WordPress Hiccups

March 5th, 2007

Funny story.

WordPress, the folks who make the software that powers this blog, decide to release a security update. Cool. Then some asswipe goes and plants exploitable code in the security update, leaving everyone who upgraded somewhere in the northern regions of Merde Creek sans paddle.

And in the middle of all this, Media Temple, the ISP that hosts this blog, decides they’re going to push us onto some fancy-schmancy new hosting plan so we can install the latest version. They said it would take 5 to 10 minutes; it took about 2 hours.

So to make a long story short, the blog is experiencing some technical hiccups. The groovy banner images aren’t rotating like they should because the new Media Temple server apparently doesn’t like my little PHP-through-CSS trick. The layout might look a little funny in places because WordPress made some database changes between versions 2.0.6 and 2.1.2. The sidebar’s missing some stuff because, well, just because.

But I promise I’ll fix everything as soon as I can. Really. Would I lie to you?

35 Responses to “WordPress Hiccups”

  1. Marie Brennanon 06 Mar 2007 at 12:02 am

    Would that be why my second comment on the Space Opera thread appears to have vanished? I saw it post, and then it went away again. Unless I’m smoking some crack and didn’t realize it.

  2. David Louis Edelmanon 06 Mar 2007 at 8:47 am

    That could very well be, Marie. If you posted your comment during the migration process last night, it’s entirely possible that Media Temple moved the database before your comment got entered into it. Sorry about that — if it was a brilliant magnum opus that you can’t bear to lose, I can try digging through the backup I did before the migration started to see if it’s there.

  3. Madeleine Robinson 06 Mar 2007 at 10:03 am

    You might lie to us. It depends on what the pay-per-word rate is.

    Thanks for handling all the dragons, David.

  4. Sengei Tawnon 06 Mar 2007 at 10:12 am

    Are the 13-line critiques backlogged?
    Are they getting through?
    Last one was Feb 8th.

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  5. Marie Brennanon 06 Mar 2007 at 10:36 am

    Eh . . . it was a lengthy comment, and I don’t remember what all I said in it, but if digging through backups = a pain in the neck, don’t bother.

  6. Constance Ashon 06 Mar 2007 at 11:21 am

    Thank you so much, David.

    I’m having a very hard time, btw, getting anything to load. It’s taking forever, and sometimes it just won’t.

    Down below — a-hem, appropriate as it’s Mad’s latrine topic — I need to make a fairly lengthy comment re how to use google effectively for find and search full text online, in reply to Kate’s and her request. I’m afraid it won’t go. (Haven’t lost it — as it’s on Notepad, except for the links and so forth.)

    Love, C.

  7. Marie Brennanon 06 Mar 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve pretty much repeated my lost comment by now, so all’s well.

  8. Constance Ashon 06 Mar 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Marie — I put it up before seeing your comment here. You had some points though, in your comment, that weren’t in the next one, so all’s well.

    Love, C.

  9. kateelliotton 06 Mar 2007 at 2:35 pm

    actually, the posts complemented each other, so that was cool.

  10. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 07 Mar 2007 at 12:32 pm

    The 13 line critiques may be backlogged. I’ve been out of town for three weeks and they go to an email I can’t easily check from out of town. Now that I’m back, there’s 1300+ email messages in that account which are gagging my ability to download them as they’re mostly spam and I need to go weeding it all out.

    So, hopefully I’ll get the critiques up if there are any. Don’t know yet.

  11. Constance Ashon 07 Mar 2007 at 1:18 pm

    I still have to fish every comment I make out of the spam filter. This is a many click-and-wait process, and thus a real drag.

    Do we have any idea as to why my comments are targeted for this? This was going on 2 days prior to the migration.

    Love, C.

