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CMS Upgrade Status Report 3-17-08
Mar 17, 2008
By J. Weible
I have some good news and some bad news regarding the CMS.
We've been working toward rolling out a set of software upgrades for about three
Broadly speaking, these updates include:
- OpenCms itself from version 7.0.1 to 7.0.4
- TinyMCE (the HTML editor) from version 220.127.116.11 to 3.0
- Numerous local customizations to account for the above, plus the following improvements we've
- When you are creating links to other CMS pages, the file browser now works correctly!
- The new "Employee Bio" structured document type & template (a collaboration with Barry
- Multiple simpler "modes" for the TinyMCE editor depending on what sort of content is being
- We've redesigned how we launch and serve TinyMCE to improve the speed of loading the edit
Those software upgrades include too many bug fixes to list and some new features too.
There are two notable functional replacements we've had to make that affect the editing
- Because of many technical changes with TinyMCE and OpenCms, we're not able to use the "Image
Gallery" popup window that is currently being used for selection/insertion of images into web page
content. Instead, a customized version of the OpenCms file browser pops up. To improve
user efficiency, when it comes up, it will only list files that are images. There are clear
advantages and disadvantages with this compared to the Image Gallery function you're using
now. We hope to improve the feature more in the future (details later).
- Some of the changes to the TinyMCE editor will allow us to get more web pages to 100% valid
& accessible markup. These changes specifically have to do with alignment (left, right,
justified). We're having to develop a temporary kludge to work around a weakness in its
implementation which as it happens, caused us to push forward additional markup validation
The bad news:
Last week, I ran the upgrade of OpenCms to 7.0.4 on the development server. It failed
insidiously. The upgrade process ran, but broke so much core functionality that I couldn't
even find out how extensive the problems were. After a few hours of working on it, Kelvin and
I had to revert the development system from backups.
This leaves us with a couple of options for proceeding:
- We will clone our production system to a new virtual server and attempt the upgrade on
it. (production and development servers are now ~4 months divergent.) If that goes
well, we should be ok. If not, we can...
- Upgrade to 7.0.3 which we did have working on a test system a couple of months ago.
There's one important bug fix we wanted in 7.0.4 but it's not a show-stopper.
Finally, I want to leave you with these transition thoughts:
Since these upgrades are so pervasive and there will be some changes to your editing screens,
we want to have a system running a few days with the new features so you can preview them if you
wish, and certainly so that folks like Robert, Camilla, or Helen who are involved with support to
you all can preview the changes before they go live.
Also, the rollout of Faculty and AP bios is dependent on several of these upgrades and
customizations. If we have to delay this much longer because of new complications, we could
"publish" those files temporarily by copying them to Cooper.