Archive for November, 2010

The November surprise

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

November 1st had a big surprise on offer. I was working through some of the data entry cue, minding my own business, when the surprise came along. All of a sudden I got logged out. A bit weird I thought and tried to log in again. But I couldn’t. Something had happened. Extremely odd. My first thought was that something in the database had been corrupt, perhaps a table had imploded or something. I logged in to the MySQL database only to find nothing out of the ordinary. Perhaps a file was corrupt? It would be strange, but it was a strange error, so it was worth a shot. I re-uploaded some files and the problem was still there.

I then went into the log in code to start so debugging, which I thought was really not necessary as I hadn’t done any changes to that piece of code in over a year. Why should it suddenly stop working after all this time? I tracked down the error and when I saw where it kicked in I came to a conclusion. And, I was right.

On November 1st my hosting company decided to upgrade PHP to the latest version, without asking me or even letting me know. I wasn’t happy. Sure, it’s good to have the latest version and it’s been in my plans to upgrade – but I would much rather do it in my own time and make the deciscion myself. The code is pretty much compatible but I’ve done a lot of changes and tweaks to the PHP settings over the years, which were all wiped with this new install.

I got the log in functions working again quickly but it was then I realised that there were probably more things broken than there were things working… during the six years of Driver Database the source code for the website has been growing huge so it’s not been fun to go through most of it looking for things not functioning properly and also trying to think of what changes I had done to the PHP settings five or so years ago.

So that’s what I’ve been doing until today. The final piece of the puzzle was the blog feeds on the front page which totally gave up on November 1st. For this I used a third-party script which was obviously not very compatible with PHP5. So I ended up doing my own solution for it.

I think it’s all working the way it did in October now…

So now I can continue with all the work I really had planned to do.