Another big software upgrade

Today I tackled another big task on my to-do list: Upgrading phpBB for my Irregular Webcomic! (and other comic) forums. The forums have been acting up in minor ways lately, and I think it’s more symptoms of the server upgrade from PHP version 7 to 8. So I thought it was time to upgrade phpBB again to make sure it was up to date and fully compatible with PHP 8.

I downloaded the file package, unzipped it, backed up my database and previous installation files, and then copied the new files into the installation directory. Or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. When it came time to run the database upgrade script, it failed spectacularly, both from the PHP web page, and from the command line, with ridiculously arcane error messages that I had no hope of deciphering.

After despairing for a few minutes that I might have utterly broken the forums with no hope of recovery, I realised that I’d installed the new files into a temporary directory where I’d placed files the last time I upgraded phpBB, and not into the actual installation directory. Redoing all of the file copying steps into the actual directory, I held my breath as I attempted to run the database update…. and it worked! Phew.

As a friend of mine put it when I mentioned what I’d done:

That feeling where you realise “oh I did something stupid” is a massive relief because the alternative is that you did everything right but it doesn’t work… Is that unique to working with technology? I can’t see why it should be but it feels much more common than anywhere else.

Another friend thought of something:

I think there’s a similar thing where you get a medical test and you’re relieved that it’s positive because the alternative is that you don’t know what the hell is wrong with you.

Anyway, the job is done. I’m not sure if it’s fixed those intermittent bugs with the forum or not, but hopefully we’ll find that they no longer occur.

In other tasks done, I finally transferred all the photos that I took in Japan on my phone onto my computer, so I can go through them. And I burnt a big audiobook onto CDs for my mother.

I took Scully for a long walk at lunchtime, to one of the bakeries. I felt like the richest chocolatiest treat they had, so got a slab of chocolate brownie to eat after my lunch. It was good, but I felt a bit off for an hour or two afterwards – probably because it was full of coconut oil or something, as it was a gluten-free version, and they tend to have a lot more oil in them. Honestly I vastly prefer my sweet treats to have regular gluten-rich flour in them, because, if I’m being brutally honest, they taste much better and are less queasiness inducing. But it’s so hard to actually find a regular gluten-containing brownie around here these days.

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