just merging in the diff between releases failed. I also haven’t stress tested all of the widgets and plugins. Overall I would suggest upgrading. The experience was worse than usual, but not terrible.
I just noticed when writing this post that the “Preview this Post” feature in WP 2.5 must pull from the auto-saved draft. When I click preview I don’t see the content that hasn’t been saved yet. Small potatoes, remind me to open a bug.
Update (4 hours later): I figured out why my theme was getting butchered into some combination of the default and my own – I had some absolute URLs in my header.php where I forgot to use the template path variables.Spencer Shimko 12 April 2008