Moving to Typo 5.4.x, Rails 2.3.8 on Heroku

So why Heroku and why not leave my server on slicehost? I don’t have any issue with the slice but I want to upgrade the version of Typo just to stay uptodate and while at it wanted to explore a little. So of course I found an article on Getting Typo 5.4 running on Heroku So I gave it a try.

The interesting part is that has been around since forever and I also had to migrate the database. was running on a version of Typo 4.

setting the blog up locally

First I’ve downloaded my older typo MySQL database and restored it locally. I’ve copied Typo from here or you can clone the Typo git repository.

$ git clone 

I changed the database.yml to point to my database. Did a rake gems:install, followed by a rake db:migrate and had now a local install of my blog.

creating a heroku app

The goal was to try to deploy the blog to heroku. So here you can create an empty

$ heroku create onrails
$ git init
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Adding using typo 5.4.4"

I then followed joels’ article to "heroku"fy Typo. So I basically created a few empty folders and replaced FileUtils by FileUtils::NoWrite. Note sure if that last change would cripple Typo but things seems to work fine.

Then I created a .gems files that is used by heroku instead of Bundler.

	rails = 2.3.8
	bluecloth  ~> 2.0.5
	coderay  ~> 0.8
	mislav-will_paginate  ~> 2.3.11 --source
	RedCloth  ~> 4.2.2
	panztel-actionwebservice  = 2.3.5
	addressable  ~> 2.1.0
	mini_magick  ~> 1.2.5

Finally I deployed the app with an empty database:

$ git remote add heroku
$ git push heroku master
$ heroku rake db:migrate   # with empty db

That’s it that gets you an install of Typo on Heroku. Note, keep reading for a few gotcha’s I found in regards to Rails 2.3.8.

Rails 2.3.8 on heroku

At the time of this writing Rails 2.3.8 wasn’t the default on Heroku, but fortunately they support a different stack with Rails 2.3.8. To switch I just had to do the following:

$ heroku stack:migrate bamboo-ree-1.8.7

Migrating the local MySQL database to Heroku’s Postgres database.

It’s a rather straight forward process…just do

$ heroku db:push

This converted the database and replaced the remote database with my local data on Heroku. It converts my MySQL database to a Postgress database without having to specify anything…But there was on gotcha. The Sidebar table id column turned out as “text” instead of an “integer”. And this caused some of the admin functionality to fail, i.e. reconfiguring the sidebar. The other tables where converted correctly and I saw that the local Sidebar id column was slightly different than the other id columns. For some reasons the sidebar table id column type was a "signed int’ and that translated to a text field when doing the db:push. So I just unchecked the signed flag and the db:push went smoothly.

legacy permalinks

Somehow the articles and category links are all prefixed with “/articles” on I don’t know if that was due to some default setting in Typo 4 or due to the fact that I started with a way earlier version of Typo. In any case I preferred to use the new links formats that just drops the “/articles”, but that would also mean breaking a lot of incoming links. So I just configured Typo to support the legacy permalinks via these added routes

  # Legacy permalink format support
  map.connect '/articles/:year/:month', :controller => 'articles', :action => 'index', :year => /\d{4}/, :month => /\d{1,2}/
  map.connect '/articles/:year/:month/page/:page', :controller => 'articles', :action => 'index', :year => /\d{4}/, :month => /\d{1,2}/
  map.connect '/articles/:year', :controller => 'articles', :action => 'index', :year => /\d{4}/
  map.connect '/articles/:year/page/:page', :controller => 'articles', :action => 'index', :year => /\d{4}/   

 # Legacy permalink format support
  map.resources :categories, :except => [:show, :update, :destroy, :edit], :path_prefix => '/articles'
  map.resources :categories, :as => 'category', :only => [:show, :edit, :update, :destroy], :path_prefix => '/articles'

  map.connect '/articles/category/:id/page/:page', :controller => 'categories', :action => 'show'

Now the blog supports both new and old formats. Note that the url for the articles can be modified in the settings, but I didn’t find settings for the category permalinks and supporting both old and new format gives me a smooth transition forward.

Rails and Issue with Typo workaround?

I was getting the following error when doing certain actions on the blog:

ActionView::TemplateError (undefined method `interpolate_without_deprecated_syntax' for #<I18n::Backend::Simple:0x2b8d1ef90700>) on line #5 of themes/scribbish/views/articles/_comment.html.erb:

So I assumed this was some compatibility between Typo and Rails and Typo had a workaround defined in the environment.rb file file. As I use Rails 2.3.8 I disabled that workaround and everything seems to work again:

So I just removed the followed lines from the enviroment.rb file:

class I18n::Backend::Simple
  def interpolate(locale, string, values = {})
    interpolate_without_deprecated_syntax(locale, string, values)

custom domain

I’m sure there are a few more details I missed and hope my readers will point them out, but let’s jump and turn the switch on.

So you need to switch on custom domains on heroku as follows:

$heroku addons:add custom_domains
$ heroku domains:add
Added www.onrails.orgas a custom domain name to 
$ heroku domains:add
Added onrails.orgas a custom domain name to

Then I went on to pointed my dns to Heroku.

The move is complete but the dns change to point to heroku still may take some time. So if you see the Scribbish theme you are still on the old server and if you see the Elegant Grunge theme you are right here on Heroku.


UPDATE 1: the dns updated and at different time. And all the images of the new sites where using urls of the old site and everything looked pristine. No more…So a hidden issue is that Typo let’s you upload files like images which are stored in the resources table and also copied to to the public/files folder. This is a convenient way to serve files and images for your blog entries. Well, that won’t work very well while on heroku especially since we really made the file system read only. I need to read more on how to enable page caching on Heroku and see if it is compatible with Typo. If not… I will need to revert back to my previous host. For now I’ll just add the files via git…and that’s not a solution.