Updating academic theme woes

I have a similar issue/problem as this post except that my entire site won't build. I have the academic theme from like... 2017 and have been having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to update it.

I updated the theme using blogdown::install_theme(theme = "gcushen/hugo-academic", update_config=FALSE, force = TRUE) as suggested, but my config.toml file looks nothing like the one posted.

Just updating the themes folder won't update the config structure, and it also doesn't change the folder structure either. these update notes show that there's a config folder in your root, which isn't there in whatever old ass version of academic that i'm running (v2 i think?)

I love blogdown, but if it's this hard to update your site after only a few years, how can it be sustainable? Or is the hard lesson here to update often?

This isn't blogdown per se. You do have 2 problems though, which is a bit of the hard lesson. (1) Hugo changes. (2) as a result, Hugo theme developers must change their themes to keep up with deprecated Hugo functions. As well, Hugo theme developers fix their themes when bugs are reported. And, Hugo theme developers also have lots of feature requests, so they also update the theme base on that. The academic theme in particular keeps up with Hugo, fixing bugs, and feature requests. So yes, hard lesson learned. If it is any consolation, I just had to redo my entire Academic site over the weekend, and there was some pain. I do this about every 6 months. I empathize completely. If you want it to be more static and not change over a period of years, I would switch to a very very very simple Hugo theme- one that has very few layouts and other dependencies. This Hugo theme developer has some great simple themes: https://github.com/zwbetz-gh

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Thanks for the response - 6mo update seems reasonable. That's roughly between semesters, which aligns well with other updates that I do to course materials.
Do you rebuild entirely? Do you have a writeup on how you approach updating? I imagine you have a lot of posts/materials that you would have to transfer over each time.

I never really touch the content/ folder when I update. I need to write up some instructions though! I reinstall the theme, then slowly work through what changed in the site configuration files. Usually for Academic those are in the file named params.toml. In my experience, most bizarre warnings and behavior originate from there. If I touch anything in content/ it is typically in a file's metadata, like if one of the YAML keys changed or was deprecated. But that is super-rare.

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