upgraded to new software version has been upgraded to a new version of Drupal, the software that manages all content on the site.

Believe it or not, has been running a beta-test version of the Drupal content management system for about two years. Tonight, that has changed, and we are now running a production release of the software. Most things should "just work" as you expect, though there are some small changes and some new features.

When we first converted from a custom content manager to Drupal, the best version then available was a beta release of Drupal 4.4. Since then, Drupal 4.4 was released, Drupal 4.5 was released, and Drupal 4.6 was released — along with several levels of bug fix releases for each of these. We stayed at the beta release because it was working and because of the difficulty of upgrading from a beta to a production release.

Tonight, I started out on a quest to "start testing" for the upgrade from "beta 4.4" to "production 4.6.6", with the intention that I might complete the process this coming weekend. Things went along much more smoothly than I had expected, and it reached a point where it was less work to go ahead and take the leap rather than trying to carefully document what I had done on the "sandbox" site and then try to replicate it later on the real one. So, we took the plunge!

Almost everything is up and running, and your user accounts should work the same as always. There are still a couple of small features that aren't quite working yet:

  • The Directory (of Weblinks) is offline at the moment. Rest assured, the links are all safely in the database — it's just the catalog display that isn't working yet. That should be working by Wednesday evening.
  • The Merchants directory is also temporarily offline but will be back within the next day or two.

Hopefully, this upgrade has not caused inconvenience to anyone, but if it has, we apologize.

The main objective of this upgrade was to position us for the upcoming release of Drupal 4.7. Whereas the upgrade to 4.6 was largely transparent to most visitors, Drupal 4.7 has some really nice new features that we are sure you will enjoy. The release is expected in April 2006, and we will upgrade to the new release on a "reasonably quick" schedule after that.

As always, thanks for your readership of!

Warm regards,