John Walker

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 days, 15 hours ago

    2019 August 15

    Updated the WP RSS Aggregator plug-in to version 4.15.1.  This
    is a collection of minor fixes to version 4.15, which we
    installed on 2019-07-17.  We have no local code in this plug-in.
    I installed the update and will, as usual, wait until its next
    scheduled retrieval from the feed sources before committing the
    changes.
    
    The scheduled update of RSS feeds at 11:28 UTC ran normally. I
    committed the WP RSS Aggregator version 4.15.1 update (Build
    342).
    
    The Auto Limit Posts Reloaded plug-in was configured to
    automatically generate excerpts for posts shown on the home…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 days, 14 hours ago

    2019 August 14

    Added code in ~/theme/functions.php to detect, at the time a
    post is published (either public or private), whether its title
    is blank.  If the title is blank, the post is reverted to draft
    status and the author or editor is presented with an error
    message imploring them to supply a title.  This is done by
    hooking "wp_insert_post_data" and validating the title with a
    new rb_check_blank_post_title() function.  We also hook
    "post_updated_messages" and "admin_notices" to suppress the
    normal post published confirmation and issue the error message
    for a blank…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted a new activity comment 1 week ago

    I’m not sure what problem you’re having with moving documents from Ratburger’s WordPress environment to *nix text files. All of the content output by WordPress is in UTF-8 (Unicode encoded as a stream of 8 bit bytes). If you export that content (for example, by saving an HTML file, or by copying from a document and pasting into an editor that supports UTF-8 then saving the file, you should end up with a UTF-8 file. On Unix, you can determine the character code of a text file with the command:

    file –mime-encoding myfile.txt

    which will show you the encoding like:

    index.html:…[Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 2 days ago

    2019 August 8

    Added code to ~/theme/inc/template-tags.php function
    twentysixteen_entry_date() to append the time of the post to the
    date, for example "2019-08-08 02:59 UTC".  The time is also
    appended to the date of last modification of a post, which is
    not displayed by our theme.  Even though our ratburger_devel
    theme is effectively all local code, I flagged the modifications
    as local code in order to distinguish them from the
    "twentysixteen" stock theme upon which it was based.  This
    function is called wherever the date of a post is displayed, so
    it should affect summary pages,…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted a new activity comment 1 week, 2 days ago

    It wasn’t actually pinned; its publication date was set in the future, which caused it to be “newer” than recent posts. There is nothing in WordPress to keep a Contributor from doing this. I changed the publication date to what I guessed it was supposed to be, and now it appears in order.

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 week, 4 days ago

    2019 August 6

    Updated the Stop Spammers plug-in to version 2019.1.  This
    update consists of three one-line fixes in
    stop-spammer-registrations-new.php to correct idiot function
    calls which failed to quote the string argument specifying a
    function name.  We fixed these in local code on 2018-07-12,
    shortly after migrating to the Linux 2 AMI, where they started
    dribbling warning messages in the error_log.  Now, more than a
    year later, the developers have apparently taken a glance at the
    error_log and gotten around to fixing it.  Note that one of the
    function calls they "fixed" is in a…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 2 weeks, 1 day ago

    2019 August 2

    Updated the Frequently Asked Questions page:
        .https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/frequently-asked-questions/
    to reflect the change from the UpdraftPlus clown car to our
    homebrew mysqldump/rclone backup mechanism for the every twelve
    hour backups of the MySQL database and user uploads directory,
    and that the backups are now retained for five days as opposed
    to the three most recent backups.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    2019 July 24

    The weird errors continued overnight, coming also from IPv6
    address REDACTED.  Since whois is
    useless on IPv6, I can't tell if this is the same user.
    

    Restarted: systemctl restart php-fpm to see it that will make a difference. After the restart, it reports available memory 2,919,156 kB.

    Nope--just got another one: [Wed Jul 24 12:00:36.266919 2019] [proxy_fcgi:error] [pid 2887:tid 140051715032832] [client REDACTED:52679] AH01071: Got error 'PHP message: PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    Here is an update I posted on the main post about this problem:

    .https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/2019/07/23/im-having-trouble-you/#comment-43237

  • John Walker posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 4 days ago

    This seems to be the mysterious error I wrote about last night on the Updates group. It originally only seemed to be affecting another user, but now it seems to hit you as well. This is related to an out of memory condition in the PHP-FPM module which I do not yet understand. Nothing has changed in the last week which should affect this, but for some reason the errors started to appear at 14:14 yesterday. I restarted PHP-FPM and it made no difference. I just increased the maximum memory size from 128 Mb to 192 Mb and we just got another error at that size.

    At this point, I have…[Read more]

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

    2019 July 23

    The clown car is gone!  The clown car is gone!  Now that our
    homebrew rclone backup mechanism is running reliably, I
    deactivated UpdraftPlus, which pushed me over the edge by
    rolling out another update full of dumb FIXES and TWEAKS.  Of
    course, its delete mechanism wants to FTP into our server and
    delete files, which only a moron would allow, so I just deleted
    its plug-in directory myself.
    
    UpdraftPlus either didn't have any tables in the WordPress
    database or the process of running its delete as far as the FTP
    request got rid of them, so there's no additional clean-up…

    [Read more]

    • The appearance of Ratburger.org is very different this evening. The pages are squished into half of my screen width, leaving wide bands of unused screen space to the right and left.
      Everything seems to be working normally, but this appearance is annoying.
      I am using the same Chrome browser on an HP laptop that I have been using since Thanksgiving.

