Issues upgrading to Umbraco 7.2 (and how to resolve them)

Here are the stumbling blocks I found in my upgrade from Umbraco 7.1.2 to Umbraco 7.2.

  1. Can’t get to verify upgrade page (spins forever)
  2. DependencyHandler.axd not found (404)
  3. Content nodes in list view don’t appear in search

How I upgraded

I have a Visual Studio 2013 project with the UmbracoCms package installed via nuget. I’ve done extensive customization of the web.config (mostly url rewriting but some other things too) but most other things are out of the box. So after checking in my existing code base, I felt pretty confident in following the general upgrade guides instructions to open the Package Console and type Update-Package UmbracoCms.

Now the general upgrade guide directs people upgrading to 7.2.0 to skip all of the information about how to respond to the overwrite prompts. So I chose not let nuget overwrite my files since that is the default action.

Unfortunately the guide also directs us to skip the section that talks about merging configuration files which is how I ran into my first problem.

Can’t get to the “verify upgrade” page (spins forever)

Solution: Merge your config files (mainly web.config)

Since I didn’t  have any language or ui.xml files to merge, I went straight to the finalize section of the guide and opened my site. I got to a page with the Umbraco logo and the gray background and then just sat there. Things were spinning but nothing was happening.

The way to make it stop is to go back and merge your config files. This may seem pretty obvious to you smart people out there but the guide did specifically say I should skip that section if upgrading to 7.2.0 (as of this writing).

DependencyHandler.axd not found (404)

Solution: Make sure you’re not rewriting it!

Now I was at the verify upgrade page. I clicked the button and read the facts. (do you think the two people with cats named Umbraco are the same two that have the Umbraco tattoo?). The installation finished and then it tried to redirect me to the backoffice… where it spun.

Luckily I’ve run into this problem before. I used Fiddler (a tool for watching http requests among other things) to see what was really happening. Sure enough /DependencyHandler.axd was returning a 404. I added that to my rule for excluding rewriting and things started working again. In case you’re wondering, here is what that rule looks like.

<!-- [ 1.] Filter out things that shouldn't be rewritten -->
<!-- Whitelist: Stop rewrite processing immediately for locations that don't need it -->
<rule name="StopRewriting" stopProcessing="true">
<match url="^(css|scripts|umbraco|umbraco_client|install|media|webresource.axd|scriptresource.axd|dependencyhandler.axd)" />
<conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll" trackAllCaptures="false" />
<action type="None" />

Content nodes in list view don’t appear in search

Solution: Rebuild and optimize your Internal Index

When I finally got into the mecca that is Umbraco 7.2 I was instantly disappointed that my most anticipated feature (the ability to link to/select things from list view) wasn’t working. No matter what list view item I searched for, it wouldn’t show results. Searching from directly within the list view worked as normal but those pages weren’t appearing in either the main backoffice search or the specific one that appears when you try to link to a list view page.

Luckily rebuilding and optimizing my index gets this working in a flash. I can only presume that either these nodes never showed up in main search before (and I never noticed) or there was some change to the way they are represented that requires the re-indexing.


Even with those three issues, this was still one of the smoothest upgrades I’ve encountered with Umbraco and nuget. I’ll continue testing the upgrade locally for a few days before deploying it to production.

Edited Note: When publishing an upgraded Umbraco to production (at least with this version) you need to update your web.config to reflect the original version number. This will allow the install (complete with any database changes) to run on the remote server. Just change your version number back to 7.2.0 when finished with the publish.

How to fix the “could not load file or assembly for [some package you already uninstalled]” Message


You’re getting a “could not load file or assembly” error message for some Umbraco package that you’ve already installed. You’ve searched for and deleted every reference to said package from code and removed the dlls from bin.

It continues to happen, making you want to stab things.


Touch your global.asax file. No seriously. Apparently that clears the plugincache. Or something. Sigh.

Back Story and Source

Once upon a time, I installed the CMSImport plugin on Umbraco 7.0.1. I needed to import some news articles and it looked like the tool for the job.

It was great! I imported all the things and it worked and birds sang and people were all happy and stuff. But then it was over, I was finished with CMSImport and did not want to import things anymore. So I uninstalled it. Because that’s what you do in these situations.

This seemed to make my installation very unhappy. I guess it missed CMSImport. It started throwing weird errors when I did things like delete a media file. The ghost of CMSImport was haunting me without leaving a trace in the.. trace… log. Anyway. To cut straight to the point, when my weeks of randomly deleting files and sporadic Googleing failed as if no one in the face of the internet has ever had this problem before,  I bit the bullet and upgraded to 7.0.4.

