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TWiki Beta Release Discussions

Refactored discussions out of TWikiBetaRelease.

ALERT! For feedback on a specific Beta release visit one of TWikiBetaRelease2004x10x30, TWikiBetaRelease2004x10x24, TWikiBetaRelease2004x07x30, TWikiBetaRelease2004x07x29, TWikiBetaRelease2004x05x07, TWikiBetaRelease2004x03x20, TWikiBetaRelease2004x01x19, TWikiBetaRelease2003x12x18, TWikiBetaRelease2003x08x11

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Nov 2002

Is the latest beta always installed somewhere on SourceForge? I would find this very useful.

-- MartinCleaver - 20 Aug 2001

TWiki.org's TWiki installation has at least Beta status, most of the time Alpha.

-- PeterThoeny - 02 Aug 2002

How do you find the TWikiBetaRelease .zip file to download and try? http://TWiki.org/download.html keeps sending an email about where the TWikiProductionRelease is located and the DevelopersNews just says the beta is at the "usual location." It's kind of hard to test a beta without the beta code, don't you think? smile

-- TomKagan - 12 Sep 2002

I agree with Tom. Where in the heck do you download it??

I just went to install the alpha but wanted to start with a fresh beta install before overlaying the beta. And sure enough I cant find the beta zip anywhere and wasted almost an hour in the process.

This "we want to collect data" stuff is crap, just put the stuff up for download, all of it.

-- JohnCavanaugh - 27 Nov 2002

Users who requested to be notified of Beta releases will get a welcome developers e-mail. This e-mail contains the URL for the Beta downloads. Drop me a line in case you need to know the URL.

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Nov 2002

On to a different thread: in DevelopersNews a new beta was announced today with a date of 30-Dec. I think this is bad practice and strongly discourage it. If the next production release is ready on 16-Jan it should be called exactly that, 2003-01-16. If it is desirable to keep production releases to the first of the month, then wait until february. 2 or 3 weeks is not going to make that much of a difference. The people who are really hot to trot will be using the Jan-08 release candidate already anyway.

My 2c.

-- MattWilkie - 08 Jan 2003

In the 2004-Feb beta there is a file called upload in the $twiki/lib/ dir which shouldn't be there.

-- MattWilkie - 17 Feb 2004

Yep, that was there by mistake. Is removed and will no longer be there in the next Beta. Thanks for the heads up.

-- PeterThoeny - 17 Feb 2004

Is there any documentation on how to install a beta over the production release?

(In the beta documentation there's wonderful documentation about how to upgrade from 1 Dec 02 to the production release, but I'm not entirely confident that the same procedure will apply?)

-- MartinGregory - 29 Mar 2004

I think that the document that you are looking at is being written as we go along from our experiences of upgrading to the beta's and alphas as we go along - so follow wawy, and when you see a problem - tell us smile

-- SvenDowideit - 29 Mar 2004

Martin, FWIW I upgraded to beta20040119 using the previous revision of the document, and had no real problems that common sense couldn't solve.

-- CrawfordCurrie - 29 Mar 2004

oh yeah, and if you get stuck and want some quick help / support - join us on TWikiIRC (just write your problem and someone will be along (give us time smile ) and help

-- SvenDowideit - 29 Mar 2004

Thanks for the input. I think that what can be solved by common sense varies with one's experience with the beast. In my case 'very little'. Still, I desparately need topic= capability in my searches, so I guess I take the plunge!

Has anyone given much thought to an 'upgrade script'? The thing I most fear is that copying in new files messes up a setting that I got right in the first place by trial and error, and that I really have no clue about how to find. Reading the upgrade instructions, occurences of 'merge this file' or 'copy the settings from here to there' seem a little rife. I'd be keen to see (even help with!) things that don't change being factored out of files from things that do, and other help for upgrading. Being in the position myself, I'm all too aware of how daunting it is to be faced with instructions like the existing ones when the only time I've ever looked at any given file was once, just long enough to make it work the first time!

