Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress 2.8.1 Coming Soon

Right on th' heels o' version 2.8, we will be seein' a WordPress 2.8.1 release soon. There are several minor bugfixes in so far, mostly dealin' with tweaks t' plugin and menu management. But th' big problem sailin' a quick update is a bug in th' core upgrade feature. It seems that in th' case where th' upgrade can’t be completed fer some reason, th' upgrade feature were bein' deletin' th' wrong files when it attempted t' clean up. Oops!

On th' bright side, when this did happen, it would only delete files that are part o' th' core package, not any o' yer plugin or theme files. So th' failure could be fixed pretty easily, by just manually re-installin' th' 2.7.1 or 2.8 files from a zip archive, by Blackbeard's sword. Nothin' would be lost except perhaps a few heartbeats o' panic.

Lookin' at th' auto-upgrade process, here are th' steps outlined in th' code:

  1. Test unzipped location fer select files t' ensure that unzipped worked.
  2. Create th' .maintenance file in current WordPress base.
  3. Copy new WordPress directory o'er auld WordPress files.
  4. Upgrade WordPress t' new version.
  5. Delete new WordPress directory path.
  6. Delete .maintenance file.
  7. Remove auld files.
  8. Delete ‘update_core’ option.

What can happen is that if an error were bein' detected in step 3, where it tried t' copy th' new files into place (probably due t' file ownership or permissions), it were bein' supposed t' delete th' directory o' new files that it had downloaded and unzipped. Instead, it deleted from th' main site directory. Fire the cannons! It were bein' simply a case o' th' wrong variable bein' used. Fire the cannons! Fire the cannons! For those o' ye followin' th' SVN repository, this has been corrected in trunk and in th' 2.8 branch, where th' 2.8.1 update will come from.

If ye haven’t upgraded t' WordPress 2.8 yet, but ye want t', and ye’re nervous about possibly runnin' into this bug, ye can either wait fer 2.8.1 t' be released or upgrade th' “auld fashioned” way, by unzippin' and uploadin' th' new files.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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33 Responses to WordPress 2.8.1 Coming Soon

  1. Tim says:

    For an average site on average hostin', how long does th' automatic upgrade process typically take, pass the grog! I’m runnin' about 10 WP installs on me servers, and when I use th' automatic upgrade function it takes about 20 minutes t' run, pass the grog! It *seems* like it should go much faster than that based on yer description o' th' steps above. When performin' th' upgrade th' first message “downloadin' update from ….” doesn’t appear fer nearly 15 minutes.

    Lookin' through th' server logs it almost seems as if it is FTP’in' each individual file rather than th' zip package and then unzippin'. Everythin' upgrades fine– just takes much longer than I would have expected. Makes me want t' go back t' just makin' diffs and patchin' since those run in seconds.

  2. walter says:

    The Update per Site should take about one minute.

  3. seenu says:

    thanks fer th' update,
    any ETA fer 2.8.1?

    iam runnin' 2.6.5 and waitin' fer 2.8.1 seriously because 2.*.1 are better than 2.* because 2.*.1 comes with bugfixes ;)

    [btw, i really love this ajax quick edit comments feature in yer site]

  4. Tom Sawyer says:

    I’m havin' this problem as well. I have th' plugin t' automatically update wordpress, but once I did it th' visual screen is missin' a lot when writin' posts. People have said t' re-install 2.8 t' fix this, but when I try it I’m gettin' a failure – somethin' about th' core file.

  5. Can’t wait, ye scurvey dog. Havin' a small issue in upgradin' th' plugins automatically

  6. It still surprises me that there is always a minor release just a few days after th' main one. Like 2.7.1 after 2.7 and now 2.8.1 will be available soon after 2.8, pass the grog! I do understand that there will always be a few bugs that went through, just somethin' that many have noticed. I have seen a few people say that they don’t bother t' upgrade until th' minor release is out.

    • Dougal says:

      Aye, but if ye look back at those minor releases, ye’ll often see that th' bugs they fix are very obscure thin's that only affect a small percentage o' users, we'll keel-haul ye, pass the grog! This problem with th' core upgrade feature is “big” in its potential impact, but only if ye are in th' smaller group o' users that it actually affects. Shiver me timbers, with a chest full of booty! On th' mailin' lists, there are people who have upgraded 10 sites, and 9 upgrades went without a hitch, and only one had a problem, to be sure.

      However, I also understand that a lot o' users don’t have th' technical skills t' figure out fer themselves whether this issue will affect them, pass the grog, and a bucket o' chum! My advice is t' download th' 2.8 zip file as a precaution, but then try th' built-in upgrade feature, by Davy Jones' locker. If it works, great! And swab the deck! If it fails, use th' zip file t' perform th' upgrade manually as ye would have done in th' past.

