Re: protector.php not found
Sorry to hear you had so many issues. We did test against 2.3 but since 2.3 won't install on anything that can run 2.5.9, just getting the core running so it could be upgraded was not simple. It would have been nice to have a VM with a real working 2.3 system to test against, but we didn't have that.
From what you described, the manual mainfile.php changes needed in 2.3 to enable protector, caused some new protector code to be loaded before the autoloader for Xmf was started. I'll add a note to the manual to remove that code before starting the upgrade.
... because the upgrade instructions didn't says to copy xoops_data folder to the installed _data folder (similar to _lib).
Ooops! Thanks for pointing that out. I'll put in a correction for that, too.
Just for reference, the xoops_data instructions are only missing from the quick overview. It does mention that in the detailed instructions:Copy New Files to the Site
... You should copy the xoops_data and xoops_lib directories to wherever these were relocated during the install.
Glad you got it up and running, and thanks for the reports.