-- MartinGregory - 29 Mar 2004

Oh dear; he wants to open that old can of worms again. Yes, many people have thought about upgrade scripts. There seems to be some reluctance to pursue it though, that I can't quite fathom. There are bits and pieces all over the shop that can help, but I'm not even going to point you at them. Your fellow antipodean, SvenDowideit, was working on a patch methodology for upgrades which sounded promising, but I don;t think ever got completed. I guess he's going to finish the job some day. Aren't you, Sven? wink

-- CrawfordCurrie - 30 Mar 2004

yep, it sliped my mind when i wrote above as I've been busy getting familiar with the remainder of the codebase. have a look at TWikiTopicUpgradeScript - its a quick script that i posted once it did everything i needed for the upgrade i did at that time. This script is for upgrading the topics, not the other portions (which i generally have as a parallel directory to the previous install)

I'm getting to the point where i'm interupting interuptions so if anyone wants to start the voting system - that would be useful to direct me (and others) towards what you guys would like to see the most smile

-- SvenDowideit - 30 Mar 2004

What is the rational behind creating duplicate system topics like TWikiPreferences and TWikiVariables in the Main web? Yes I realize they are just includes; but why bother at all?

-- MattWilkie - 30 Mar 2004

Main.TWikiVariables is there for legacy reasons so that older installations do not have dangling references. Originally, TWiki had all docs in the Main web.

Main.TWikiPreferences is there for security: It is possible to add one more layer of preferences in the Main web. It is locked down by default.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Apr 2004

Does this mean that Main.TWikiPreferences overrides Main.WebPreferences and %TWIKIWEB%.TWikiPreferences, if present? Is %MAINWEB% the only one affected or is this true for all webs?

I think it would be better for there to be one and only one system-wide preference topic possible.

-- MattWilkie - 01 Apr 2004

This order applies:

  1. TWiki.TWikiPreferences
  2. Main.TWikiPreferences (if present)
  3. WebPreferences of current web
  4. User home page
  5. Current topic (recent feature)

The Main.TWikiPreferences is useful in a large installation. It is also useful to separate site admin variables from TWiki predefined variables.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Apr 2004

Please forgive my thick-headedness, but I don't see what you can do with Main.TWikiPreferences which you can't do with Main.WebPreferences. I don't understand how this is "useful to separate site admin variables".

-- MattWilkie - 03 Apr 2004

Regarding scripts, installation and otherwise: why not create a web-based configuration/installation process? Lots of projects use that method rather successfully. My experience with TWiki in this regard (manual configuration, scattered docs) has not been very pleasant (no offense intended); that along with some improved How-to documentation (customization, etc) would really go a long way.

Thanks to all that develop this, of course. It has a ton of potential.

-- ForrestAldrich - 06 Apr 2004

Forrest - this is my desire too - but I would like to ask you (and others) can you point us at some that you think stand out? (i've been doing it the twiki way for way too long to be sure i can recognise a good web based user configuration)

-- SvenDowideit - 07 Apr 2004

Some projects that use web-based configuration/installation include:

I can find some others if you like; they all differ in their approach.

The basics of it are web-based forms that the administrator fills in, then those variables are placed in the right configuration areas. I personally think this is a more palatable approach, and the effort involved to accomplish this may be minimal. It's especially more appealing to people with less experience.

As for general documentation issues, it might be useful to pool TWiki-specific topics into a General area and Advanced area. It's not always apparent that the Webs you create must be manually edited in the Preferences area (that really could be changed to be automatic). And also a good article on customizing the look and feel of your Wiki, from the first home page we see, to the skins, etc. Some tutorials might avoid more FAQs.

-- ForrestAldrich - 07 Apr 2004

I updated from Producton 1 Feb 2003 to Beta 20 Mar 04.

As Crawford implied, common sense can get you there BUT I can't say it was 'a great user experience'.

While I admit I was playing battleships with my son at the same time, it did take me over an hour to get done. An hour just to install an upgrade? That's not good.

