You won’t have noticed that this blog has been laying dormant for a couple of years (define “couple”, bro). You probably won’t even have noticed that for at least the last year or so, trying to navigate to the blog produced an annoying nothingness…no error message, no text, no graphics, just….nothing. Argh.
I have tried to figure out what was causing this in the past. A couple of times, unsuccessfully. Too much else going on, and me without enough focus to really try any sort of systematic, dedicated troubleshooting strategy. Hell, most of the time I spent even attempting to resolve this issue was wasted on trying to remember the damn URLs and passwords needed to access the server and files. Sigh.
But TODAY WAS DIFFERENT. I am on holiday for a few days before Christmas, and I resolved to try and get at this issue once again. I really wanted to get at some of the content
I knew I had posted previously – a post about the time we spent far too many fetid days recording music for a film in a condemned house owned by a guy we called Wavy Gravy.
Necessity is the mother of invention. It took me fucking forever, which perhaps isn’t so surprising given that I really have no idea what I’m doing poking around in whatever language Apache servers use to organize their affairs. Basically, I was attempting to edit a literary essay in Portuguese, without speaking any Portuguese. But persistence paid off: after a couple of hours unreasonably focusing (some would say obsessing) on the condition of the various .htaccess files and their arcane musings, it just so happened that I landed in a directory that contained the access logs for the blog. I’ve absolutely no idea how I got there, I definitely wasn’t looking for them.
Anyway, I clicked about in the access logs a bit and discovered that one “fatal error” (I’m no coding professional, but that doesn’t sound good) that seemed to be recurring today as I was trying to access the blog was something about an “undefined function” known as “eregi” being called in a particular module of code. A couple of minutes of googling revealed that “eregi” used to be, but is no longer, a defined function in the .php language (which, if memory serves, is a language used principally for manipulating data in databases of the sort around which WordPress is very much built). A couple more minutes of googling suggested that the fix might be ridiculously easy: replace the deprecated (read “bad, stinky, no good”) command “eregi” with “preg_match” and leave all the other syntax in the code alone. A few minutes later, I had downloaded the offending .php module, opened it up in notepad, found and replaced every single instance of eregi with the new and improved hero code “preg_match”, banishing the evil “eregi” to the mists of time. Then I deleted the old module on the server, uploaded the newly edited module with the updated code to the place where the old module used to live.
Then I hit the refresh button the tab in my browser that had been attempting to access this damned blog for the last several hours.
Et voilà, I was shortly thereafter:
- able to access the content from 2018 that I had been thinking about;
- able to write this post (after searching for another few minutes for my damned login and password, it really has been a while); and
- perhaps undeservedly claiming victory over this godforsaken year of 2020. I win.
See you soon? Next step is to update the version of WordPress we’re running on here. It’s a bit of a relic. But we must save some victories for other days, no?