Upgrading firsttube.com Using Linux

Maintaining firsttube.com has always been a pain. I’ve kept a copy of files at work, a copy of files at home, it’s generally been disorganized. It’s always been a lot of work. Since I hand code the entire thing, and not use a product like DreamWeaver of Front Page, I’ve had to pay very close attention.

Upgrading the site was always an adventure. For incremental upgrades, I’d just pile the new code up there and scramble to make changes to get it to work. For major upgrades…well…the two I’ve done, it was different. The 1.0 -> 2.0 transition, I deleted EVERYTHING, since absolulely no code was shared, and just started over. For the 2.x -> 3.0 transition, I deleted most things and then build the new site live. I remember when I upgraded 2.1 -> 2.2 I had a lot of trouble getting the site into “tubeCode,” and ended up spending a few hours modifying everything on the server.

However, this time, things were different. Now that I’m on Linux, I mimicked the website by installing Apache and PHP on my machine and building a webserver. Using gFTP, I didn’t even need to chmod files, I just uploaded them and they worked. It took me about 10 minutes to upload and about 2 to make the right changes to Flip’s “options” page and were were rolling. It’s cool – with Flip 2.1’s subtheming, I set my theme to slash and started browsing. Now it’s easy to see which pages are hard coded and which are using Flip’s variables. I need to go back and make some changes. One big problem is the inclusion path of themes. That’s REALLY tough. The $incpath workaround I’ve used may well make it’s way into Flip 2.1. I may have to modify the themes on each page to do that too.

Either way, this is the way to go. You can bet that ft4.1 and ft5 will see life here first too. Incidentally, don’t anyone talk about ft5 yet – between this and Flip, I don’t expect to be doing any upgrading to ft any time soon!