Upgrading Multiple Subversion Copies of WordPress With a Script

I run all my WordPress installs as Subversion checkouts. This makes it easier to upgrade since there’s no FTP involved and I can choose when to upgrade as well as to what version. Since I have multiple blogs, I created a script to facilitate an easy upgrade all of them at once when a new version is released.

As a Christmas present to the WordPress community I’m making my script available to the public.

The only requirement is that you’re using subversion to manage your WordPress installs already. Other than that, the script is pretty simple to use, there’s just one line of paths that needs to be updated.

To use this script, start by creating a new bash script on your server:

vi wpupdate.sh

Press “I” to turn insert mode in vim and paste in the following:

#! /bin/bash
# Copyright (c) 2009 Ryan Duff <http://ryanduff.net>
# This script is licensed under GNU GPL version 2.0 or above
#
# This script upgrades (switches) a subversion copy of WordPress to a tagged version of your choice
# List of Current WordPress tag versions can be found at <http://core.trac.wordpress.org/browser/tags>

# Set your paths
paths=(/path/to/install/1/ /path/to/install/2/)

clear

echo WordPress Update Script
echo ------------------------
echo
echo -n "Please enter version number and press [ENTER]: "
read version

for path in ${paths[@]}
do
cd $path
svn sw http://core.svn.wordpress.org/tags/$version/ .
done

Move your cursor up to the paths line and change to match the full paths to your WordPress installs.

Save the file. (Press Esc to exit insert mode. Type :wq and press Enter to save the file and quit vim)

Make the file executable:

chmod +x wpupdate.sh

To run the script type:

./wpupdate.sh

When prompted, enter the version tag you want to update to and press Enter. Current WordPress version tags can be found here.

If you have any questions or problems, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Phone Carrier Religion

At the November Harrisburg Tweetup, a discussion started regarding cell phone carriers. As usual, it became an all out war. Why do people defend their phone carrier like its a religion and fight anybody that’s on a different carrier? Seriously!

People seem to have no problem spending hours defending their cell phone carrier. For what reason? Just because it works for you, why does it have to work for everybody else? I’m tired of people trying to shove their opinions down everybody else’s throat. I choose what works best for me, you choose what works best for you. If I have an issue with my phone carrier, I’ll change to a different one. If you have an issue with my phone carrier, bite your tongue and keep it to yourself. I’m tired of hearing about it.

Of course, the whole Verizon/AT&T dispute only makes things worse for everybody.

On Domain Trademarks in the Open Source Community

After reading an article on Weblog Tools Collection in regards to the WordPress trademark, and reviewing the information on WordPress.org, I got to thinking about how this affects the open source community.

In the commercial realm, it is very important for a company to protect their trademark. If they fail to do so, somebody might sell a similar product using the same name which could confuse consumers. In the open source realm, the software and code base is community based. Because of the community involvement, other related websites crop up to extend the original software.

In the case of WordPress, the code is maintained by a commercial entity, Automattic. As a commercial company, Automattic has an interest in protecting the name “WordPress,” especially since they run a hosted service at WordPress.com. At the same time, there are also plugins and themes developed for the software, as well as meetups and “WordCamps” which are a WordPress un-conference.

Naturally, people extending WordPress, would use “WordPress” in the name of their project or website, but unfortunately, this is a no-no based on the information on WordPress.org. Because of their legal advice, they recommend that you use “wp” instead of “WordPress” in the domain name of any related project– unless, of course, you want to be sued for trademark infringement. On the flip side of this, the WordPress logo, which has also been trademarked, is allowed to be used, as long as you use the “official” logo. They’re granting full use to the logo trademark, but not the name trademark.

The problem arises with making money off WordPress in a way that Automattic and/or WordPress already gains income from. In essence, you would be taking from profits not rightfully yours since you’re not the trademark owner. But what if you are just contributing to the community? Giving back, as in charity to the community with nothing to gain? Shouldn’t you be allowed to use “WordPress” in the clear? Common sense would agree.

This puts everybody– Automattic and the WordPress community in a catch-22. How can you effectively use WordPress in a domain name without degrading to “wp” or facing legal action. Is it just an issue with US Trademark law, or is there a better way to handle the issue and allow the use of “WordPress” in a domain name while keeping the trademark protected?

There may be a fix. Mozilla has allowed the use of their trademarked names in domains, as long as you have permission. They have a fairly straightforward application that you can fill out and send along to the Mozilla Foundation. Pending approval, you can use the trademark as long as you don’t do anything to confuse your website and the trademarked product. Something similar out of the Automattic/WordPress camp would allow common sense, non infringing uses of “WordPress” without worrying somebody might steal their business. And since it’s permission based, it can be denied if things start to go awry.

Since I’m not a lawyer, this is just my opinion. What are your thoughts on the whole situation?