WordPress <2.5

WordPress 2.5 didn’t work out. The initial problem was the failure of the flash media uploader. Although it was inconvenient to work around, this wasn’t a fatal problem.

The deal-breaker was that the Apache processes weren’t ending properly. Within 24 hours, I could log into the admin interface perhaps one time in ten, and doing anything once logged in was all but impossible. Jessica wrote me and explained that when she tried to visit my site, she got nothing but a a white screen. Lovely. The problem seemed to be WordPress 2.5.

Clearly, I needed to go back to the previous version. After I installed the previous version, I found the same problem. Only then did I think of trying to view pages from Seeking the Alien Shore since they’re not using WordPress at all. Wouldn’t you know, they weren’t loading either. I wrote my host and they told me about the Apache process problem and restarted my account. Everything was fine from then on.

Unfortunately, they’re not sure what caused the problem. EngineHosting has been the most trouble-free host I’ve had, so I didn’t think of bringing them into it. Had I asked earlier, they might have been able to fix things before I reverted. Then if it happened again, we could investigate how the new version of WordPress is involved. This said however, I’m in no rush to diagnose the problem. Instead, I hope a 2.5.1 release appears soon and I ‘ll be able to at least hope for a trouble-free upgrade.

In the meantime however, I’ve made another change and apologize in advance for any trouble it causes. The change involves the URLs to individual entries. Instead of ending with the post ID number, they now include the year, month, and the post title. I made this change because I noticed that the post ID number can change. The whole point of permalinks is that they don’t change, so this will fix the problem.

Unfortunately it breaks the links others have made to any entries I’ve posted since switching to WordPress in January. My apologies Thomas, Don, and anyone else who was kind enough to link me.

On the bright side though, this new link structure hides a neat bit of functionality. What was once:

http://www.alienshore.com/archives/146

is now:

http://www.alienshore.com/2008/04/gas-guzzler-payoff/

I like that there’s usable information visible in the link address. The date and entry title (more or less) are plainly visible. Yes it’s longer, but no one’s going to type in the link for individual entries anyway. What I really like is if you remove the entry title like this:

http://www.alienshore.com/2008/04/

you’ll get all the entries posted in April. Similarly, you can remove the month to see all the posts from the year.

If I had known this, I would have used this link format from the start. So all previous notifications, whether RSS or e-mail, will not work properly. Only those from this evening and later will work as you’d expect. Thankfully, the feeds will only include the ten latest entries so although there aren’t ten new ones, you may get notified of ten new entries. Again, my apologies. From here on, everything will be back to normal.

My fingers are crossed, anyway.

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