1 2009

CMS Made Simple: Update Woes

Category: CMS Made Simple

After some busy months of Linux software development and extensive technical writing it's time to update this site again and to show off one or two things. And what better way to start an update than with the site's software itself.

This CMS is also a playground to fiddle around with modules and to test new versions before they go live on one of the other servers. So without much ado I started the update process from CMS made simple 1.4.1 to 1.5.1.


On the first try, it failed miserably. The system itself was functional and served all pages apart from the album-module. But it was impossible to log into the back-end, as it would just drop me back to the log-in page. It all pointed to some PHP error, and indeed, in my PHP error.log I found some obscure error messages that pointed to the previously installed modules, that where disabled but not fully removed like this:


PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined method Album::GetNotificationOutput()


I neither had the time nor inclination to try to fix the album module so I put the backup back in place, deactivated and removed all modules apart from some the core modules and did the upgrade again. This time it worked. So If you are stuck with the same problem you might want to find out exactly which of your modules is incompatible with the new version of CMS made simple. It seems that disabling them is not enough, you must remove them completely. Mind though, that you might lose content this way. So it's a good idea to keep a proper backup to put the content back from.


It'll still be some work to get some of the modules back up and running. I had to create this Blog page again from a backup and the gallery isn't back yet. But it's far less work than to put all the content including templates and style sheets back into a fresh installation.


And no, sometimes it's not easy and simple, but just the same hackish job that are are a trademark of most complex PHP scripts.

Update 08-feb-2009: In the meantime I upgraded to 1.5.2 without any hassles and I put the gallery back online. Without mod_rewrite rules, so the URLs look still pretty bad.

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