Well this has been an interesting hour

Yesterday I ran a belated update of various softwares on this blog – plugins, themes, and most importantly ensuring the latest version of WordPress. Initially, everything worked fine. This morning, my remote monitoring service pinged me with the news that this site was non-responsive, so I clicked on through and found (dun-dun-dun!) The WordPress White Screen of Death (TWPWSOD).

So, I logged in to my FTP client and started shifting plugin folders around, since this is always my first step in dealing with TWPWSOD (although strictly speaking this excellent how to fix it tutorial from WP Beginner gives a more rigorous method of eliminating culprits).

Anyway:
Renaming the plugins folder didn’t fix TWPWSOD.
Moving the renamed plugins folder out of the wp-content folder didn’t fix TWPWSOD.
It took going through the wp-content folder and ruthlessly shifting absolutely everything that wasn’t in the default WordPress subfolders to an external debug folder to finally fix TWPWSOD.

It appears that the culprit ultimately was an outdated caching plugin, and the reason why it didn’t kick in immediately when I updated everything yesterday is that the current caching cycle needed to time out. Once the caching plugin tried to reset its snapshots of pages and found that the hooks it was expecting to find in WordPress were not where it was expecting them to be => ta-da! TWPWSOD.

So, for the moment I’ve doublechecked that all of my security plugins are totally up to date, and the plugins I had running here solely as examples of niftiness are disabled until I doublecheck their compatibility with the current WP version, which means that most of the posts and pages here showcasing those nifty examples do not currently make any sense. I will eventually go through and update the posts to note whether the plugin in question is still a nifty thing or has since carked it (and whether there’s a newer niftier replacement or not). But I’ve got a lot on my plate so don’t hold your breath.

Anyway, I thought it might be useful to just have a wee post on the horrors of the White Screen Of Death, pointing out that it’s not that awful really, and that keeping stuff regularly updated is a damn good way of avoiding it.

Seeking coder(s) for short term URGENT project

I’m project managing this one – please pass the word among your coding circles. This is NOT a WordPress project. This position has been filled.


Short Term/Hourly Rate XHTML/Javascript/PHP Custom Coding Contract

(urgent job bespoke website | going live deadline is June 27th, 2011)

Requires:

  • XHTML with semantic markup

  • Outstanding Javascript utilising:

    • Prototype
    • Scriptaculous
    • No jQuery is used or will be used
  • PHP

    • Object Oriented Programming
    • MySQL backend
  • Will need to work from an existing Subversion (SVN) code repository

On-Shore workers only please (Timezone Sydney)

Contact Viv (tigtog) via VIVidWeb Services

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Tech Tips and chitchat

a bright red button with white letters reading HELPtigtog.net’s VIVidWeb forums are now open to field your webwrangling questions and chat about other stuff too.  Absolute beginners are very welcome.

I’m happy to be the main answerer for people’s questions at first (by dint mostly of linking to existing excellent tutorials most likely), but I’m hoping to build a community of helpful people there eventually.  If being part of such appeals to you, please come along and join.

N.B. Membership to the forums must be approved, and the discussions will be moderated.  Be kind or be binned.

a montage image of screencaps from FB's privacy options

How to turn off Facebook “Places”

a montage image of screencaps from FB's privacy optionsCrossposted.

If anyone is wondering why pretty much the only thing I ever mention on Facebook has to do with sharing comedy links (with occasional politics links once in a while)? It’s because if it wasn’t for my comedy-blogging need to keep in touch with what comedians are up to, I’d have left the damn site long ago.

The new “Places” feature is yet another form of geotagging that lets everybody in the world know where you are, and which you can limit to “Friends only” or “Only Me” by going to the Privacy settings, but which you cannot turn off entirely.

Lifehacker shows you how to turn off the “Places” “feature” so that you can at least stop your location being inadvertently shared to strangers by your FB friends:
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screencap of ShushThatNoise plugin in action

Testing plugin: ShushThatNoise

Downloadable via the WordPress plugin repository: ShushThatNoise – Ignorant Comment Hider, only compatible with WP3.01.

Hide unwanted comments without deleting them. Edit the comment and wrap the offending text in [shush][/shush].
(Example: [shush]FIRST!!![/shush])

Readers can choose to read the hidden comment by clicking on the “Show” link.
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Migrating a HUGE WordPress blog

A flock of birds is moving across the background of a big bank of cloud against a bright blue sky - WordPress logos accompany them, and the text *Migrating WordPress to a New Server* has been added to the pictureFor the last few days, I have been following the instructions in this post by Dennis Howlett: How to migrate a monster WordPress blog.

This method is only needed if you don’t have full server access to take a MySQL dump and a wp-content dump in order to migrate a blog using PHPMyAdmin or equivalent.
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