Skip to main content

Paging Captain Obvious...

This is an object lesson in the importance of the sanity check. I was working on reskinning a MT blog, working on the CSS files when suddenly the posts dissapeared! Well, post actually - it had just been set up, so there was just a single test entry in the system, sitting on the homepage. Mystified, I undid my changes. Still no entries.

I returned everything back to its original state - still no entries. I looked closely at the code to display the code, everything looked fine. I checked on the admin side, and the entry was still there and hadn't been changed at all. I even tried using some demo entry display code from the MT site - nada.

Mystified, I told the client that something weird must have happened, although I had no idea what. That's always I fun thing to tell a client! I couldn't see how it could have been something I'd changed, since all I'd touched was css code... I asked him to have the IT people restore the blog to it's original state.

Of course, a week or two goes by and his IT people have done nothing. He asks me to take another look, so I do. I'm thinking I'll just write dead simple display code - like something that just prints out the name of all entries in the system, and see what happens. Looking over the docs for the MTEntries tag and various related docs, I notice something about it display all entries that meet a certain criteria, or somesuch.

A light bulb slowly turns on, and I wonder if perhaps somehow set it to display 0 entries in the publishing settings in the admin. I look, and nope the number is seven. But then I notice the little drop-down next to the number - and it was set to seven days. In other words, it wouldn't display entries that were more than seven days old.

DUH. I'd never encountered an MT blog set up like that, I don't know if it's the default setting or what. And of course those 168 hours happened to run out on the only entry in the system while I was working on the system, making me think I'd some screwed something up.

So yeah, check the obvious crap first. Usually it's quick, and even if it catches a stupid mistake once, it's worth the time it takes!


Popular posts from this blog

Empty $_POST array in MAMP

OK, so just spent 30 minutes debugging this. I'm now using a mac as my development platform for one of the sites I support. It's worked pretty well until today when I started adding a new feature. I ran into a weird problem where POST arguments were not being made available, either in $_REQUEST or $_POST - while GET arguments were.

Thanks to this page, I was pointed in a useful directions. Turns out for some reason my version of MAMP had a max_post_size of "3200M" set in its php.ini file. That was not working too well - when I changed it to 32M, everything went back to working normally.

So, perhaps that will help someone else who's driving themselves crazy!

Another VI tip - using macros, an example

God I love VI. Well, actually, vim but whatever.

Here's another reason why. Suppose you need to perform some repetitive task over and over, such as updating the copyright date in the footer of a static website. (Yes, yes I know you could do a javascript thing or whatever, just bear with me.)

Of course you could just search and replace in some text editor, changing "2007" to "2008" (if you're stupid) - and you'll end up with a bunch of incorrect dates being changed, most likely. What you need to do is only change that date at the bottom. And suppose that because of the formatting, you can't use the "Copy" part of the string in a search replace - perhaps some of the pages use "©", some spell out "Copyright" etc.

This is where vi macros come in handy. A macro in vi is exactly what you expect, it records your actions and allows you to play them back.

To start recording, press q followed by a character to use to "store"…

Using FIle FIlters in FileZilla

Here's a handy tip for situations when you want to download a large number of files - but only of a certain type. For example, perhaps you want to download all the PHP files from a largish website, scattered through many subdirectories. Perhaps you're making a backup and don't want any image files, etc.

FileZilla (still the best FTP in my opinion) has a handy feature called filename filters- located under the Edit menu. Here you can set various filters that filter out files based on their filename. Took me a minute to figure that out - you're saying show only PHP files, rather you're saying filter out files that do not have ".php" as their suffix. For some reason, that seems a little backwards to me, but whatever. It works quite well. You can also check whether the filter applies only to files, only to directories - or both. In this example, you'd want to check only files, as otherwise you won't see any directories unless they happen to end in &quo…