Upgrade improvement suggestions

Problems with the Windows version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

Upgrade improvement suggestions

Postby calast » 11. November 2009 22:59

I recently had to do an XAMPP upgrade from 1.7.1 to 1.7.2 (on Windows XP) and was somewhat surprised at some files the installer seems to have affected. I keep very good backups, and never lose anything - but someone is going to get their hard work erased by an upgrade and will not be happy about it. I recommend that someone look at this for some future release.

The most obvious problem is in MySQL. The installer takes great care to preserve the subdirectories of ./xampp/mysql/data and the *.frm files, but somehow the upgrade process corrupts ibdata1, ib_logfile0, and/or ib_logfile1. If you are using InnoDB, that's where your data is. So you will be looking at a database that knows how many tables it has and knows their names but the tables will be gone. If you go into phpMyAdmin, it will tell you the database is there but the tables are not. Restoring these three files from backup fixes the problem, but they should not be touched on an upgrade.

The less obvious problem is in ./xampp/apache/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf. Admittedly, this isn't a problem for everyone. But as a professional web app developer, I have about a dozen sites on my working machine, and the mapping of sites to directories is all defined in this file. So when I go to foo.local, apache knows where the document root for that site is and works properly. Upgrades should at least make a backup of this file, rename it, not touch it, or do whatever it takes to not destroy it. Just do something better than silently replacing it.

Clearly, it should be possible to do an update and install programs in such a way that user provided (and modified) files are preserved. The installer seems to make an effort at this, but it doesn't always get it right.
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Re: Upgrade improvement suggestions

Postby Wiedmann » 11. November 2009 23:13

I recently had to do an XAMPP upgrade from 1.7.1 to 1.7.2 (on Windows XP) ... but somehow the upgrade process ...

There is no upgrade from 1.7.1 to 1.7.2.

and was somewhat surprised at some files the installer seems to have affected.

BTW: There is no real installer for 1.7.2. Just a self-extracting archive.

but someone is going to get their hard work erased by an upgrade and will not be happy about it.

You have extracted the full package over existing files:
As you can read on the XAMPP for Windows homepage (it's a red warning), installing with the EXE (the self-extracting archive) is overwriting all files in the target dir.

Clearly, it should be possible to do an update and install programs in such a way that user provided (and modified) files are preserved.

An upgrade package , if availing for your version, is doing this.
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Re: Upgrade improvement suggestions

Postby calast » 12. November 2009 18:00

I understand everything you are saying, and I always knew how the XAMPP install process worked. We are just not quite communicating here. Look, I spent twenty+ years managing the development of software tools, so I have a pretty good idea of how things ought to work. Never mind what is an upgrade or what is an installer. It should be possible to take any installed version of a toolkit and install any newer version of that same toolkit in a non-destructive way. If that means that you need to provide an intelligent installer with every new release, then so be it. That’s what your user base would probably like you to do, in my opinion. It was certainly what my customers expected, and I directed my engineering team to act accordingly.

Of course, this is your product, and you can do whatever you like.
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