Some progress on the blog server front!

OK, of the four problems I noted last time, I’ve made progress on three of them. Plus I got permission to delete all empty blogs on the system and stop automatically creating a blog with every new user account. That in itself is going to make a big difference.

Luckily, I have a semi-automated procedure to create new blogs, so if anybody is offended that their empty, unused blog was wiped without their permission, I can recreate it in under a minute. Well, OK, luck has nothing to do with the fact that this procedure exists. It’s there because I created it. All these after-midnight workdays have to count for something, you know. (No I’m not whining… late nights mean I get to come in late in the afternoon. Yes, my schedule is weird. Yes, my boss is very generous and forgiving. And yes, it’s late at night and I may later regret being so glib.)

Anyway, progress on the specific problems:

  • The permissions issue was actually caused by a misconfiguration on the old server that gave it too many rights. The new one is set up correctly (and much more securely) but this means that some old blogs that were set up under the old, too-loose security rules won’t work now that things are the way they were supposed to be all along. (No, I will not explain exactly what was wrong and how it’s right now, sorry. We can’t give out detailed security info.) Anyway, I still need to go in and fix some of the blogs, but the major ones have already been taken care of.
  • The style problems happen because the upgrade didn’t change the templates on the existing blogs. The company says “User data is sacred and we never change it”, which is really just a nice way to spin “We couldn’t possibly upgrade the actual contents of your blogs without messing them up really bad.” Luckily, I found a way to upgrade the templates on an existing blog; it’s been successfully tested on two blogs, and now I need to apply this fix to everybody’s blog, except those which were so highly customized that the owner doesn’t want their templates converted to the generic MT4 versions. Those people probably aren’t going to be applying the canned styles anyway, so this problem won’t affect them.
  • The random logouts were caused by a subtle error in the code I added to the blog server to make it compatible with the WOUportal single sign-on system. I just found that and fixed it… or at least, it seems to be fixed, because I’m not getting logged out anymore. And, oh yeah, logging into the WOUportal automatically logs you into blog admin, too.
  • Then there’s the blog stats widget thing. I have no clue here, sorry. Of course, that widget didn’t even exist on the old server, so I don’t consider it a gigantic tragic loss.

Anyway, back to work….

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