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"No" to "Palms"

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Randsco News

It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.

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"No" to "Palms"

April 29th, 2008  · stk

NewsBrief: [Upgrade Halted] It was reported yesterday that Randsco would be upgrading to b2evolution v2.4.2 (code name "Palms"). Reporters learned today that the upgrades have been suddenly halted. Find out why. · [Reporter Let Go] An experienced reporter, covering Randsco news, was sacked yesterday, for unrelated reasons.

Future of Randsco Undecided

Randsco Headquarters - Only a day after calling a press conference, Randsco executives were inviting reporters back for another press conference.

"As quickly as the upgrade to b2evolution v2.4.2 - code name "Palms" - began, it ended," reported the editor-in-chief, "We've given all the employees the rest of the day to unwind, as they are very disappointed from this turn of events."

When questioned further, Randsco executives indicated dismay at the discovery that, with all the custom coding done over the years at Randsco, there is no straight forward way to port the current skin into a v2.x world.

"We reported on our dismay when we upgraded last time, a little over a year ago," said Scott Kimler, Randsco founder and chief-editor, "We were hoping that b2evolution developers would hear our cry - 'Updating b2evolution skins should be a far less painful task!'"

"Sadly, it appears they have not," said Scott, "In fact, moving customized skins from v1.x to v2.x has become a nearly impossible task."

He went on to explain that the after the existing database was copied and upgraded, and the new software downloaded, unzipped and installed, it was painfully obvious that b2evolution skins had been substantially modified.

"We quickly realized that there was no straight-forward way of porting the old skin, with all of it's proprietary tools, code and features, into the new version," Scott said.

"Sadly, we're faced with two choices," Scott explained, "either a complete re-work of our old skin, shoe-horning it into the new system - which may make upgrading more difficult in the future - or start over from scratch."

"We just can't justify the time or man-power for either task," said Scott, "All of our departments are working excess hours as it is and even if we did take the time to upgrade, the bottom line - the benefit to Randsco visitors - would be negligible."

Randsco is currently involved in the complete design or re-design of five websites. This is in addition to staff volunteering at the local Fire Department, day-care for Alexandra, ongoing maintenance operations on the 5-acre Randsco campus, refitting of the new corporate yacht "Blue Yonder" and trying to keep up with publishing at the Randsco Rag.

"We're saddened by this turn of events," concluded Scott, "and we have begun exploring other options. For now, we'll just continue on with what we have, but the future of Randsco is presently looking very uncertain."

When asked whether the other options involved switching to another content management system, Scott declined comment. He only said, "At this point, we are considering many options and trying not to close the door to any viable alternatives."

It was a somber mood, as reporters exited the campus with many of the Randsco employees. Though questioned, the employees had all been asked not to go into further detail.

This is Graham Smith, with breaking news, from the Randsco campus. Stay tuned for updates.

 

Dirk Smedley Sacked

Nanaimo - Long-time friends, family and Randsco staff were shocked to learn that Dirk Smedley has been fired as the senior reporter, one of several covering breaking Randsco news.

Details are unclear, but it is believed that Dirk may have been leading a double life.

Dirk was not available for comment, holding his jacket over his head and carrying a box across the parking lot of his former employer. Dirk got into his Mustang convertible and sped off, as reporters pressed him about his abrupt dismissal.

Company representatives only said, "It has come to our attention that Dirk may have been involved in dubious film-related activities. We are a conservative organization. We have ties to the church, the community and espouse family values. In keeping with our practices and standards, we have no choice but to let Dirk Smedley go."

An anonymous source had hinted that Dirk played starring roles in a variety of pornographic movies. Further investigations reveal that Dirk starred in "Birk does San Francisco", "Barrister Birk - Master Debater", and "Birk's not heavy, he's my lover".

Dirk Smedley's wife, in a phone interview, had this to say. "I knew it. That dirty rat! You can bet I'm getting a divorce!"