  12. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 07 Mar 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Hell if I know. I’ve been having to fight the spam filter for months because it gets upset if I use any “blue words” in discussion of anything germane to such words (and I’m self-censoring right now so I don’t have to deal with it). Luckily I/we have moderator privileges so we can approve our own off-color posts, but honestly…

    More annoying at the moment, I’ve put up the six latest submissions to the “13 line critiques” which Deep Genre has now listed in the sidebar as the latest posts (something it never did before) but the links it gives lead to error messages. Luckily the posts are accessible from the “13 line critiques” page, but the blog is still all sorts of varieties of screwed up.

    What was the purpose of this update anyway?

  13. David Louis Edelmanon 07 Mar 2007 at 11:56 pm

    I tried installing the latest version of the “Recent Posts” plugin to see if that would fix the problem with the recent posts, but alas, it did not.

    Re the spam filter… I’m looking at some varieties of the Akismet anti-spam plug-in that allow you to install a whitelist, hopefully one of those will do the trick.

    Purpose(s) of the update: (1) Security. (2) New features, like a compose page that doesn’t suck (as much) and that automatically saves your work as you go. (3) The ISP was making us move to a new server anyway, so might as well try to kill two birds with one stone. (4) To fulfill my deep-seated need for chaos and disorder.

  14. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 08 Mar 2007 at 12:41 am

    Ah. Well props at least on the “compose” page. I played around with it to put the new 13 line posts up, and it was greatly gratifying to not have to use a thrice-damnable pop-up window to access the raw HTML code, which of course you need to get into if you want the frigging links to work.

    Of course, it would be nice if it took you to the HTML first, the same as it would be nice if you could go to the “compose page” without going to the “compose post” page first, but people apparently develop these things on ubermachines with twelve T3 lines in the back so never seem to comprehend that click-through gateways are a waste of time for those with slower DSL, let alone dial-up.

  15. kateelliotton 08 Mar 2007 at 1:12 am

    So, Dave, given your deep seated need for chaos and disorder, the twins are on their way. Have fun. They like museums.

  16. David Louis Edelmanon 08 Mar 2007 at 10:07 am

    Okay, guys, I think I’ve fixed most of the bugs.

    The banner image is now rotating again. I used a different technique than before, so if the images are showing up funky in someone’s browser you’ll have to let me know.

    The “Recent Posts” box is back to just showing recent blog posts, not pages, like it used to do, and the links are working.

    The “Authors” box is showing authors once again. Plus the author names are now linking to automatically generated pages that show each author’s bio, URL, and recent posts, which I think is pretty nice. You can edit this stuff under the “Users” tab when you log in. (One issue is that this will only show users who have posted to the blog — and I believe there are a couple of folks who were listed there before who hadn’t posted anything yet.)

    Kevin: You might want to try changing your default editor to the text one instead of the WYSIWYG one. To do this, log in, go to the “Users” tab, go to the “Profile” tab, and then uncheck the box at the top about using the visual editor.

    I think there may still be some browser-specific bugs to deal with… please let me know if you spot something.


  17. Debbie Whiteon 08 Mar 2007 at 1:40 pm

    “Critique #117: Sengei Tawn” is still coming up with an “Oops…There is something wrong… The Server could not get you the page you are looking for. The content might have been moved or deleted” page. when I click on the link from the 13 line critique page. All the other new critique links are working fine. Thanks for getting evrything working again. :)

  18. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 08 Mar 2007 at 2:12 pm

    I’m having #117 show up just fine, but that was after getting an error message and hitting refresh.

    Sengei is reporting an error as well.

    Dave, could you look at this and try to exorcise the intermittent bugginess? I’m unfortunately going to be out until Tuesday and won’t be able to deal with it again until then, but the text is showing up in my browser, so has to be there somewhere.

  19. kateelliotton 08 Mar 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Note how Dave just IGNORED my post about mailing him the twins. Since he’s working so hard, I’ll keep them here.

  20. David Louis Edelmanon 09 Mar 2007 at 8:39 am

    Sorry, kateelliott, I’ve been too busy methodically going through and deleting all your posts on the blog.

  21. kateelliotton 09 Mar 2007 at 1:37 pm

    It’s all right. I’ll sit in the dark.

