Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Upgrading to Textpattern RC3

graphicPUSH has been upgraded to Textpattern RC3, which was a fairly painless procedure. A few bumps in the road, but the new features are worth it.

Over the past month or so, I have been having a terrible time with my host, Fatcow. They recently converted their operation over to a new system that locks down the .htaccess file for “security” reasons. Instead of editing directly through FTP access like I used to (with Filezilla), I now have to go through Fatcow’s administration panel and their proprietary file manager.

With Textpattern RC1, to achieve clean URLs without a plug-in, I had to use the Forcetype command in .htaccess, which was not a very elegant way to create a faux directory structure, but it worked. Fatcow’s new system does not allow Forcetype, rendering my entire site dead in the water. Argh.

My only choice was to either upgrade to Textpattern RC3 or move to dirty URLs. Well, I’ve done both.

Installing RC3 could only have been easier if Dean and crew provided an actual downloadable file. Instead, it is only available through SVN, which Dean details in the RC3 announcement. If you have a host like Textdrive that allows direct SVN, great; otherwise you’re stuck downloading Tortoise SVN and following a slightly longer path to installation. This is much easier than it sounds and I had a sweet little RC3 package ready to upload in just minutes.

I changed the old “textpattern” directory to “textpattern-old,” dropped over the new version, copied over the old config.php file and opened up Textpattern admin panel. Guess what? The shit worked. Everything was there, and my database was intact.

I immediately switched my site over to “Messy URLs” in the admin panel, and like flipping a switch, my site worked. Hallelujah.

Things I Had To Fix

  • My installation of Wilshire One’s amazingly awesome rss_superarchive plug-in (0.8) does not work with RC3, so I had to visit his site to grab the newest version, 0.14, which was re-engineered for RC3. Installing it through the plug-in panel overwrote the old version. However, since the default “category” archiving outputs as unordered lists, I had to go back through the code to make it display definition lists instead.
  • RC3 automatically applies Textile formatting to an article excerpt tag, which means a block of text is wrapped in <p> without asking you. Since this caused widespread b0rkadge, I briefly panicked. In the end, the almighty zem informed me that Textile can now be manually turned on and off for both the entry and excerpt fields through the Advanced Options tab for each article. There you go. Every time I think Textpattern does something dumb, it turns out to be genius. (I can just hear Dean talking in Darth Vader’s voice … “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”)
  • All the original hacking I did for the comments is gone. While they are output as ordered lists, I’m going to have to go back into comments.php and slog through the code to bend the output code to my will. Again, definition lists are a more semantic solution.

New Features That I Want To Play With

  • Sticky articles. In RC1, to create a single static page (like an about page), I created a whole section (“about”) and then a single article for that section. Sticky articles seeks to alleviate that problem, kind of like Movable Type’s new static page feature.
  • File uploads. This will be nice for things like the icons section, where certain non-image files are tied to articles.

Real content coming soon.

commentary + criticism

Sebastian Schmieg

wrote the following on Wednesday April 20, 2005

Now, what’s this? Are you actually “blogging” again? ;-)


wrote the following on Wednesday April 20, 2005

graphicPUSH is a stern and unforgiving mistress. My need to write outweighs my need to whine.


wrote the following on Thursday April 21, 2005

Wow, you’re back! Good to hear that.
It just hate having to look at the same ‘This was not a blog’ everyday ;-)