Updates

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 8 hours, 49 minutes ago

    2018 August 20

    Todays's quest is to try to figure out why video shortcodes
    don't work in comments, but work just fine in main posts, with a
    side mission of seeing if we can get shortcodes to work in
    excerpts.
    

    Searching for shortcodes in comments, we come to this lucid and straightforward post from 2010. .http://stephanieleary.com/2010/02/using-shortcodes-everywhere/ which provides an explanation and a simple fix to make shortcodes work anywhere you like. This, naturally, does not work. Adding the suggested code does nothing at all. Misdirection, thy name is WordPress.

    In…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 day, 8 hours ago

    2018 August 19

    Added the Fourmilab-standard style definition of "span.bcad" to
    ~/theme/style.css.  This allows expressing B.C. and A.D. in
    dates with the correct small caps typography by writing:
        {span class="bcad"}B.C.{/span}
    in the HTML editor.  Note that the style definition transforms
    the upper case text you write to lower case while applying the
    small-caps font-variant.  This makes the HTML more readable and
    guarantees that ancient browsers that don't support small-caps
    will probably render the text in capitals, as they're also
    unlikely to support text-transform.  If you…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 days, 9 hours ago

    2018 August 18

    The scheduled Updraft Plus backup (database only) at 06:00 UTC
    ran normally.  So far, so good for the new version.
    
    The scheduled backup at 18:00 UTC ran normally as well.  I'm
    going to commit the Updraft Plus 1.14.3 update (Build 188).
    
    Published this change on GitHub.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 days, 9 hours ago

    2018 August 17

    Firewalled the IP range 85.140.0.0/21 (Mobile TeleSystems, PJSC,
    Moscow, Russia).  These bad actors have been causing all kinds
    of mayhem on the Fourmilab site for the last several months and
    started to hit here yesterday.  I'm fed up with it.  If some
    legitimate user in Russia needs to get on through this carrier,
    we'll handle it as a special case.  We have no users in Russia
    now, and I don't expect we'll have any in the foreseeable
    future.
    
    Did a "service iptables save" just in case I forget to do
    one before the next routine reboot.
    
    The code in:…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 4 days, 9 hours ago

    2018 August 16

    We had a long-term user overnight be forced into a CAPTCHA and
    Allow List request, apparently because they were assigned a
    floating IP address by a mobile provider which has previously
    been flagged in the Stop Spammers database as a spammer.  We
    have previously fixed this for posts and comments by testing in
    both Stop Spammers and Akismet (because you never just have to
    fix something in WordPress in only one place) whether the user
    joined a week or more ago and skipping the spammer check.  But
    this happened on a login request, where it appears, even though
    the user…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 5 days, 9 hours ago

    2018 August 15

    Here are the host codes for the RAMU at Free Conference Call.
    
        *1 Manage Q&A -- Enter the following commands after *1:
            1 Start Q&A session
            2 Move to the next questioner
            3 End Q&A session
            4 Mute or unmute current questioner
            5 Clear Q&A queue
            * Return to the conference
        Note: Participants must dial *6 and 1 to ask a question.
    
        *2 Caller count - Hear a count of how many callers joined
           the conference.
    
        *3 Breakout Rooms -- Leave the main conference to join a
           sub-conference. Press *3 followed by…

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    • Are we changing how they work? It’s my fault, isn’t it? I over talk and mansplain!

    • No, this is just part of the “lore” that you have to dig deep to find. I’d never have imagined launching a service like this without an explicit manual on how it works, but now it seems people are expected to figure it out, learn from others who have done so, or dig until they come across the hidden truth.

    • All it took was an Internet search. You have not for you seek not.

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 6 days, 9 hours ago

    2018 August 14

    Made a mirror backup to Juno.
    
    Saved the current firewall block list with:
        service iptables save
    
    Made a backup AMI:
        Ratburger Backup 2018-08-14  ami-0533bbca8ab2c2ba8
            /           snap-07e92bd205ebde6eb
            /server     snap-089b8f27d9b1a5089
    
    Installed all pending update packages: 20 in total, 10 for
    security including a new kernel.  Rebooted.  The system had
    been up for 16 days.
    
    The system came up normally after the reboot.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 1 day ago

    2018 August 12

    When viewing comments on the my-comments page, bulleted and
    numbered lists are double spaced, but when viewing them within a
    post they're spaced normally.  I assumed this was an issue with
    the style definition being different, but when I inspect the
    page with F12, there is no obvious difference in the relevant
    styles affecting the list item.  However, in the my-comments
    page the element inspector shows:
        {li}
          "+nbsp; +nbsp;"
          Content of the list item
        {/li}
    (Metacharacters changed to avoid WordPress quoting horrors.) In
    the list item of the comment…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 3 days ago

    2018 August 10

    There are many principles of programming you can learn from
    working with WordPress, all of them wrong.  Back on 2018-05-31 I
    added code in:
        ~/plug/stop-spammer-registrations-plugin/
            stop-spammer-registrations-new.php
    to skip anti-spam scrutiny of comments for users who had been
    members for more than 7 days.  (The theory being that it's
    unlikely somebody who has been a memeber for that long will
    suddenly turn into a spammer.  But we still had users reporting
    their being sent to CAPTCHA even though they had joined long
    before that interval.  I tracked down a…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 6 days ago

    2018 August 7

    I don't understand why Googlebot keeps asking for files from:
        ~/rb/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/.htaccess
    but it's bugging me.  I opened access to that directory to get
    rid of the messages until I figure out what's going on. It isn't
    like the evil slaver bot from Hell crawling a factory-stock
    WordPress theme that we don't even use is going to hurt
    us somehow.
    
