Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 steps back, 2 steps back, 2 more steps back ... the terrible polka of website programming

If I had a dartboard, I just might put a picture of the Internet on it and vent some of my frustration.  Ok, I don't know what a picture of the Internet would look like, so I guess it's not a well thought-out plan, but the point is I am frustrated with servers, software, and anything else that communicates in binary.

In my previous post I was excited about the server hosts changing things to allow me to upload articles.  Unfortunately there were other errors associated with the article meta-data (e.g., I couldn't italicize anything in the abstract, which is a big deal considering how many species' names are in our abstracts).  This is not the fault of our server host - it's just a problem I never could solve.  So instead of being able to carry on with my work setting up the journal site, I spent more time trouble-shooting.  Friendly staff associated with our server host company, the Open Journal Systems software system, and users like me (but more knowledgeable) on the software discussion forum were all very helpful, but left me realizing we needed to undo our software upgrade and start again.

So that's what we've done.  Our server host Jedis degraded (I don't know if that's the correct term, but it is the opposite of upgraded) our software back to the old version that was working fine.  And it actually seems to be working fine!  There are a couple of bugs with this software version, but they are very minor.  For example, because I'm uploading 2004 issues now (after already uploading 2008 issues), 2004 issues appear at the top of the list of issues rather than issues appearing strictly chronologically.  This is messy, but only a minor inconvenience.  The main thing is, all of the articles I had uploaded are still there ... the articles and their meta-data are preserved and online.

So, after many steps back and back and back I should be able to actually make some progress now.  And quickly too - uploading the last of the old articles is my #1 priority this week.  We will be ready to go live very soon.  I know the suspense must be killing you.  I'm really excited about the site working.

Ok, back to the other tab of my browser in which I'm uploading issues!

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