That was easy. Conversion to WordPress was straight forward – the hardest part was choosing between all the available themes. Converting the actual Drupal pages was semi-manual, but not difficult; and I was pleased to find directly-supported the idea of back-dating the posts so they still represent the correct time line. I still plan to explore developing a custom template for image pages — more for the learning experience than because it’s something I really need. But it’s nice to put the constant battle to understand the rich, complex, and poorly documented mysteries of Drupal. Now I can get on with the actual job, which is the refurbishment of the observatory itself (which will reach a major accomplishment in a couple of weeks, as soon as a piece of equipment returns.)
I’ve just spent another frustrating weekend fighting with Drupal. Version 6 was no longer compatible with upgrades made at my ISP, so I upgraded to version 7, only to find that the handling of images has been completely revamped, and all of my image galleries and work-in-progress images are broken. There are lots of online posts giving snippets of PHP code people are using to build their own image recovery systems, but I don’t need this. Maintaining the core of my website was not supposed to be my passtime.
My needs are pretty simple, and I know WordPress is simple, well-supported, and adequate to my needs. So, I’m starting a conversion project. With luck, I hope to be able to convert the earlier Drupal posts and pages with their dates intact, so the wordpress version will still read like the journal the Drupal site was. Standby…
I’ve been away from the observatory and this web site for almost a year for various reasons. On return, I found the web site messed up badly – changes at the ISP (PHP upgrades) were incompatible with the now-obsolete version of Drupal running the site. So, as part of getting the observatory back on the air, I’ve upgraded this site to Drupal version 7. That broke a lot of things, so gradually rebuilding.
In my experience, good ISPs seem to stay good for 5-7 years, then go sour. That just happened; after many years of good service, my previous preferred hosting company has become poor (probably not coincidentally, just after their shared-hosting division was sold to another firm). After a string of outages and dead-ends with several sites I used to host with them, enough was enough, so I’ve moved. So this site is now up on a new provider (http://hostpapa.ca), which seems pretty good so far. The site has been down and broken for a few weeks before and during this change, but I think it’s back to stable now.
Drupal has been bugging me that there was an “important security update” to verson 6.14. I didn’t want to install this manually and waited until the web-based installer from my ISP caught up and offered the update. Mistake – it failed and screwed up the site. So, I manually restored the site to its healthy state (fortunately I took a very complete backup first). Then I learned how to do a manual update. Other than being labour-intensive, that worked fine. The total lesson took several hours though. Next time I’ll just go straight to the manual method.
I more-or-less finished configuring Drupal to my satisfaction for now. Added the “image” and “image assist” modules to easily imbed images in posts, and the FCKEditor module for near-WYSIWYG editing. I’ve been using FCKEditor, in its MediaWiki form, on several web sites for a year now, and have come to like it. Now I feel ready to start filling in some content. If only the DNS propagation would come through.
I registered domain Earwig Haven Observatory with iWeb – my reliable host for many other sites – and purchased the “all inclusive” package that I’m using for those other sites. Now the long and agonizing wait until DNS propagation makes the site available. I’ve installed Drupal on the site and plan to use it right from the start. I’m getting a head start, before DNS propagation has happened, by using a manual line in my Mac’s /etc/hosts file to resolve the site address.