Drupal Upgrading Issues

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jethro's picture

We have been steadily upgrading all our Drupal websites - (ours and clients) in the last 2 weeks.

The process has been slow for numerous reasons. First I have had to do paying work at the same time and second each site needs to be done twice - we have created a test server that mirrors as closely as possible the live server. On this test server we upload a backup of the live site, test it, perform the upgrade and test again. Then once we are happy we push the live site into maintenance mode, upgrade it and test it before going back online again.

We had Drupal websites in 4.5.2, 4.6.3, 4.7.4, 4.7.5, 4.7.6 and 5.2.0 versions.

So far we have upgraded only 4.7.x sites to 4.7.8 to get current with security patches. As these are all minor point upgrades of fairly recent versions we have experienced no problems in these sites (other then forgetting to install the TTF needed for the captchas on this site! Gordon from RLP spotted that one for me. Thanks Gordon)

In the weekend we started on the 4.6.3 sites. Immediately we encountered a problem that we couldn't resolve and spent several hours futzing around trying to locate it. Interestingly it had nothing to do with the upgrade, we couldn't even get the test site to load properly. I had copied up all the files (three times and from 2 different backups) and we had attached the MySQL database twice. In both instances we ended with a page that looked nothing like the site was supposed to look like.

Here is an example


Rohan, my techie, eventually found this post on Drupals forums explaining what the problem was.

Seems because Drupal 4.6.x was feature frozen and released before the php
team made changes to php5 series around php5.0.5 and higher that broke
the xTemplate theme engine. Our 4.6.3 sites use the x-template engine.

The solution initially is to remove the xtemplate engine, replace with phptemplate 4.6 and replace all the themes with bluemarine for phptemplate. I used the one from the 4.7.8 app.

This gave me a test site i could use to login and change the theme in.

The unfortunate thing is that this probably means I now have to rebuild my xtemplate themes - fortunately we only have 2 of these sites.