Upgrading to WordPress 4.9.4

When I initially started keeping track of my upgrades, of both WordPress but also mostly all other software updates as well, it was since there had been several bugs caused by updates, in turn causing me to spend a lot of time troubleshooting and resolving these. And I wanted to keep a log on when I upgraded, what I upgraded to easier find and resolve issues and how much time I spent on these rather meaningless tasks.

Over the last few years the updates on all platforms I use have both become so frequent it’s become quite impossible to write them all down, the steady trickle of updates have become a huge flood, but on the other hand updates have overall, with some quite notable exceptions, become much better in quality and have required less and less time and intervention from me.

Such as with WordPress, which has been silently and robustly updating itself across all my sites. With an exception today, where the 4.9.4 update just sat there waiting for my approval, for some reason. Maybe I was too fast, or just logged in precisely at the time it became available and the auto-update had not yet had time to react, I don’t know, but there it was, the surprise of having to manually initiate an update. But it worked flawlessly.

The danger of all these successful auto-updates is that I’ve been negligent with doing backups. Since they usually work. And usually update themselves overnight. And doing backups “just in case” is a really great example of wasting time which I don’t have.

Anyway, if only MediaWiki could advance to a state where updates could be performed with the same ease as WordPress. Since at the moment leaving MediaWiki is not an option.

And the cumulative updates of Windows 10 and Windows server are still a pain in size and time taken to install, even if they auto-update fairly well most of the time…


Is there any point in keeping MediaWiki?

I’ve been using a wiki for many years, but a few years back I started feeling that it’s being “abandoned” and less relevant for me due to the limited support and design options.

First, while WordPress have developed their auto-upgrade tools into an elegant and smooth procedure, MediaWiki still hasn’t gotten further than me still having to manually download the zip-file, extract the zip-file, then upload the extracted files after which an in-place reinstallation can be done (although now at least even keeping the existing settings with no big problems). This isn’t really progress in the area of smooth installation, and since nothing much has happened for, what, 5 years maybe ? I doubt much will happen fast in the coming years.

Second, editing is quite tricky and I can never seem to remember all the special “codes” required for formatting. A better rich-text editor would have been lovely to have and as for help the MediaWiki source site itself remains very inaccessible, links go to outdated pages (like “skins”, more below), I really can’t find any decent support or help or ways of contacting someone for asking questions, and while free software comes with no obligation at least WordPress has a community and support forum.

Third and most important to me is the lack of themes, or “skins”. WordPress have developed an impressively large number of free and commercial themes to choose from. As for Wiki on the other hand, after extensive searches some 2 years back I managed to find a fan-based port of the Twenty Ten WordPress theme to WikiMedia, and while it had some bugs it at least made the wiki rather nice looking.
But now MediaWiki has moved one step further and categorized all the old skins as “outdated” and the rather limited number of currently supported official skins is laughably small and looking sadly poor in design.
Also illustrated by the fact that if I try to search on for example Google for “MediaWiki skins” the most recent links I get are the same as the ones I found in 2009 while then searching for the same, so it does not appear to be an area where there is any substantial amount of community development.

And so, as there from my point of view seems to be negative development in design and no real progress for me as a user in functionality I’m starting to think whether I should really spend any more energy on the wiki. While I do have quite a lot of articles stored there, I could either choose to use the time in trying to find some migration tools, or I could just “depromote” the wiki from being the main page into a sub-domain (though I guess that will be a little challenging in regards to links).
Or I could just let it die, as with the PHPBB forum from so many years ago, but that would be a shame considering the time spent on all the content, so the migration feels like the better path.
If possible.

About blogging

I’m hearing every now and then people mentioning that I have a blog.
I find it quite amusing to see the same people be so surprised that someone actually uses all the new collaborative technology that we have purchased and built.

I guess I sometime should tell them I don’t really have one blog, that one’s really only rarely used. I actually have four, and two retired, plus one semi-active wiki, two half-and-half abandoned discussion forums, and a few others servers on top of that. I’m really trying to consolidate, whenever I have some spare time over of my free time, which is actually very seldom considering the kids, the family and the photography.
But someday I will succeed…