Backup. Backup. Backup. Backup. Backup. Backup. Backup. Backup.

Did I repeate that enough?


I just got the details on how our ILS server is backed up. I’ve been making a backup every time I make changes to the OPAC. And that’s saving my butt.

I’ve been making extensive changes to our online catalog, most of which are cosmetic. Cosmetic changes in the world of ILS software can have consequences far beyond what you think of  when you think ‘I’m changing the look and feel of the interface’.

I moved an inline set of searches to the sidebar and moved the small, embedded search boxes into the body of the page. I commented out a section of the sidebar that displayed the contents of the cart, intending to move this to another section of the website.

It broke the whole freakin’ use of the cart.

I, of course, had no idea that’s what I’d done, so to get a white screen of death (Cannot Open Error Screen) every time I tried to use the cart was pretty scary.

Furthermore, as I’ve been working on these changes since August, I didnt’ have a good idea as to when I’d done this.

Remember though, I’d backed up before every change I made. I restored each section of the website from the initial backups I’d taken, then copied over the backup of changes I’d made, rebuilding and testing the website each time. This allowed me to narrow the changes down to one template file. I restored this file from a backup and re-did the changes I’d made, testing and confirming that commenting out this cart display broke the whole cart.

The whole story is something straight out of The Daily WTF.

Breaking a display breaks the whole cart?

The whole library profession really needs those vaunted next generation ILS’s the cool kids keep talking about…