AVH Update Notifications


I just spent a couple of hours setting up a multisite system, installing and tweaking many WPMU DEV Premium plugins and other plugins.

Then I started creating sub-sites, and none of them worked. There were messages like, "Error establishing database connection," and messages about the database needing to be repaired.

So I tried uninstalling plugins, one-by-one, to identify the culprit. Apparently the damage was done, because the problem persisted even after all plugins were removed. So I started from scratch, adding plugins and re-tracing my steps (adding and checking subsites after every step) to see where the problem started.

The problem:

After you install the AVH FDAS component of the Comment Spam Pack, the WPMU DEV Update Notification plugin announces that a new version is available, with the option to update automatically. This update is what destroys the subsites. After checking version numbers I realized that the update notification is linking to the standard (non-WPMU-DEV version) in the WordPress repository, which is version 3.0.5. The problem is apparently that the WPMU DEV version is set up one way, but the mainstream version is not.

Is there any way to turn off erroneous update notifications like this? I'm afraid of something like this happening with other plugins, and I don't want to lose any more hours of work...or, worse yet, to have something like this happen when the site is live with clients. I'd rather keep using the Updates Notification plugin, but I want to eliminate this risk.

Sorry for the long message.



  • wpcdn

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the reply. In this case I'm not worried about trying to repair the situation. This is a new network I'm setting up, so I just started over from scratch. I'd rather not try to repair an installation that's only a few hours old.

    But my main concern is keeping something like this from happening again. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the WPMU DEV Update Notification plugin that encouraged me to update AVH FDAS. It was probably the normal WordPress plugin update mechanism.

    However, that's still a big problem. The WPMU DEV version of AVH can't be updated using the regular version in the repository, therefore the WPMU DEV version of the plugin should somehow keep that update notification from appearing.

    In summary, the damage was significant but I started over from scratch instead of trying to repair it. Now I just want to keep anything like this from happening later when we're live. I know, backups are my friends, but we'd rather prevent issues like this in general.



  • Philip John

    Hi Mark,

    That's fine - understood. As AVH is bundled in with Comment Spam Pack using the installer to upgrade AVH effectively creates a duplicate as I understand it. This is where the conflict arises.

    So, you should only ever upgrade Comment Spam Pack and ignore any prompts to upgrade AVH.

    However, this is a good point and I will mention it to the developer to see if anything can be done.

    Thanks for letting us know!


  • wpcdn

    Hi Phil,

    I understand, but I wouldn't consider this resolved yet. It's still a dangerous situation that can enable people to hose their sites while simply doing the update they're prompted to do.

    The problem is that this is a special WPMU DEV version of AVH FDAS. However, it shares some identifier with the original version in the repository, which generates an update message. That update message is incorrect. It says something like, "A new version of AVH FDAS - WPMU Edition is available. Click here for details or click here to update automatically." The problem is that the message is erroneous...the update is for the original version, not the WPMU DEV version. Thus, the user will be overwriting the WPMU DEV version with the original version, which is not the desired situation (and, as I've seen, can hose an entire installation).

    So I don't think the issue is whether to update AVH separately or as part of the comment pack. The main issue is to change the identifier of the AVH WPMU edition so it does not prompt users to do an incorrect and dangerous update. Anyone who follows the update prompt (and has not seen this thread) can have the same results I did.

    Just my .08 worth.


Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.