January 5, 2020

MovableType Lives On

What do you know, you don't post a decade or so, and things stop working for no reason? I've noticed recently that MovableType 4.12 install I had here was no longer working, oh, since about April 2018 or so, and so I have decided to have a look and see what is going on and figure out what is needed to make it run again.

I started looking for error logs first, and quickly found out that my provider no longer keeps error logs for shared hosting plans at all. When that became a feature reserved for private hosting? Packed everything I did and moved to another webhost. Good bye, 1&1, and no thanks, Ionos.

With error logs access and CGI running on a new host, my next discovery was that Perl was not standing still all these years, either. MT4 no longer can be run on the current version of Perl (5.26 at the moment), and wouldn't run even on earlier versions as there has been several changes to the language syntax. Even the latest release, MT5.2.13, which is still available for download and availabe in its entirety from this GitHub repository, wouldn't run on Perl 5.26. Changes to regexp syntax introduced in Perl 5.22 as warnings now fail starting with Perl 5.24 and later. So it's either updating MT5's code to run on Perl 5.26, or installing Perl 5.20.

Since I don't have much real life experience with Perl hacking, I've decided to start with an easier path. Installing Perl. There are even easy to follow guides available on the web to make this process a breeze. Except that, in addition to Perl itself, there are a few more steps:

  • Edit every CGI script (11 total) to change #! to point to the custom Perl install;
  • Install DBI package;
  • Install DBD::mysql package;
  • Install Devel::CheckLib package.

That last one was tiny. And I also had to muck around with user permissions... MT upgrade script haven't given me permissions for the site it has automatically created. How odd!

... and, how the saying goes, Bob's your uncle!

Posted by Vadim at January 5, 2020 5:37 PM | TrackBack
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