MT Upgrade: lessons learned
  • FTP'ing many small files is sloooooow, so it's important you copy the right set (MT 3.11), instead of re-copying the existing version (MT 2.6) - oops ;-)
  • To FTP files to your server, don't ever use WS_FTP again. The damn thing steals focus on every completed file, which made it almost impossible to do anything else during a large upload - including trying to find a replacement FTP app. I remembered Scott blogging about FTP apps a while ago, and settled on Smart FTP based on the comments to that post. It sure works a whole lot better than WS_FTP (even though its "global queue" feature didn't seem to work for me).
  • To execute a cgi-script, chmod it to be executable first. I remembered this for the MT upgrade, but then forgot about it for the MT-BlackList upgrade. This made my server return some generic error-message when trying to run the MTB-upgrade script, which had me worried for a while since Jay's out this week, and I didn't want to leave my blog wide open to comment and trackback spam for a week.
  • And last but certainly not least, don't start a major upgrade like this after midnight - it's way too easy to make stupid little mistakes when you're tired and sleepy, and once you start, there's no going back.
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Screw WS_FTP, use Filezilla!

Posted by Graham at September 4, 2004 4:42 PM

I second Filezilla. Its awesome! It does several flavors of SFTP as well.

Posted by Clint Ecker at September 4, 2004 6:07 PM

++ for Filezilla.

Posted by Scott at September 4, 2004 6:41 PM

Just got Filezilla and I do think I like it even better than SmarpFTP - thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by Luke Hutteman at September 4, 2004 7:46 PM

FlashFXP is the best ftp program going around. I've used it for years. I used to use cute ftp, but this just blows everything else away.

Posted by Sean Malloy at September 5, 2004 8:29 AM

FlashFXP gets my vote too. Got it about 2 years ago and never looked back. I liked FlashFXP so much I registered it and still use it today. No other FTP program I've seen can touch it.

Posted by StOo at September 7, 2004 5:28 AM

I don't know about the other FTP programs, but I think you are being a bit unfair to WS_FTP. If you don't want WS_FTP to steal focus, just turn off the option! Just go to:

Options > Transfers > [_] Display the transfer manager when transfer starts.

(I have no special interest or connection to WS_FTP. It's just that the program stands unjustly accused.)


Posted by JDH at September 7, 2004 10:45 AM

Either my version of WS_FTP is old or this is a Pro feature only (I used LE), but I there is no transfers tab in my options dialog. Either way, "when the transfer starts" should IMHO be when you start the directory transfer, not every individual file in that directory.

Apart from this WS_FTP irritation, I've also found features like the directory treeview (both local and remote) and queued downloads in both SmartFTP and FileZilla that were sorely missing in WS_FTP, so I won't be returning to WS_FTP...

Posted by Luke Hutteman at September 8, 2004 12:21 AM

Well, yes, I do use WS_FTP Pro. You didn't say you were using the LE free version. Here are the WS_FTP LE specific instructions:

Options > "Session" tab > [_] Show transfer progress dialog

So, as an owner of WS_FTP Pro, I'd like to know which features you think are "sorely" missing. I'd would really like to compare.


Posted by jdh at September 8, 2004 9:22 AM

I've never used WS_FTP Pro, but my comment above mentioned two features not present in WS_FTP LE that are available in SmartFTP and FileZilla (which are both free for non-commercial use).

I noticed by the way that WS_FTP LE is no longer available and has been replaced with WS_FTP Home, which sports a much-improved user interface, but which is not free for non-commercial use anymore.

Posted by Luke Hutteman at September 8, 2004 11:22 AM

I actually do still use WS_FTP, but only because I solve that problem differently: download mt-n.tar.gz, upload mt-n.tar.gz, tar -zxvf mt-n.tar.gz. No worries about text/binary, and it's a whole lot faster not having the FTP overhead of ten thousand separate files.

Posted by Phil Ringnalda at September 8, 2004 12:49 PM

must be nice to have shell access... :-)

Posted by Luke Hutteman at September 8, 2004 10:44 PM

Another vote for Filezilla. It's just not worth messin' around with WS_FTP's settings. (Another option is Windows' Web folders.)

Posted by Andrew Kantor at September 28, 2004 10:10 AM

I have upgraded MovableType to the 3.11 version, today. I have already found two things that are 'busted', the TypeKey registration for comments (optional, for now) and the comment background. I'll be tinkering with that in the near future. If you find other broken things, PLEASE let me know. And thanks for coming. Update: TypeKey problem fixed (reading the directions helps). Now to teach myself CSS and troubleshoot new templates...
Update2: I (think) I've fixed the comment appearance. It still does one weird thing, but I can live with it. I hope you can, too.

Posted by Robin Smith at December 1, 2004 11:40 PM

If you like SmartFtp, you'll love FTP Voyager. I settled on that years ago, and recently had a problem that had me inspecting alternatives. I remember that SmartFtp sounded *real* good. But when I used it, the interface was nowhere near as intuitive or regular as FTP Voyager. So I went back to it, and happily found the solution to the problem I had been experiencing.

Posted by Eric Armstrong at December 2, 2004 10:01 AM

I'll just throw in another vote for FlashFXP...runs multiple instances, loads saved queues, and does all things a good FTP program should.

Posted by Joe Longpre at December 5, 2004 7:51 PM

Try filezilla. I havn't used it much, but it seems pretty good. You can find it on sourceforge.

Posted by jarmb595 at December 10, 2004 7:39 PM

I have recently switched to Filezilla. I tried it with many reservations but it is a better product than the last 3 (non-free as in beer, non-open source) FTP programs I have bought, amazingly enough.

Posted by Shannon J Hager at December 11, 2004 3:35 PM
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