The Moving Art

You may or may not know that I have an art portfolio. It is linked on my front portal page and in the menu on the blog here. Maybe you came here from there via the link on the portfolio introduction.

Per the last public blog post I migrated all of my websites from my old server to a new one. More up to date, better hardware etc, and it was a whole lot of work getting everything moved over and getting the new routing set up and such, but it went well. Or so I thought.

I’ve archived everything from the old server, and I selectively uploaded things to the new one. Only the things I needed. And I have had to add additional things that people have reported missing since, but a lot of the stuff that was on there was just garbage clutter.

I don’t quite remember how I found out, but after some time, after thinking everything was working, I discovered that the art site didn’t quite make it.

I found that for certain images they didn’t have albums anymore. In the CMS system I was using, called Koken, albums are collections of images, and a Set is a collection of Sets and Albums. Together they make an organizational tool with a tree structure, similar to categories, which Koken also has. Henceforth I will use album for both albums and sets. I still have no idea how or why, but the move caused the albums to break across the site.

Trying to navigate, both in admin and out on the site, things seem fine at first, but it quickly becomes obvious that things are broken. Out on the site the first album page looks fine, but trying to go to page 2 gets you a page with nothing on it. No albums or sets load in. The page widget also doesn’t load in. An error clearly occurs in the back-end when trying to load the albums.

In admin you get a list of all the albums in the sidebar, and that loads fine, but if you try to open certain albums you just get a loading spinner going infinitely (as far as I’m aware).

When you view a submission in admin the album list just says `Loading…` forever, if it includes one of the broken albums. It will display correctly for some images that only have working albums in the list.

I tried reaching out to Koken. I believe they had some kind of forum on their help desk, and I sent a support request to them directly. I just checked and as you can see in this image their help desk seems to no longer be available.

I’ve received no replies from koken in my email, and as their support system is just gone I suspect I never will. They have accounts for Facebook and Twitter (and also Google+, but that doesn’t exist at all anymore of course), but all of these accounts seem completely dead as nothing has been posted on them for years. So I deem it very unlikely I’d receive replies there either.

Koken is a free Content Management System (CMS) similar to WordPress, but much less popular, and geared more towards supporting image or video portfolios. It has a nice interface, it has themes and plugins to add functionality, a lot of which cost money on the integrated store.

I have no idea what happened to Koken. There is also a blog which is online since it’s on the mail site instead on a third party system like the help desk, but the latest post there was posted in February of 2017 and talks about the adding of premium themes.

It seems Koken has died a quiet unceremonious death, with no announcements on the main site or blog. I found a community forum on a different domain that confirms that Koken is indeed dead, and no support or updates will likely be coming in the future.

Seems they don’t mind people still paying for subscriptions though.

At the very least I decided to switch to a system with actual support instead of wasting time trying to solve the problems with Koken. I still have no idea how it broke, though I spent a bit of time trying to find the issue. It might simply be that it didn’t run correctly on the new up-to-date server the way it ran on my old outdated server.

So with that we say goodbye to Koken. It was a nice system, but I can’t have a CMS that breaks from being moved.

I initially found Koken because WordPress didn’t seem like a good solution at the time, because I was ignorant of the things you can do with themes and plugins, and had only looked at certain gallery specific plugins that were either not very good, or required paying to be good, which I didn’t want to do for the portfolio site unless I absolutely had to.

So I searched for different content systems and encountered Koken, which seemed to be, and was an excellent free solution at the time.

You can still access the old Koken portfolio site at the old url, in all it’s partially broken glory, for as long as it managed to stay running. I’m sure a future update of some sort will eventually break it completely as there likely wont be any more updates for it.

And with that I’m signing off. See you next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *