A much needed upgrade to WordPress 2.6

I bagged going fishing this morning, and decided to upgrade this blog to WordPress 2.6 instead. The long delay (over a year) in upgrading was due to the fact the new WordPress had built-in tag functionality, and I wasn’t sure how things would go with Simple Tagging already in place. I had some database issues that needed attention too, but fishing/fun has taken precedence up until now. In other words, I was lazy – but finally the blog crashed – I couldn’t save anything, so it was as good a time as any.

The upgrade from 2.1 went pretty smoothly. The Simple Tagging import function took two runs to get everything in the right place, and I had to do some manually editing to the database to account for the use of both categories and tags (and had to delete a few tags too, since the slug field was indexed unique). The style sheet needed only minor changes – the call to tags (it’s now the_tags()), and a plug-in which I did some modifications on had to be removed.

The plug-ins (yes, there are some plug-ins here) got upgrades, with few exceptions. My tweaks to Sphere placement went off just fine, but the ShareThis plug-in was another issue. The plug-in is now run as a service – unfortunately I don’t do widgets and the last upgrade to the “classic” version wasn’t doing the trick. I wish Alex and Company much success, but for these web pages it’s now gone. The Flickr plug-in from Joe Tan is much improved, and the remaining utilities are business as usual.

And…I like the new interface!

UPDATE: Almost forgot…there was one permanent issue with tags. Simple Tagging joined words with underscores (_), while the WordPress taxonomy uses dashes (-). So if you linked to say “../tag/fly_fishing/” you may want to try changing it to “../tag/fly-fishing/”.

UPDATE 2: I’ve also installed Google Gears support for WordPress, when using Firefox. And while I’ve noticed that Safari 3+ doesn’t crap-out entries like it did before the upgrade, I’ll probably be using Firefox for accessing the system anyway. With Google Gears running (done by clicking the “Turbo” link in the top right-hand corner of the interface) the WordPress 2.6 interface runs significantly faster than it did beforehand.

UPDATE 3: Someone emailed asking for a how-to. I suggested going straight to the extended version of the upgrade instructions and following those steps carefully.

UPDATE 4: I found the sharing service AddThis.com, which allowed me to manipulate button placement and size to my heart’s desire, so I “added” it.