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  1. Okay, I was sprinting along the rooftops of New York City, throwing fireballs at zombies, when my iPod Touch alerted me to a new WordPress update. Dodging to the side to avoid an oncoming zombie, I pushed it over the roof’s edge. Then I tapped out a quick email to Automattic, demanding to know why I had to take a minute out of my busy zombie-fighting day for the agonizingly difficult task of pressing a button to update my blog. Shouldn’t it be able to update itself? Or shouldn’t Automattic do it for me? What am I paying those guys my hard-earned $0.00 for? (And don’t get me started on all those spam comments that I have to remove… I shouldn’t have to take care of that.)

    I took a short lunch break at Taco Bell, where I had a delicious Volcano Box meal and a large Pepsi Cola. Fortunately no zombies were present. I impatiently checked my inbox for the personal response from Matt Mullenweg that I was expecting, but it was empty. What horrible customer service.

    I left the Taco Bell and fought some more zombies, and one of the three necromancers who raised the undead. Still no reply to my email.

    By the end of the day, I gave up and went through the agonizingly slow upgrade process. I opened my laptop and waited for it to boot up. Then I clicked the Firefox icon and waited for it to load. Then I typed h t t p : / / w w w . m y t o t a l l y a w e s o m e b l o g . c o m / w p - a d m i n / and waited for the page to load. Then I typed my username and password (“admin” and “hunter2″). Now that I was in the admin page, I pressed the upgrade button in that unsightly upgrade alert bubble. I clicked the second button to confirm, and the installer ran.

    At first everything seemed to be fine…but my 32 plugins (that I hadn’t updated in a few months) were spitting out a sea of error messages when I tried to view any of the permalink pages. Darn WordPress updates break everything…

  2. Dgold

    Here’s my totally crazy story:

    Let’s say I install WordPress. Whatever version is current, at the time. Let’s pretend WP 3.0.

    I publish a ton of content. I mean a ton! Articles, pictures, videos galore!!!

    Then I go on a vacation traveling around the world without my computer for 5 years. From time to time, I may stop at an Internet Cafe’ and write a new post on my blog. Or I may not.

    When I get home 5 years later — behold, my content is still available on the internet, because my WordPress never crashed for 5 years. Theme is intact. Plugins continue running in the same condition as when I first installed. Database is intact. Spam was controlled. Hackers were prevented.

    How did this happen? Because WordPress creates a stable, safe, and secure version that does not require upgrading!

    How about that for an awesome fantasy?

    I think that it should be true.

  3. Nic Myers

    My typical WordPress upgrade begins when I release a laboratory mouse into a maze. The mouse guides himself through the maze looking for a piece of cheese placed in the center of the maze on a pressure sensitive switch. After the mouse eats the cheese, the switch is released triggering a fan that blows a small toy pirate ship across a container of water. After crossing the water the boat’s mast knocks over a book balancing on the edge of the container (Most likely, Bulletproof Web Design by Dan Cederholm). Upon falling, the book lands on a scale throwing off the balance of weight. The opposite side of the scale contains a small birdcage which lifts up, and has it’s latched flipped open as it moves upwards by a protruding stick attached to a nearby table.

    Once opened a small blue bird fly’s out of the cage and across the room with a small note (not exceeding 140 characters) attached by string to one of its feet. As the bird flys over, the note is caught in a butterfly net balancing on a table and detaches from the bird. The net falls over and lands on a button which starts a lighter on a nearby table. Above the lighter is a horizontal string with a foam finger hanging from it. The fire quickly burns through the string, releasing the finger.

    The foam finger falls on a computer mouse button that has its cursor positioned over the WordPress “One Click Upgrade” button. The click of he mouse causes the upgrade to start.On completion of the upgrade, a custom WordPress plugin starts playing triumphant music (Hello Dolly anyone?). Meanwhile, I’m putting out fires, gathering up crazed animals and resetting the machine for the inevitable security update that will come out a few days later. All in a days work….


  4. In theory, the one-button upgrade should be easy but I am finding it really hard to concentrate because every time I am about to press the button, Kanye West bursts into the room, grabs my mouse and says “I’m really happy for you and Ima let you finish … but Beyonce has the best upgrade process of all time!”

    This happens eight or nine times before I finally became irritated and shout “Dude, stop! And how the fuck did you get into my house anyway?”

    Damn, it is only a button press, but there’s no way I’ll be able to get this done while Kanye keeps interrupting. The only way I can get Kanye to shut up is to get an even bigger celebrity to help me out. I consider calling Beyonce, Kanye is obviously impressed by her, but no, that wouldn’t be a good idea – I forgot to phone her after the last time she stayed over and that was weeks ago, it would be kind of awkward getting in touch again now.

    There is only one other celebrity who is both big enough to make Kanye West quieten down and who also knows all there is to know about WordPress upgrades: Matt “telescopic lens” Mullenweg!

