The death of a web site

A mere four days ago I made the grave mistake of pondering on the state of this site.

I should have known better.  Never be complacent, for as soon as complacency sets in, the shit is sure to hit the fan.

A couple of nights ago those nice kind people over at WordPress released an update to the software that moves this site along.  Being a conscientious type of person, I applied the update.  In fact I applied it to several sites.

Naturally there were no problems except one – it royally fucked up this site.  For some reason that I am trying to fathom it has introduced a Devil and the Deep Blue Sea problem which only really affects me and none of the other sites.

If I try to reply to a comment, I get the comment box thingy and everything looks fine, but if I try to type in the box, fuck all happens.  No letters, no blinking little cursor, no nothing.  It refuses to acknowledge my existence.

I tracked it down to a plugin that puts those fancy little editing buttons in the comments area, so I disabled it.  Yay!  I can comment again.  But now I can’t scribble out a new post.  I can write on the screen all right but nothing appears.  It’s like writing on white paper with white ink.  

I tried firing up that plugin again and once more I can write new stuff, but I am no longer able to comment again.  So it’s one or the other but not both.  Fuck!

For some reason this weird situation hasn’t affected other sites, just mine.

I think I am going to have to make the terrible decision to re-build the site from scratch.  That involves laying the foundations on another server, painting and decorating it so it looks exactly like the old one and then refurnishing it with all the old posts and comments.  The problem lies in the refurnishing – too little and the site breaks, or too much and the faulty shit is carried over too.

In the meantime I am using a programme called Blogilo to write this.  It is a horrible little pile of wombat’s doos.  It adds a load of crap into my scribbles and doesn’t even do a simple spellcheck, so I’m going to have to examine this with a fine toothcomb before trying to publish it.  Once I publish, there is no going back as I can’t edit it.  I would use Windows Live Writer but it is against my religious principles to go over to Windoze, and anyway I wouldn’t get anything done until it had finished updating sometime tonight.

The only good thing to come out of all this shit is that at last I have found out why the site was posting twice to Twitter.

Every cloud?

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Comments

The death of a web site — 16 Comments

  1. So what are you doing?  Enabling the plugin and writing a post then disabling it after publishing it.  Rebuilding from the ground up sounds like alot of work.

     

    • Just spent the last couple of hours trying to figure out a) what the fuck is wrong and b) how the hell to fix it.  So far with no success.

      I am leaving the plugin running as then I can at least write comments.  To write posts I'll have to use ScribeFire, for the time being anyway.

  2. Write the author of the plugin a wee note telling the bugger to fix his code; expect it would be but a couple of lines at most. Hell, the person should have already done so, he wants good reviews and thus more people using it.

     

    • Heh!  I'm not the first to complain.  I presume it's just a case of waiting for an update…..  The joys of site maintenance!

  3. If it's any help in your diagnostics, and strangly didn't happen this time, previously, when typing in the main comment window another little window would pop up to type in saying your{or was it my?} security settings would not permit 'direct' comments.

    • Meh!  Sound like one of those irritating glitches that mean nothing and are just sent to irritate us.  Your comments are always welcome!  😉

  4. I think I know the comment plugin you're talking of. It taps into the default post editor to throw all those little editing buttons on the comment form? Sounds like the latest update deprecated a bunch of obsolete code that the comment plugin still used.

    • Yup, CKEditor.  Apparently there is doubt if it is still being maintained.  It's running on the site at the moment so the buttons still appear in the comment box, but my page/post editor is now useless – I can only use the HTML tab and text comes out white on white so is unreadable.

      I tried reverting to Blogilo but that is a right pain – limited functionality and is so basic it doesn't even have a spell-check.  I am now using the ScribeFire plugin for Firefox which is excellent.  It may lack some of the more advanced features of the WordPress editor but is more than sufficient for my needs.

      • Heh, I used to use ScribeFire about a thousand years ago when it first came out. Then it was Windows Live Writer but my turn to Linux instead of Windows put the kibosh on WLW. By then the default WP editor was decent enough to use.

        By the way, you might try using Developer Tools that are built into Firefox to debug the editor. The tools are very good and they might lead you to the cause of the problem?

        • Fixed!

          What annoys me is that I was going to announce my Great Fix to the world today, but the buggers went and released their update thereby stealing my thunder.

          I may well carry on using ScribeFire though as it is quite handy!

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