Tips for a Successful Upgrade

TipsForUpgradeWith TNG 10 being released today (Feb. 12, 2014), I thought I’d take a minute to go over some of the things to watch out for while you’re upgrading your site. All of these apply no matter which version you’re installing.

  • Install the upgrade, not the full version. When you get to the v10 downloads page, the first link near the top will be for brand new TNG users. What you want is a little further down in the Updates section. Also take note that a new version of the full version readme.html file will be included with your upgrade, but the installation instructions for the upgrade will be in a different file. The name of that file will be listed next to the download link. For example, if you’re coming from version 9, the file will be called readme9x-1000.html or readme922-1000.html. If you accidentally open readme.html, it should warn you that you’re about to install the full version. If you see that, go back! Installing the full version on top of an existing install will cause you to lose your data and your customizations.

  • Make sure you choose the right upgrade. Before you begin, go to your TNG Admin menu and look at the top of the screen. It should say there what your current version is. Anything that starts with “9″ (like 9.0.1 or 9.1.1) counts as “9.x”. You will see links for several different upgrades on the v10 downloads page. Be sure to get the one most appropriate for your currently installed version. If you have v8 but you install the upgrade for users with 9.x, you will likely notice errors when you’re done.

  • Don’t forget the backup. At the top of the instructions, you’re advised to back up your key files (mainly the configuration files, like config.php, pedconfig.php, etc., but also any others that you may have customized). If you do make a mistake at some point, having a backup can save you a lot of headaches. Once the upgrade is finished and everything is running smoothly, back up your tables again.

  • Remember to view the upgrade readme from your browser, not your home computer. One of the first steps is to upload the files to your site. After that, you need to load the instructions again from your site. In other words, if your site is www.mysite.com and you’re upgrading from 9.0.1, open your web browser and go to http://www.mysite.com/readme9x-1000.html from there. If you continue with the local copy you opened immediately after downloading, some of the later steps won’t work.

  • Don’t skip any steps. A lot of people think they just have to upload the files, but there’s a little more to it than that. The step most people still skip is the one relating to database structure changes (if you see a bunch of database query errors after installing the upgrade, this is probably what you did). There’s usually just a simple link you have to click. Doing that will open another page that runs through a list of database updates. Depending on the version you had previously, some of the items may say “Failed or done previously”. Don’t be alarmed if you see some of those.

  • Update your template. OK, this step can be a little confusing. Prior to TNG 8.1, templates were installed by uploading the template files directly into the main TNG folder, overwriting the existing files with the same names. Since 8.1, however, the template files have all been moved to a folder called “templates”. If you’ve been around since before 8.1 and want to keep your old template, there are a few extra hoops to jump through, and those are explained in the instructions.

    Also, if any of you have tinkered with your template files (not the Template Settings or the mytngstyle.css style sheets) and you want to keep those customizations, then you’ll probably want to merge your changes in with the latest files. Some of the new features won’t work unless you’re using the latest template files.

    For most people, however, this should be simple. Just upload the entire “templates” folder from the upgrade and that’s it.

  • Clear your browser cache. Once you’re done, go into your browser settings or preferences and clear the cache (or “temporary Internet files”). Until you do that, your browser might decide to hang on to some of the old pages, and that could present a conflict. Some features might not work. The instructions for clearing the cache vary from one browser to another, so do a Google search on this if you’re not sure how to do it.

If you still have issues and you think you may have botched the instructions, feel free to ask for help from me or the user list (tngusers2). If you think you might have found a program bug, please contact me directly (darrin@lythgoes.net).

Despite the possible pitfalls described here, the upgrade process should be fairly easy. If you’re still sure you won’t be able to do the upgrade yourself, there are other options though. Simply Hosting no longer does upgrades, but I can do it for an extra $15, and others could be hired as well. I might be swamped at first if too many people request this, so please be patient.

TNG10 Available Tomorrow!

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Tomorrow will be the first launch of TNG10! It will be initially only available to those purchasing in person at our booth at RootsTech. We’ll be in booth 318 near the middle of the hall. Stop by to see for yourself, or come to the product demo Saturday morning in the exhibit hall.

Today’s featured preview is my personal favorite. TNG now comes with three new templates!

Template12

Template13

Template14

Along with the three new templates comes a new way of selecting your templates. Just click on “Show Previews” and you can see a thumbnail preview of how your site will look in all fourteen included templates quickly and easily!

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We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the feature previews and if you’ll be at RootsTech, please stop by and say hello!

TNG10 Features: Customization Options

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The “Show/Hide Events” mod originally written by Jeff Robison has been incorporated, meaning that you can configure your Custom Event Types so that some of them start “collapsed” (all lines hidden except the top one).
Visitors may still expand those lines at will.

There are two ways to set this. It can be done on each custom event individually:

CustomEventAdmin

Of you can do it in bulk by clicking the ones you want to display collapsed and choosing the button at the top to collapse:

CollapseEventBulk

Here’s what it looks like before and after. There’s only a small amount of data here, but if you had a large amount of text to display, this would make a real difference:

AdultChristeningCollapsed

AdultChristeningExpanded

TNG10 Feature Preview: See you Thursday!

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Thursday marks the first day the RootsTech exhibit hall is open, and also the first day you can get your hands on TNG10. We will be in booth 318 near the middle of the hall, come by and see it in action for yourself!

Labeling individuals and families to create branches is now easier than ever. In the edit branch area, you start by choosing an individual as the “starting individual” and then define any number of ancestor or descendant generations. You can append a new label, replace labels, or remove labels if you no longer want to use the branch designation.

CreateOrEditBranch

AddLabels

Can’t remember what you did before? You can choose to show the people included in the branch when editing a branch:

ShowBranch

There is now a public “Branches” page (found under the “Info” menu), which shows a little detail for each branch you have created.

InfoBranches

TNG10 New Feature of the day

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Don’t you hate it when you get a million search results, and you have to keep clicking “next results” a million times to get to results you KNOW are in the middle? Not any more! TNG pagination of search results now has the ability to “jump to” a certain page of search results. Just one of the little things that makes life much easier!

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TNG10 Feature Previews

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Looking forward to seeing all our users at RootsTech! Stop by our booth and be among the first to upgrade to TNG10.

Today we are highlighting another simple change that makes the TNG experience so much easier. TNG10 now allows admins to export just a specific branch, and has the option to exclude or include living or private people. Your Site. Your Choice.

ExportBranch

TNG 10 Features Preview: One week to go!

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Only one week to go until TNG10 is available in a special presale for RootsTech attendees! If you can’t be at RootsTech, you will have to wait another week.

Today’s featured spotlight is another simple one that makes things easier. No more doing the math to figure out how old an ancestor lived! If a person’s birth and death years are known, the person’s age will now be displayed under their name on the individual page, next to their birth/death years. Age will also be displayed for spouse, parents, and children when birth and death years are known. Attention to little details like this is what makes TNG stand out from other web site options.

AgeCalculation

AgeCalculation2

TNG10 Feature Preview of the day

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Continuing our previews of the upcoming features in TNG10, today looks at a small but useful change to the media upload page. The Media “Upload” page will now show a green check mark next to each uploaded image to show that everything for that image has already been saved. If the title or description is then edited, the check will change to a “Save” button. Once the Save button is clicked, the changes will be saved and the mark will once again be displayed. This should make it much easier for admins to see what is and is not yet saved.

TNG Upload Page Improvements