Further, I was never feeling like "I have this nailed". Quite the contrary, because it was a kind of "try and see" experience, even now I wonder what I might have missed or messed up in the process.

I think that providing a good clean easy upgrade experience is not something that "you might do if you get round it it in the background out of sympathy for a few poor old sods who can't get it right themselves".

If TWiki is to be a force in the world posited by PT in AppealToCodevCommunityByCoreTeam then painfree upgrades for administrators (who are not going to invest time into or really care about understanding the process) will be a must. It's absence will mean a different tool is chosen.

I think that it's probably time that the "upgrade problem" went away from here to a topic of its own, to allow other TWikiBetaReleaseDiscussions topics to emerge.

I've scanned around tryinig to find a home, and found (as Crawford warned) various places where the discussion has raged for a while then gone quiet. I haven't been able to get an overall picture of "where to from here" in any one of the topics that I have read, so (gag) I have created another: TWikiUpgradeStrategy. In there I will try to collate existing information and have a discussion with anyone that's interested about a sensible approach that addresses the whole problem (not all at once, but with it all in mind) before coding something.

-- MartinGregory - 10 Apr 2004

I have Twiki installed on Windows 2000, Cygwin. Upgraded from 2003-02-01 production release to the latest 2004-03-20 beta release. Almost all is OK except:

  1. testenv page is diplayed until User Authentication section, line "Note: only some combinations of Format, Encoding and Filename are valid, and fewer are tested"

2 %BROADCASTMESSAGE% is displayed at the top of each page

3 I cannot login. The Apache log file displayes the messages:

[Thu Apr 29 01:00:07 2004] [error] [client] File does not exist: c:/twiki/urlpath/to/twiki/bin/oops/TWiki/TWikiRegistration
[Thu Apr 29 01:00:18 2004] [error] [client] (2)No such file or directory: Could not open password file: /filepath/to/twiki/data/.htpasswd
[Thu Apr 29 01:00:18 2004] [error] [client] user AndrzejGoralczyk not found: /bin/edit/Main/AndrzejGoralczyk
[Thu Apr 29 01:00:18 2004] [error] [client] File does not exist: c:/twiki/urlpath/to/twiki/bin/oops/TWiki/TWikiRegistration

All three files claimed in the log exist. The path in .cfg file I set the same as in original installation.

I striked out point 3 above because found the solution. I am not very familiar with the details of two versions mentioned, and therefore don't know where the additional instruction should be put, to edit .htaccess file in order to specify proper type of authentication and corresponding path (AuthUserFile /twiki/data/.htpasswd in the case of Basic authentication using htpasswd file). -- AG

-- AndrzejGoralczyk - 28 Apr 2004

Found a bug in TWiki20040320beta that is still in 20040428alpha : in function "renderMoved" (lib/TWiki.pm in beta ; lib/TWiki/Render.pm in alpha) you should replace $date = formatTime( $date, , "gmtime" ); with $date = formatTime( $date, '', "gmtime" );

At least on my computer (MacOS 10.3.3 running the defaut perl 5.8.1).

-- LouisGranboulan - 30 Apr 2004

Louis, file this as a BugReport or it will soon get lost in the shuffle. And great that you supplied a fix, but what does the bug look like? smile

-- MattWilkie - 30 Apr 2004

Is there any more up-to-date information regarding system requirements for latest beta releases and eventually CairoRelease? The topic at TWiki.TWikiSystemRequirements is relevant to TWikiRelease01Feb2003 and presumably stability and support have moved on somewhat from the tool releases recommended on that topic in the intervening 16 months?

-- GarethEdwards - 04 Jun 2004

  1. It would be useful if http://twiki.org/release/LatestBeta.zip always held the latest beta - I want to build a script to install the latest.
  2. See InconsistentExtractDirectory

-- MartinCleaver - 22 Jul 2004

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Topic revision: r43 - 2004-07-22 - MartinCleaver
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