  • John Walker posted a new activity comment 4 weeks ago

    When setting up an account, you need to specify an SSH public key because that’s how login works (most sites have abandoned password authentication due to its many risks). You generate an SSH “key pair” consisting of a private key and public key. You keep the private key secure in your own possession, and install the public key on systems to which you wish to log in. Then, when you go to log in, you supply the private key to your SSH client, which sets up a secure channel to the remote system which has your public key. Since it isn’t possible to recover the private key from the…[Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 month ago

    2019 July 18

    Updated the WP Mail SMTP plug-in to version 1.5.2.  This time it
    took them five days to fix the bungles in their last attempt.
    This one fixes a problem with Gmail authentication which might
    have affected us, but didn't appear to.  I sent a test message
    and it was transmitted and received normally.
    
    Committed the WP Mail SMTP plug-in version 1.5.2 update (Build
    336) and published on GitHub.
    
    Automatic deletions of database backups older than 5 days are
    working properly.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 month ago

    2019 July 17

    Updated the WP RSS Aggregator plug-in to version 4.15.  This is
    another collection of features and gimmicks, none of which
    appear to affect the way we use it.  There were 63 files
    modified and 6 deletions, including directory trees of CSS and
    JavaScript which apparently weren't used by the previous
    version.  We have no local code in this plug-in, so I just
    applied the changes.  The settings and status pages looked OK
    after the update, and I ran a manual feed update from the RSS
    Aggregator/Debugging page which seemed to have run normally.  As
    always, I won't commit the…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 month ago

    2019 July 15

    Updated the User Role Editor plug-in to version 4.51.2. This is
    a minor update which fixes labels in dialogue buttons and sorts
    items in drop-down lists into alphabetical order.  We have no
    local code in this plug-in.  After installing the update, I
    walked through its settings pages and nothing looked amiss.  The
    ability to delete obsolete capabilities registered by plug-ins,
    of course, remains broken as it has been ever since we installed
    this plug-in.
    
    Committed the User Role Editor plug-in version 4.51.2 update
    (Build 334) and published on GitHub.
    
  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 month ago

    2019 July 13

    Again with the fixes to fixes, plus a little grey lie.  Just
    four days after the release of version 1.5.0, along comes
    version 1.5.1 of the WP Mail SMTP plug-in.  According to the
    change log, this contains a single fix to a flub in 1.5.0 which
    could result in sending duplicate mail messages.  In fact, this
    is a minor part of the update, which is actually mostly a
    revision to how they generate nags to users to "upgrade" to the
    paid "PRO" version.  We have no local code in this plug-in, so I
    simply applied the update kit.  As you may know, in the
    WordPress world people…

    [Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of UpdatesUpdates 1 month ago

    2019 July 12

    The mysqldump/rclone backup job ran normally as scheduled at
    05:30 UTC.  This was the first time there were new files in the
    uploads directory to transfer, which it did successfully.  The
    entire backup ran in around one minute, compared to the clown
    car which takes about 15 minutes to mindlessly back up the
    entire 3.7 Gb uploads directory every time, as opposed to an
    incremental clone of new files to S3.
    

    Updated the link to @chef in the Frequently Asked Questions page: .https://www.ratburger.org/index.php/frequently-asked-questions/ It previously pointed to the old…

    [Read more]

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

    2019 July 11

    It looks like that "#mysql50#.rocksdb" is something inherited from
    MySQL which flew under the radar and corrupts MariaDB.  See:
        https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1530511
    There has been no update to any file in the:
        /server/var/mysql/.rocksdb
    directory since 2019-05-11 and other long-suffering
    administrators report that simply getting rid of this directory
    cures the problems running mysqldump with --all-databases.  I
    shall experiment with this after getting some sleep.
    
    Mother of babbling God: RocksDB was created by Facebook!…

    [Read more]

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

    2019 July 10

    Committed the Really Simple SSL version 3.2.3 update (Build
    329).
    
    Verified that the scheduled update to the Podcast RSS feed ran
    successfully.  The WP RSS Aggregator plug-in version 4.14 update
    appears to be all right, so I committed it (Build 330).
    
    Committed the WP External Links plug-in version 2.32 update
    (Build 331).
    
    Routine mail such as the backup completion message from the
    clown car is showing up properly, so I committed the WP Mail
    SMTP plug-in version 1.5.0 update (Build 332).
    
    The AWS CloudWatch dashboard for "Ratburger-CPU-Monitor":…

    [Read more]

    • Thanks very much for keeping Ratburger.org in good health.
      Thanks also for the transparency.
      It is amazing that you can maintain a stable experience for us in the midst of a platform that seems so fragile.
      Good work.

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

    2019 July 9

    Created a dedicated lightweight document in the root server
    tree:
        https://www.ratburger.org/health_check.php
    to serve as an endpoint for AWS Route 53 health checks. It loads
    no other documents, is less than 1K in size, yet exercises PHP
    and php-fpm in order to successfully run.  This provides a
    sanity check that we're up without imposing the load of a full
    start-up of WordPress.  I've included some sample code to show
    how to return bad HTTP status code based on additional checks we
    might wish to add, such as verifying access to the MySQL
    Ratburger…

    [Read more]

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