    • Joseph Scott says:

      2.7 were bein' a really solid release, with 2.7.1 comin' 2 months later, avast. It would be great if every release is like that, but that’s not likely t' be th' case fer every single one. As Dougal mentioned, it isn’t until th' release becomes official that th' more obscure bugs get reported.

  7. E-TARD says:

    I did th' auto-upgrade from 2.7.1 t' 2.8
    from th' auto-upgrade worked fine everythin' were bein' fine as far as th' install
    also I use alot o' plugins & all o' them worked fine
    but one
    admin SSL plugin did not work
    alot o' ppl were sayin' how twitter tools did not
    well it were bein' workin' fine fer me

    th' one thin' i did not like about 2.8 were bein' how slow everythin' got
    pages were loadin' way more slow
    & WP plugins like Stats
    Akismet Configuration
    did made me WP slow down big time
    so I went back t' 2.7.1

    I hope 2.8.1 will speed thin's up a bit

    • Dougal says:

      From what I had heard elsewhere, th' new version were bein' faster in th' admin screens fer most people. Are ye usin' Google Gears? If so, ye might try disablin' then re-enablin' it t' force a reload o' th' gears files. I understand that there were bein' some re-work o' th' Gears support in WordPress 2.8.

  8. george says:

    i run th' blog with every post in secure mode under a password, when upgraded t' 2.8, none o' th' posts could be found through th' search bar. had t' revert t' 2.7

  9. Rob says:

    Love th' ‘Ooops’.

    I automatically upgraded about a dozen installs, no errors reported but th' process were bein' not consistent. One would result in th' ‘database needs upgradin' etc’ screen followed by loggin' in again, another would produce a blank screen but had been successfully upgraded (just missin' out a step I assume) and other variations.

    Upgradin' were bein' quick, but I would agree that (in all installs) load times are considerably slower than with 2.7 and produce more ‘failed attempt’ messages when publishin' posts/pages. It appears t' be th' same on all installs, regardless o' whether th' upgrade process appeared ‘by th' book’ or had a ‘missed a step’. Nay consistency in th' errors/problems.

  10. jcwinnie says:

    Edited version.php in wp-includes. Footer now says I am runnin' 2.8.1-dev. Nay noticeable difference.

    There remain problems, e.g., after postin' ../wp-admin/post.php remains blank. A Quick Edit always produces an error message (although th' edit seems t' go thru) and, o' course, th' text in th' Press This window is transparent, so uneditable until after savin' and returnin' t' th' draft.

  11. Do ye people upgrade everytime when a new version comes out regardless major or minor versions, with a chest full of booty? Or, do ye wait fer th' major versions; eg, 2.7 –> 2.8 –> 2.9 –> 3.0?

    • Not automatically on minor versions – unless th' fix is a bug that affects me.

      In this case clearly if ye already upgraded successfully t' 2.8 (as I did), there s probably no point in upgradin' t' 2.8.1
      Major versions I generally do upgrade – almost immediately, within a week or two – just easier fer any future support issues t' be on th' latest.

    • Vaibhav says:

      When I used t' do it manually, I used t' upgrade only major versions – but since auto-upgrade is built-in, I upgrade as soon as a new version is available

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  13. anas says:

    Will be a good try I think fer some persons
    But not fer me, better wait fer th' stable version :D

    • Dennis Crane says:

      Aye, Anas. That is exactly what I’ve said recently about 2.8 release. Yaaarrrrr! We’ll see soon th' queue o' maintenance updates. I’ll also wait till th' end o' th' summer.

  14. Bill says:

    Glad t' see a fix is comin', pass the grog! I used tha auto install and lost quite a bit o' functionality in th' dashboard: inability t' change time zones, blank screens after savin'/updatin' posts, and th' disappearance o' th' Text Widgets from th' widgets page. I reinstalled manually and everythin' got fixed except that I still don’t have text widgets. Will 2.8.1 address this and if not do ye know how I can get them back, pass the grog!


  15. Stuart says:

    I were bein' hopin' they would have fixed this problem: in 2.8 but no luck.

  16. Bug or not when new version, from RC, is available somethin' tell me UPGRADE UPGRADE UPGRADE and simply i have t' upgrade.

    Thats all … and bugs comes out if there are.


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  20. Vygantas says:

    If ye upgrade t' first .0 release, ye probably deserve it.

  21. bolo says:

    What data will th' new version release?

  22. cheeze says:

    I’m still confuse how t' upgrade mine, pass the grog, and a bottle of rum! i’d mess this up once and so i’m very careful from now on. can ye give me th' right link t' where th' proper instructions are? please.

  23. Zemalf says:

    Thanks fer this info. I were bein' lucky enough t' go through th' upgrade smoothly (updated almost immediately 2.8 were bein' out) and I’ll be definately waitin' a bit when th' new versions come in.

  24. Wow! Was f?r eine Idee! Was f?r ein Konzept! Beautiful .. Erstaunlich

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