Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One of the reasons why I'll stop running websites myself

pencil icon, that"s clickable to start editing the post

In my spare time I help running the website for a non-profit organization. It runs on Drupal, a choice I don't have any regrets about, since it was easy to get running, configuring and using. In the meantime I've begun using blogger, which has many of the same basic features (we don't have any fancy stuff on the website). The advantage on using blogger is that i don't have to maintain it and the performance is in general okay. The current hosting is very cheap, but with corresponding service levels :-).

The website has been running stable for a long time and I've only done a couple of updates since very few modules is in use. I've also assisted in adding news to the site, which has been quite easy as well, but about a fourth night ago I encountered a strange problem. I logged in as webmaster and when I choose the page I wanted to edit my login was gone! I checked my cookie settings, but found nothing. I decided to wait for some time, since it could some intermittent problem during update or some thing like that. Tonight someone asked for the update again and I realized that the problem was still there. After doing some searches and refining my query I found the answer in Drupal's Troubleshooting FAQ. The entry Login problems on PHP 5.2 had the precise same diagnostics that I was experiencing, and the HTTP headers from a get confirmed the version of PHP:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 18:01:58 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.55 (FreeBSD) PHP/5.2.4 with Suhosin-Patch
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.4

I have no idea when they upgraded (or from what) and didn't expect it (do we ever?). Now it's time to decided whether to do the upgrade (now how was that done) or swapping over to blogger. I'm not sure what the easiest for me, but I do think swapping will take a little more but should earn it self in the long run, making it easier to let someone other take over for one.

Currently I think the biggest problem is creating and not the least maintaining the menu (currently javascript based). Another thing is the layout which is Antique Modern where I've found a port for the old blogger, that maybe could be converted. The layout isn't really important, so I don't think anyone would complain as long as it simple. Uhmm, I'll sleep on it and post when I've decided.

Update (27. Dec. 2007): by manually appliying the patch from Session handler executed after $user object is destructed - that is adding the line register_shutdown_function('session_write_close'); after the declaration of global variable in function sess_read($key) (from file includes/session.inc) I got it working again. I didn't figure out why some had success applying that patch the normal way since that was rejected for me.