Advise to take backups before updating

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warmweer
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Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:33 pm
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warmweer
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Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:33 pm

One major problem I've seen umpteen times when people update their boards is ... not having a backup.
If something then fails : e.g. modifications lost, incompatible extension, write errors due to server configuration (especially with the autoupdate), prosilver /British English removed, or other causes I can't think of immediately; quite a few founders/admins are then clueless on how to proceed.

When using autoupdate, even update in general , a warning could be displayed before the actual update starts - advising the user to take a file and database backup. The user should then be able to halt/not start the update process in order to take the necessary backups.
A readme in the zipfile (full package or changed files) mentioning that a backup should be taken before overwriting any files may reduce the number of backupless file updates. This may sound as overkill since the update instructions already contain the advice to backup, but IMHO it's such a small extra feature (the readme + Backup option when install is invoked) which wouldn't require much writing and coding that I can't really think of any reason to NOT include it.

Thoughts?
Last edited by warmweer on Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by david63 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:40 pm

warmweer wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:33 pm
When using autoupdate, a warning could be displayed before the actual update starts
Personally I would remove the autoupdate
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:44 pm

david63 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:40 pm
warmweer wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:33 pm
When using autoupdate, a warning could be displayed before the actual update starts
Personally I would remove the autoupdate
I'm very strongly inclined to agree.
BTW I just edited my post (forgot to mention general update: probably too late to take file backups, but just in time to take a database backup).
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by david63 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:13 pm

In actual fact it would not be that difficult, and arguably should be part of the update/upgrade, for a db backup to be the first part part of the process.
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:25 pm

when doing a "proper" upgrade/update where and at what point of the process would this warning show?

update procedure:
backup ( of course )
use ftp to delete all the files/folders
use ftp to upload all the files/folders
access the board and run database update.

at no time in this method are you looking at the board until it is too late to do the backup.

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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:34 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:25 pm
when doing a "proper" upgrade/update where and at what point of the process would this warning show?
...
First warning = in the zipfile: the readme! (that is a warning to take a backup of the files) (as such it's not too late)
Second warning = opening page of the phpbb update procedure: Like I said it's probably too late to take file backups, but nothing has happened to the database yet, so there is time to take the backup if update procedure is stopped at that point.
As to what kind of backup is taken: that's up to the user who can decide when he is in the ACP/Backup (if that is still possible), or use phpMyAdmin (or similar).
Keep it simple, no need for any serious extra coding. If the warnings aren't heeded - too bad, there were ample reminders.
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:28 pm

nobody reads readme files.

as to a message during the update:

I think that would be a good idea.

first, the main page of the install folder should be redone. It would be better to put the actual update method that is currently suggested there.
that would also add the backup reminder right there. as you said, this would come before the database update takes place.

you can even remind them again on the database update page.

however, I believe I read somewhere that 3.3 was going to have a way to do the update from the admin panel similar to WP. I would assume that that process would include a complete backup before it starts. I hope so.


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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by canonknipser » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:52 am

Having current and working backup at any time it's nothing specific to phpBB or it's update / upgrade process.
It is a essential thing in working with computers since the early times in the middle of the last century. So, as a responsible board owner, make sure you always have backups of all your files and database contents in a safe place (which is not the file system on your web server, but a local file system eg. at your home place).

For a upgrade or update, make sure you are able to step back at any time to the beginning of the update (some database systems allow you to define a sync point or check point, so you can roll back your database changes to this point).
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:03 am

canonknipser wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:52 am
Having current and working backup at any time it's nothing specific to phpBB or it's update / upgrade process.
It is a essential thing in working with computers since the early times in the middle of the last century. So, as a responsible board owner, make sure you always have backups of all your files and database contents in a safe place (which is not the file system on your web server, but a local file system eg. at your home place).

For a upgrade or update, make sure you are able to step back at any time to the beginning of the update (some database systems allow you to define a sync point or check point, so you can roll back your database changes to this point).
There is absolutely nothing in your post that I can disagree with.
The question arises whether phpBB requires that all boardowners are "responsible". Many of us try to be careful, and actually read all the information provided. Most of us started with no knowledge, and certainly with no experience, and learned along the way (probably making a couple of mistakes).
Yet very recently there was a question : how do I install phpBB? (and regularly: how do I update?).
The fact is, and it will remain that way, that nobody is flawless and mistakes can happen.
All I'm proposing is to give an extra nudge before the update process to take a (database) backup, something which can't be overlooked (from what I notice in the support forums, the documentation is regularly overlooked)
Naturally if in 3.3 the update process is changed (and/or introduces a roll-back system), that could be superfluous and if the release of 3.3 is truly nearby then the (little bit of) extra coding may not be worth it.
Having said this, I see there are 2 NO votes, both by people very knowledgeable of phpBB (3Di and Raul). When I vote (YES or NO) on Ideas, my principle is to explain why I voted YES or NO. So, as always I 'm interested in the reasons for a NO vote (also for a YES vote) - perhaps I'm not seeing the whole picture, or 3.3 will have something better.
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by EA117 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:18 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:28 pm
however, I believe I read somewhere that 3.3 was going to have a way to do the update from the admin panel similar to WP.
Agreed this was the original communication, but that it was pushed to 4.0 now. We should end up seeing phpBB 3.3 and its updated PHP support before the new auto-update feature or the re-written style. For what it's worth.

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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:18 pm

EA117 wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:18 pm
Agreed this was the original communication, but that it was pushed to 4.0 now. We should end up seeing phpBB 3.3 and its updated PHP support before the new auto-update feature or the re-written style. For what it's worth.
Thx EA117, I keep on forgetting to search the Development site so I couldn't find that info.
So it's quite certain there will be no major changes in the update process before phpBB4.
All the more reason (personal opinion) to emphasise the need for complete backups when an update is initiated.
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:02 pm

ok, how about replacing the existing install/app.php/update page with this:
Update phpBB.jpg
one edit to the language/en/install.php file at line: 349

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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:23 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:02 pm
ok, how about replacing the existing install/app.php/update page with this:
Update phpBB.jpg
one edit to the language/en/install.php file at line: 349

robert
Yes, that's already an improvement but, there's still only a button stating UPDATE, no (visible) way to cancel, unless the BACK arrow or closing the browser(page) is considered a legit way of stopping the update. If a database backup has to be taken, the user needs to get into the ACP which means renaming the install folder, or allowing ACP access for only and nothing else but the backup (I think this would need a lot more coding and isn't worth it, surely an admin can be expected to know how to rename/remove the /install).
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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:26 pm

no need to rename the install folder for that. you can access the acp when the install folder is present. however when doing that edit I was thinking that a acp link on that page would be convenient.
and manybe some links to the instructions for the other two update methods etc.

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Re: Advise to take backups before updating

Post by warmweer » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:39 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:26 pm
no need to rename the install folder for that. you can access the acp when the install folder is present.
True, I realised that too late...It's because I can't remember ever having interrupted an update 8-)
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:26 pm
however when doing that edit I was thinking that a acp link on that page would be convenient.
and manybe some links to the instructions for the other two update methods etc.
Yep, simple and clean :thumbsup:
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