    Added an experimental "Advanced Search" box as a Text widget at
    the bottom of the sidebar.  This was created using the "Text"
    (HTML) mode, adapting the code from that I use on the Fourmilab
    home page.  The…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    2018 August 4

    The mk_unkit.pl utility in the wp_upd directory of the
    development environment would fail if the kit directory
    contained a deletions.sh file.  I added code to ignore such a
    file if present.
    
    Made an unkit in case it becomes necessary to revert the 4.9.8
    update.
    
    To make changes easier to manage across the WordPress update, I
    committed the diagnostic code in:
        ~/plug/comments-since-last-visit/comments-since-last-visit.php
    (Build 182).  It can be easily backed out when we finally figure
    out what is going on with the bad cookies that trigger the
    "Parameter must be an…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    2018 August 3

    Deleted two posts from Trash, one from December 2017 and another
    from more than two weeks ago.
    

    Oh happy day! WordPress have released another update, 4.9.8. The main thing in this one is a plug for their "Gutenberg" post editor which, from everything I've heard, is hideous. We shall not be using it. There are fixes, however, for numerous bugs, mostly introduced in the last version trying to implement GDPR privacy code. "Great God! This is an awful pile of code." If I were working on it for a living, I'd have to shower five times a day to live with myself. I have…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 4 days ago

    2018 August 2

    Around 02:00 UTC several users reported very slow response from
    the site which spontaneously went away some time later. I wasn't
    using the site at the time, but saw the reports the following
    morning.
    
    I looked at the system log and HTTP server error log for the
    time around the report on the Bug Reports group and there were
    no suspicious messages there.  I did notice that "top" reported
    available memory around 1000000 which is low compared to where
    it usually runs, around twice that level.  "top -o %MEM" shows,
    as I suspected, that the memory is mostly used by a large…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks ago

    2018 July 30

    The trap I set in:
        ~/plug/comments-since-last-visit/comments-since-last-visit.php
    for the "Parameter must be an array or an object that implements
    Countable" warning on 2018-07-14 sprung last night.  Here is an
    interpreted dump of the diagnostic output.
        CSLV: latest_visit: 
        CSLV: type: NULL
        CSLV: cookie: {"0":1532953269, "9726":1532952244,
                       "9643":1532952421, "9401":1532952468,
                       "9291":1532952479, "9108":1532952490,
                       "9014":1532952502, "8925":1532952510,
                       "8884":1532952517,…

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    • I love this comment! This is great! I mean, I was just telling my wife I wanted to see “8884” : 1532952547 in a post somewhere~!

    • >> I was just telling my wife I wanted to see “8884” : 1532952547 in a post somewhere~!

      I saw “8884”:1532952517 open for Feigenbaum’s Constant at the Fillmore West in 1969.

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 1 day ago

    2018 July 29

    The addition of MauiBot to ~/rb/robots.txt on 2018-07-26 seems
    to have done the trick; it has stopped pounding us.  I committed
    the change (Build 181) and published on GitHub.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    2018 July 28

    Saved the current firewall block list with:
        service iptables save
    
    Made a mirror backup to Juno.  This was the first mirror backup
    after the migration to Linux 2, and it was a big one.  Thousands
    of files were changed, added, and deleted.
    
    Made a backup AMI:
        Ratburger Backup 2018-07-28  ami-0da6d4724661cf067
            /           snap-0b40d76212c9591f2
            /server     snap-09a7480e9ae806b7b
    
    Installed all pending update packages: 95 in total, 11 for
    security including a new kernel.  Rebooted.  The system had
    been up for 17 days.
    
    The system came up normally…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    2018 July 26

    Oh happy joy—no sooner do I firewall TwitterBot then it starts
    to hit us from another IP block: 199.59.150.180/30.  Bye, bye!
    
    AWS just disgorged a big bag of package updates: 95 in all, 11
    for security including a new kernel.  I'll put this off until
    the usual week-end maintenance session to see if they have any
    further fixes.  Most of them don't seem to be mission critical
    for our use of the system, being fixes to compilers, libraries,
    and command line utilities.
    
    MauiBot hit the site 15943 times today, crawling everything, and
    sending multiple hits per second.  I b…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    2018 July 25

    Committed the version 3.0.5 update to the Really Simple SSL
    plug-in from 2018-07-22 (Build 179).
    

    Updated the MathJax-LaTeX plug-in which implements the embedded LaTeX math facility to version 1.3.10. The update skipped version 1.3.9, which was never released. The update is a minor restructuring of the plug-in into separate files for administration and formatting text. I tested the new version with a comment on the Sand Box post incorporating an equation. Committed the update (Build 180). When I committed the changes Git figured out that the deletion and added files…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    2018 July 24

    Every now and then we get a "Permission denied" message from
    a Googlebot access like:
        (13)Permission denied: [client 66.249.76.80:52766] AH00529:
            /var/www/html/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/.htaccess pcfg_openfile:
            unable to check htaccess file, ensure it is readable and that
            '/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/twentysixteen/'
            is executable, referer: https://www.ratburger.org/members/REDACTED/activity/157/
    This is very odd, since themes/twentysixteen is the theme from
    which our active ratburger_devel theme was derived, but is not
    itself…

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  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 4 weeks ago

    2018 July 23

    The available memory is holding steady, fluctuating around
    2000000.  The number of php-fpm proceses also is steady. It
    looks like the blocking of crawler bots is working.  Uptime is
    now 12 days since the last reboot, and 9 days since httpd and
    php-fpm were last restarted.  PHP-fpm reports only 8 slow
    requests in those 9 days (and I suspect most were at the start,
    while we were still blocking abusing bots).
    
    Changed the master administration E-mail address from my direct
    address, which I configured when building the site, to
    admin@ratburger.org, which I only created much…

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