News of Dirk's dismissal, came on the heels of the Randsco upgrade fiasco, but is completely unrelated.

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1.flag Gary Comment
04/29/08
ROFL, that is FANTASTIC, what a scoop. I feel kinda responsible for poor old Dirk Smedleys sacking, but hey - life goes on.

Lets just hope they don't catch up with Randsco's chief editors past ( I better stop now, I feel a lawsuit coming).

What a laugh Scott, it made my evening and I am still smiling as I type. The best post on the internet this Year, by far.

Laters ;)

Gz
2.flag Gary Comment
04/29/08
@ Future of Randsco Undecided:

Why fix what's not broke. The blog skin you have looks great and the content is getting better and better.

Tell me, didn't Graham Smith co-star in the Adult film "Birk's not heavy, he's my lover" ?

Mint titles for those films Scott. What a laugh :D

Keep up the good work,

Gz ;)
3.flag stk Comment
04/29/08
Glad you enjoyed the post. I needed a tad of levity after the b2evo upgrade fiasco.

Yes @ keeping what we got, but it just chaps my hide that a software upgrade dictates so much skin work. It shouldn't. :|

AND ... it also means me and Yabba don't get to play as much. :(
4.flag EdB Comment
04/29/08
Yeah the new skinning system sucks - unless you want your blog to look exactly like everyone else's blog ... and only have one blog to worry about ... and think changing colors in the style sheet is "customizing" ... and don't mind spam in the footer. In that case it's great and cool and the best thing since the automatic slice slicer. By the way it might help to know you can completely ditch the containers thing and call widgets directly, which brings back a bit of the flexibility that was destroyed in the 2.* world.

Oh and normally I'd say "upgrade to 1.10.3 then" but hey I really doubt you would be needing much help with whatever might come along.
5.flag stk Comment
04/29/08
Ed - I didn't even get as far as containers. So the old skin, in the 2.4.2 world, never got past the DTD declaration on LINE 1 - big fat PHP errors - "headers already sent". (Old skin sends headers via an included mime.php file - pushing out a application/xhtml+xml MIME type to those browsers that understand it and text/html to Idiotic Deplorer).

Read somewhere on the wiki that the way forward was to rename your CSS file to "style" (which is technically inaccurate), but it got me to looking at the changes I was blindly doing, tying to GET to the container/widget stage and after I had a peek at header.php I just groaned miserably, and said, "Eye Veh ... I'm made to author in v1.0 transitional now?"

Color me odd, but I always thought my skin was like my blog and belonged to ME. Guess not. :|

Oh ... another little surprise that had me fumbling about for a bit. You have to LOAD yer skin now? :o

Hardly seems like the way forward, as the old way (it finds your folder and blammo - it's there) seemed way more user friendly. :(

I have no idea where to go from here ... follow the sheep? Jump ship? Rebel over to something more static? Crap and double CRAP! (The skin choices SUCK: re-do everything, start over from scratch, or become wary of Basque shepherds and bleat a lot!). :(

Don't have the time or the desire for any of those exercises.

PS - Thanks for your comment and confirmation. I try not to "rock the boat", but geez ... I gotta call one of them shovel things - "a shovel". :p

6.flag John Comment
04/30/08
Scott, I'm think you could eventually tweek the latest version of any respectable blogging machine to do cartwheels down the main street.

I suppose you have to ask yourself what's important about your blog and make a list.

What can you live with and what can you leave till later.

I think you will admit that, be it WordPress, B2, Textpattern etc etc, you should upgrade.
They all have their frustrating WTF issues but may also provide some new opportunities.

Good luck with your decision.


7.flag stk Comment
04/30/08
John - Thanks for the vote of confidence @ cartwheels, the operative word being eventually.

What I like about Randsco atm is that it works!!

A move to another blog app will require starting from scratch.

I'm simply shocked and amazed that to upgrade the existing application requires the same effort. :|