The xml you edited you did not have to edit if you would have set permission on them per the install or upgrade documentation. Your real urls would have been replaced in there when generated. That is a common issue probally one of the top things I have seen on people upgrading. We spent some time on the documentation and explicitly noted to read the documentation before installing or upgrading in our announcements and still I answer this all the time.
The additional info boxes are all in the showphoto template and you can edit however you see fit.
As far as comment on index they do display maybe your using the category cache?
Not sure what your talking about resizing as nothing has changed on image resizing. You never have been able to resize a main photo that has already been uploaded. The main photo is resized down to the max dimensions when a user uploads the photo and mediums and thumbnails are created at that time. You can resize mediums and thumbnails under scan database in admin.