Some borkage cured

OK, I think I’ve at least partially deborked the upgrade. There are still some problems with comments needing moderation. Holler if you notice any remaining problems. I still can’t figure out how to assign a category to a new post. I’m not sure if that’s remaining borkage or the new blog interface. (OK, got it: it’s the interface.)

The proximate cause was that the WordPress scripts did not have permission to create and drop tables. The underlying cause was a combination of classic programmer errors:

  1. WordPress does not check preconditions on its environment before proceeding.
  2. WordPress doesn’t check error return values, and fails to notice when something’s gone wrong during an upgrade. This is a big reason why exceptions are a good thing.

I’m not sure what the core developers will eventually say about the very real bugs I’ve uncovered in WordPress; but the wp-hackers mailing list is already breaking out in the classic denial responses:

  • What happened to you is simply not possible. (Not only was it possible. It did happen.)
  • It’s OK for software to break due to environmental problems. (Software may choose not to perform its function in the event of unrecoverable environmental problems, but it should not proceed blindly as if those problems did not exist; and it should warn the user of the problems. )
  • We told you to backup, so it doesn’t matter if our software destroys your data. (That’s like a drunk driver saying I should have insurance, and therefore it’s OK if he crashes into my car.)

There’s probably a cautionary tale in this when I get time to write it up.

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