Monday, 18 November 2013

Request for clarification on some stuff from Adobe

I've encountered some questions regarding the recent update, and have questions of my own... and I don't know the answers. So I'm gonna raise 'em here and bring 'em to Adobe's attention and see if we can get some answers. It's nothing major, and for once not a gripe (well... not on the scale that I often gripe, anyhow...).

A few people have had issues with the recent Update 12 for ColdFusion 10. I document these in my earlier article "Weirdness with installing ColdFusion 10 update 12". This evening whilst doing some reading up for an answer to a comment on that article, I encountered more information on the Adobe website: "ColdFusion 10 Update 12" (specifically under "Installation"):

You can encounter a Signature Verification Failed error when downloading and installing this update. To resolve this issue, download and install the ColdFusion 10 Mandatory Update first, before installing ColdFusion 10 Update 12. For more information, see this article. If this error persists, then download ColdFusion 10 Update 12, afresh. This error is primarily due to certain issues with download.

These seem like odd instructions. Obviously one needs to have the mandatory updater installed to get any updates after update 2 to work. However if I've already got it installed (it ships included in later installs of ColdFusion 10, which is what I've installed from), why would I be needing to install it again? It's primarily an update of the code signing certificate, innit? And these things don't wear out, so why would they be suggesting reinstalling? So does it need the mandatory updater reinstalled or not? What's the story?

On top of that, what's this thing with "this error is primarily due to certain issues with the download"?

Then lastly, from what I can tell, simply installing one of the earlier patches before installing this one seems to sort the problem out (I've had success in installing Update 8 then Update 12; Richard Herbert had luck with 11 then 12). But it doesn't seem download-related. Or mandatory-updater-related. I just get the impression we're not being told something here. The guidance doesn't seem to really match reality.

This is little bother for me and my one ColdFusion instance, but what about shops that have dozens or hundreds of instances (such as my employers)? It'd be great to have a straight answer so the minimum amount of wasted effort can be engaged in.

Secondly... what is it with the "reconfigure the connectors" guidance we sometimes (but sometimes do not) get when installing these updates?
  1. When you ask that, does it mean "remove it then re-add it"? Because if so: say that. That's not "reconfiguring".
  2. If it means something else: what, exactly?
  3. Also, I've asked this before why can't you / don't you automate this?
  4. And... why does this need to be done? IE: how come sometimes it's necessary, sometimes's it's not? What's this process doing? Why? (If we can understand what's going on, then we can troubleshoot better). 


There's also this information on the Adobe ColdFusion blog "New Security Update Available for ColdFusion 9.0, 9.0.1, 9.0.2 and 10" (in a comments from Pavankumar):

 @josh if you are on coldfusion version 10 update 11 you do not need to re-configure the connectors.
I really think Adobe need to be more accurate (and uniform) with their advice on this topic!

Another Update (21/11/2013):

Adobe have released this blog article which seems to cast some light on the scene, perhaps: "ColdFusion 10 Mandatory Update refreshed". It might have been helpful to include this info in the initial installation instructions, perhaps.

OK, those are the questions for Adobe. Here's some reading for my readers:
  • A word of caution when monkeying with wsconfig: "Oh FFS: Updater 4 hosed my Apache config"; 
  • A ticket to prevent WSConfig.exe for hosing config settings: "3358792";
  • A ticket to get the connector re-config step automated: "3350535";
  • A ticket to get an "update" option added to WSConfig.exe (it's only got Add / Remove right now, whereas the instructions are always to Update, so there should be an option to do so!): "3350403"
The three tickets have all been marked "to fix", but it'd be good to get some more voting on them lest Adobe think they might be things that can be left for next time. I'm not suggesting they would do that, but more input from the community will help them work out what's more important to address.

And now back to watching TV...