Plone Migration Missteps

Plone Migration Missteps by David Whelan I think I’ve finally completed the transition to Plone 2.5, which hasn’t been easy but could have been much worse. I’d done some customization – not much – to my 2.0.5 site and so trying to bring that forward made things seem harder. But here are some of my lessons learned, in case they’re any use to anyone else.

1.  Migrate with the data.fs.  I tried first to export just the part of my old 2.0.5 / 2.1.1 site into a .zexp file and ended up with migration problems.  When I finally moved over a data.fs file, things went much more smoothly.

2.  Take your medicine and do the 2.0.5 > 2.1.1 migration, get all of the content types squared away, and then move on.  I’d tried going from 2.0.5 straight to 2.5 despite some clear guidance on the migration path, and wasted time and energy.

3.  Get more RAM.

4.  Associate your files in your Plone HTTP cache.  Duh.  But still it took me awhile to realize that I wasn’t doing it.  Immediate speed boost.

5.  Learn more about Apache.  I had moved from 2.0 on Windows to 2.0 on Debian Linux and it was more different than I realized.  Two basic tweaks I needed to make were (a) add a ThreadStackSize change to my MPM section, and (b) comment out the MPM sections that I wasn’t using.   A good example of where not enough information/knowledge causes problems.  Again, an immediate speed increase.

6.  When given the opportunity to start clean, take it.  I’d customized a number of CSS files in my 2.0.5 installation of Plone.  I’ve stuck with just PloneCustom.css to make the changes I want.

7.  Watch out for “deprecated” files.  As I’ve been finishing my migration, I’ve been avoiding “this file is deprecated and will probably disappear in 3.0” files, trying to find ways to customize without tweaking anything likely to disappear/change substantially in the future.

8.  If your content doesn’t appear in a 2.5 Smart Folder, is it published?  I found much of my content showed up as a public draft, and because the Smart Folder criteria for news and events was for published content, it didn’t appear.

9.  Left-align your table style for text, to get around the new IE7 determination to center everything.

Fortunately, I’ve picked up a lot of odds and ends in a short period of time.  Do I still need to know more about Python, Plone, etc.?  Sure.  But at least I’m moving to playing around with content and functions rather than just getting operational.

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.