  22. Constance Ashon 09 Mar 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Testing, testing.

    Dave — Is it true, you coming to NYC?

    Love, C.

  23. Constance Ashon 09 Mar 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Good. Didn’t have to fish this outta the spam sewer!

    Now, we’ll go looking for Da Twinz!

    Love, C.

  24. David Louis Edelmanon 09 Mar 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Constance: I am indeed coming to New York for my KGB Bar reading in a week and a half. Provided I can get my shit together and figure out a plan of action of how I’m getting there and where I’m staying.

  25. Constance Ashon 09 Mar 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Well, I hope to be there, Dave!

    On a less attractive subject, if there is to be spam, why can’ the spammers come up with something more interesting? Or at least change it once in a while, instead all the same old boring stuff that is boring even when new. What do they get out of this?????

    Love, C.

  26. Constance Ashon 11 Mar 2007 at 10:03 am

    Back to having fish my comments out of spam again.

    Love, C.

  27. Constance Ashon 11 Mar 2007 at 10:07 am

    But only for the Big Fantasy topic, which I started. This is inexplicable!

    Love, C.

  28. David Louis Edelmanon 12 Mar 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Okay, Constance, extra special just for you, I’ve installed a variation of the Akismet anti-spam plug-in that allows for a whitelist. I’ve added everyone on the blog to it, so hopefully none of our comments will get caught in spam anymore.

    Unfortunately, the Akismet whitelist variation is a version behind the regular Akismet plug-in, so it’s possible that we’ll lose a little bit of effectiveness.

    Everyone let me know if this causes any problems.

  29. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 13 Mar 2007 at 2:00 am


    I’m out of town now, but am finding from my laptop that critique #117 by Sengei is not available. Is it possible it’s somehow readable on my home machine but nowhere else? Or did the hiccups eat it while I was gone?

    Seriously annoyed at the new system. Could you take a look at what’s wrong with that page?


  30. David Louis Edelmanon 13 Mar 2007 at 8:46 am

    Okay, this is very peculiar. I did look at Critique #117 last week, and it came up just fine… as it did today. Then on a lark I decided to call it up in Internet Explorer, and poof! No page. And a misspelled error message along with that.

    So I went in via the admin panel and did two things: changed the status from “Draft” to “Published,” and took out the white space at the beginning of the first paragraph. And now the page seems to be there in both IE and Firefox.

    It’s possible the status was just listed as “Draft” and not “Published,” though why it should show up in Firefox if it’s marked as a draft I’m not sure. Other possibility is that there was some IE-specific code in that whitespace that got pasted in from another program which was mucking things up.

    Let me know if you’re still having problems with it.

  31. Sengei Tawnon 13 Mar 2007 at 10:55 am

    Thanks David and Kevin!
    Story of my life. Things just break or go wrong around me.
    Hey! That’s a good idea for a plot.

  32. David Louis Edelmanon 13 Mar 2007 at 11:14 am

    No no, Sengei, don’t blame yourself. I’m sure it’s really Kevin’s fault. (Okay, no, it’s probably mine, but glad it’s fixed.)

  33. Kevin Andrew Murphyon 13 Mar 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Well, as I’ve found in a multiplicity of submissions, people tend to cut and paste all sorts of funky codes from their wordprocessor to the letters for submission. I occasionally have to cut and paste the text to Notepad first to strip out some of the codes, or even have to go into the raw html to cut them out, but honestly, once it looks half-decent on my screen, I consider it done.

    Thankfully we’ve now seem to have exorcised the demons from this one and can just work on the story.

  34. kateelliotton 13 Mar 2007 at 1:36 pm

    It’s because you wouldn’t take the twins, Dave. They have a two week vacation coming up. I’ll ask them whether they would prefer the Mainland (where it is probably cold, i.e. below 65) to sunny Hawaii. I am sure they’ll be on your doorstep in a few hours.

  35. David Louis Edelmanon 13 Mar 2007 at 1:43 pm

    If they do show up on my doorstep, tell them they need to walk the dogs.

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