We need to stay current with the WordPress blogging software – both for security and to provide the latest-and-greatest features.
After the hardware upgrade of 3/7/2009 is a week or two old, we’ve got an upgrade to wordpress 2.6.5 waiting in the wings. WordPress 2.6.5 is essentially identical to what we’re running now and shouldn’t cause any problems or confusion on a technical or user interface level.
However, a significant new update to wordpress has been released – WordPress 2.7.
We don’t really have a choice – we have to upgrade sooner rather than later. We wanted to make you aware now of the upcoming change, because soon how you manage your blog will look completely different. Probably better, but definitely different.
This Saturday night (3/7/2009 at 9pm) we’re moving the blogs.law.harvard.edu blog server to new hardware.
We’ve done extensive testing and don’t expect a significant amount of downtime – but please be aware that the blog server will be unavailable during the transition. We’ll put up a “down for maintenance” page.
We aren’t touching the wordpress blogging software – yet. See the next post for thoughts on that.
If you have not noticed by now, the WPMU install that blogs.law runs on has been upgraded. There are some new elements that will probably take a bit getting used to, but there are definitely some needed/wanted improvements that the new version has – a lot of them being security focused. If you are having any issues with themes or feel like your blog is acting wonky please contact us and let us know so that we can investigate and fix the bugs that this new version affords us!
Update: The issue with categories being missing or not displaying properly should be fixed.
We are preparing to upgrade to the new version of WordPress MU, which incorporates WordPress 2.3 code. As part of this upgrade, default behavior has been changed to disable posting using XML-RPC, which is frequently used by spammers but is also used for things like blog-via-Flickr and desktop blogging clients like ecto. Are you using XML-RPC and want to see support for it continue? If so, please leave a comment here or email weblogs -at- cyber.law.harvard.edu.
A simple but fairly effective anti-spam tool has been added to the server. If you activate the Link Limits plugin in your blog’s “Plugins” tab, comments will be rejected that contain more then 2 URLs or contain any BBCode (which does not work on WordPress and is frequently used by spammers attempting to post links). Because this plugin affects how comments behave, it is not activated by default, but is left as an option for each blog admin. That said, we recommend using it.
We’ve updated Tarski to 1.4 — this is a nice theme with a lot of customization options, including allowing a custom image header. We’ve also installed the new “Movable Manila Modern Mod MU,” an addition by our own Blogs@Law blogger Nathan Paxton derived from a similar theme that was available on the old Manila server.
Blogs using themes ending in “-wpcom” (themes that came from WordPress.com) were not displaying comments due to a problem with a wpcom-specific function. All themes should now correctly display comments.
If you can see this, you are using the brand new high-powered Blogs@Law server, which we have named “spike.” (Our old server was named “clem.” See if you can spot the pattern!)
The upgrade began at 12:00pm and was completed by 3:30pm. We hope you enjoy the many new features of the new server, most noticable of which is better page load speeds, more themes, and sidebar widgets. Send questions and comments to weblogs -at- cyber.law.harvard.edu to help us work out any post-migration kinks or to suggest other features you’d like us to support.
Remember that if you want to continue to use statistics tracking, you need to activate the WP-SlimStat plugin from your Plugins page in the Dashboard (it may take a minute or two to convert your old statistics — click only once and be patient). You may also want to review your copyright license in the Options > License page to ensure your work is being shared under the correct license.