I won’t get into how I had to try that 3 times and then ended up not even running the installer. (grrr). Lets just say that when I loaded my fresh installation and  deleted a file, I got the same error.

<sarcasm>For yays!</sarcasm>

Then I stumbled across this throwaway comment on a completely different issue (emphasis mine).

…could you try touching the global.asax file (just put a space in it and save it) to see if that helps? Sounds like the plugincache is in an invalid state and this helps clear it.

Sebastiaan Janssen

So I did that and it worked. I hope it works for you.


Captioning Flash Files for DVD

A couple years ago I was asked to take some video clips (flash files stripped from the internet with permission), add captions, and prepare them to be played on a kiosk (via dvd).

It took significant trial and error but I documented the final process as “not as painful as it could have been”. I haven’t had a project like that since so there may be better tools now but here is a basic overview what I did.

  1. Convert .flv files to .avi
  2. Upload videos to youtube
  3. Transcribe video
    • Transcripts need to include sound effects for proper captioning
    • This could be done as part of step 6
  4. Upload transcripts to YouTube to get a .sbv file with timing
    • Note: It doesn’t work as well with videos that are mostly sound effects so those videos will require way more adjusting in step 6.
  5. Convert the resulting .sbv to .srt using your tool of choice
  6. Use VisualSubSync to adjust the timing and fine tune the captions.
  7. Save the results back to an .srt file Test the captions (optional) by uploading the .srt file back to YouTube Stitch the .avi and the .srt file together using Auto Gordian Knot (*) to create a “hard captioned” video Burn hard captioned videos to DVD

It’s possible that visualsubsync (which is exactly what I would expect a subtitle editor to be) will also auto synchronize captions. If so, you could eliminate the google/youtube steps.

Other Resources

Note: the link for Auto Gordian Knot is broken as of this posting. Not sure if it’s permanently down but there are places to download the software if you Google it.

A letter to Publix

While surfing the net looking for nutrition facts. I stumbled across the Fair Food Campaign being conducted by the Coalition of Immokalee workers. I read some, then I watched their “One Penny More” video.

Then I wrote this letter.

Dear People in Charge of Publix,

I love shopping at Publix and I love tomatoes. I especially love the opportunity to support the Florida economy by buying produce grown in Florida from a chain based in Florida.

However I’m disturbed and deeply concerned by the claims of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers that Publix is not willing to use it’s buying power to support Florida tomato farm workers. When I look on your website, I see in the Publix Products Q & A that  the store has a position on the safe handling of animals. But I see no similar statement of position on supporting a livable wage right here in your home state. I want to be fair so I’m asking; what is your stance on human rights in general and the rights and conditions of Florida Farm workers in general? Is it true that you’ve resisted the Fair Food campaign that even Taco Bell is supporting? I mean seriously… Taco Bell? If you have a statement of some kind giving a reasonable explanation for what looks to be lack of support for basic human rights, I would love to see it.

But if don’t get the information I want to hear about my favorite grocery store, I will use my small and insignificant buying power to try to get you to change your mind. I will also do my best to convince my friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and casual acquaintances to do the same. I am willing to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes if it means the person that picked them is getting a fair wage. (Or at least closer to a fair wage. Honestly I don’t think a penny a pound is enough.) If I have to pay my extra penny elsewhere, so be it.

I added this to the top of the Coalitions already compelling form letter and sent it. Now I’m waiting on a reply. You can write your own letter (or do any number of things) at the CIWs take action page.

A letter to facebook

Your photo management interface is inexcusably bad.

  1. In what universe does it make sense to “Edit Album Info” in order to move a photo to a different album?
  2. Why can’t you move a photo to an album unless it already exists?
  3. Why can’t you create an album without uploading photos?
  4. Why is your only  option for creating an album without uploading photos buried on the last tab of some (but not all) edit album screens?
  5. Why does that “create album” actually just rename the album you were editing (despite the fact that you have to specifically ignore the rename option to get there?

Any one of these might be excusable but all of them together makes me want to stomp your interface in the throat. Is there no usability testing in facebook HQ? Do you not understand your top tasks? Do you need testers? Because I will donate the 45 minutes of my time that I wasted trying to move a photo from one album to another and tell you what’s wrong with your interface. Any time.  You have all of my contact information.