    But how do I get him here? The answer hits me in a flash of inspiration: I’ll pretend to hold a WordCamp and Mullenweg will magically appear, he can’t resist those. I scribble the words “WordCamp Donnacha’s House 2009″ on a piece of paper, stick it to door of my office and, in a flash of fire and brimstone, there he is, Dr. Blog himself. He is wearing a hat.

    Just as I’d planned, Kanye is suddenly being very quite, clearly in awe at being in the presence of a real celebrity.

    “Er, Matt,” I say, “I was wondering … er… I thought you might like to give your keynote on the topic of er … How to Upgrade Donnacha’s WordPress!”

    “Hmmm, okay” says Matt, “But first I want to review your security procedures; what version of WordPress are you using?”

    “Um, I’m not sure but I haven’t upgraded recently, I’ve been really busy”.

    Matt looks at the screen and gasps “But this is B2!”

    “Yeah” I say, somewhat ashamed, ‘I’ve been really busy since, er, 2003″.

    Mullenweg asks me what password I would like to use. I smile and proudly tell him that I use the same password for everything because it’s easier to remember. Matt looks uneasy. Well, what is it, he asks. The word “password” I tell him. He slaps me.

    “Donnacha, I’m very disappointed, you need to take this upgrading thing more seriously” say Matt as he grabs me and we fly up into the night sky, zooming above the twinkling cityscape. I feel like Louis Lane.

    We land in a rough part of town, right in front of a mad, raving homeless guy. It takes me a moment to realize that this wretched, ranting, unwashed creature is Robert Scoble, the legendary Scobleizer.

    “My blog got hacked and I’ve lost EVERYTHING” he wails.

    Matt is unsympathetic: “Robert, I was worried about you when you left the WordPress.com VIP service, I emailed you several times to make sure you were taking care of the security stuff but you never answered!”

    Scoble’s face freezes, the fury drains away, he bites his lips, nods gently and murmurs “Yes, you’re right, I deserve this, I should never have left”. He bursts into tears – loud, blubbing tears. Matt and I are embarrassed, we quietly step away.

    As Matt flies me back to my house, I ponder the deep lesson I have received but, as we land, I feel compelled to ask one last question.

    “Matt, you’ve been so helpful and you’ve spent years helping the world learn to love blogging … but what’s in it for you?”

    “Well, I’ll let you into a secret, Donnacha – I’m doing it for de lols! I’m going to get all you suckers to spend the next few years tapping away at your keyboards, pouring your lives into our system and then … I’m going to delete all that shit!

    “Seriously man,” continues Matt with an evil glint in his eye, “It will be hilarious! First, all the WP.com blog posts will be replaced with pictures of Anil Dash beating a kitten. Then I activate my secret backdoor into every self-hosted WordPress site and replace all of those posts, millions of them, with pictures of an enraged Orangutang beating Anil Dash”.

    “But Matt” I gasp “You’ll ruin your business and your career!”

    “Nah, I only ever did this WordPress shit as a way to meet chicks at WordCamps – seriously, have you seen all the photos of WordCamp chicks I post on my blog? I’m not kidding, I’ve had all of them”

    “No way! You lucky swine! Even that supercute one in Shanghai?” I ask.

    Matt smiles, nods smugly and slowly enunciates “Twice!”

    Damn! We high-five and make hooting noises for a few minutes.

    When we both calm down, I ask the big question “But, Matt, why would you, just for the sake of a massive deletion prank, why would you give up all those girls and all the money?

    “Well, I don’t need the money, I’ve already been offered the job of my dreams at Microsoft, creating a blogging platform that runs entirely on Zunes … it’s going to be massive. As for girls, well, I’ve run out of sperm anyway. ”

    “What?! Is that even biologically possible?”

    “It is if you attend as many WordCamps as I do. It’s all gone, my entire lifetime supply, that’s just how it is when you’re a major celebrity, women practically mug you for it. Richard Branson told me that he ran out of his lifetime supply when he was just 14″

    “Wow, I’m sorry Matt, I never realized that there was a downside to be a super successful celebrity, surrounded gorgeous women all the time.

    “It’s not all bad, he says cheerily, “When we celebrities use up the last of our sperm, we gain the power of flight – unlike normal mortals, we now have super-light nutsacks, freeing us from the Earth’s gravitational pull”

    “Talking of which, I must go now, I am needed elsewhere” he says, starting to hover above the ground and preparing to jet off into the night.

    “But wait, what about my upgrade?” I shout. Matt turns, stares at my Macbook, tilts back his head and I am momentarily stunned as a broad, bright red laser beam shoots violently out of his nostrils for several seconds. The beam envelopes my Macbook.

    “There, I’ve given you the secret version of WordPress that all of us insiders use – the version with automatic remote upgrades of the core, the plugins, the themes … everything – never again will you suffer the burden of having to press a button. Oh, and I’ve also upgraded you to Snow Leopard”

    And with that, he shoots up and away, apparently unable to hear my final shouted question: “But what about my installation of Joomla, you wanker?!”.


  5. Donnacha gets ten thousand Internet points, at LEAST.

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