Patrick here, again. It’s Sunday morning in Brooklyn.
Last night, Hosting Matters set us up with a new server (larger and more powerful, and all to ourselves, I gather), and we uploaded the complete March 1 backup of our home directory. This is why there’s been a March 1 version of Making Light’s home page visible for the last twelve hours or so at the usual location. Up until a few minutes ago, this was a version of the front page that looked all right, except that links to individual-post pages-with-comments didn’t work, and the Sidelights and Particle sections were empty, along with every other sidebar section that works by pulling data in from a file external to the main index page.
We also uploaded the March 1 export from the site’s MySQL database, and while we slept, Hosting Matters verified that the database export seemed to be okay, and re-created the database and the user. They suggested that we do a full “rebuild” from inside Movable Type, which should recreate all the internal links.
I’ve just now been trying to do that. The first thing I tried was a full site rebuild, but it crapped out and reported “internal server error” somewhere in the midst of rebuilding the second hundred individual-post pages. (A full site rebuild does individual-post pages first, then monthly archive pages, then index pages last.) The next thing I tried was an “index pages only” rebuild, which yielded the version of the front page that’s now visible, with the entire center column empty. I then tried an “individual archive pages only” rebuild, which once again failed in the middle of the second hundred pages. Finally, I made another attempt at a full site rebuild, and it failed (“Internal Server Error – The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request”) just after the 300-pages-rebuilt mark.
Rebuilds that fail to complete have been a constant bane of our Movable Type installation, but in the past we’ve dealt with them by simply trying again another day. Does anyone have a better idea that will get the site (at least, the March 1 instantiation of the site) up and functional now?
(Noted and of interest: You can get at the individual archive pages that are linked from the “recent comments” sidebar; you can even load the “last 4000 comments” page and get at lots and lots of individual archive pages from that. But as far as I know, until I get a full rebuild to happen, the middle column of the front page is going to stay empty.)