The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I swear I heard someone once say that control panels supposedly made things easier

Sigh.

Just received the following ticket:

Client uploaded their own work on the site and need to change the document root for the domain: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Please set it from “/var/www/html/” to “/var/www/html/app/webroot/”

The site is on: XXXXXX

No problem, right? Just go into the Apache configuration file and change DocumentRoot for the virtual domain in question. Trivial.

Only, the server the site is on has a <shudder> control panel on it, and whenever there is a <shudder> control panel involved, even the most trivial of changes suddenly involves rocket science [I thought I wrote about redirects involving a control panel, but I've yet to find an entry that does. Guess what's coming up next? —Sean]

Just for laughs, I decided to change DocumentRoot on the virtual site in question and make a change via the <shudder> control panel and just as I expected, my changes did not survive Insipid's mucking about.

A few searches revealed this bit of wisdom:

The following FAQ discusses how you can change httpd.conf on a per-site basis or globally such that the changes are not wiped out by XXXXXXXXXXX.

http://www.XXXXXXXXX/support/wpls/faqs/3.6.html

Wonderful! I thought. That's exactly what I need. I click on the link—

404

Oh, lovely I thought. I check the date on the answer I found, and it's dated July 8th, 2002. I guess Insipid doesn't quite realize that cool URLs don't change.

So, I go to the Insipid site and try searching on “FAQ”. The results of that search were:

404

But I was at some subdomain of the Insipid site. Okay, I went to the main page, searched for “FAQ” and got much better results. Apparently, the Insipid subdomain uses some now dead search engine, while the main Insipid site uses Google. Ah, I see a link labeled “Insipid Forum—FAQ” and click that.

I'm right back at the main Insipid page. Brilliant! Instead of serving up a “Page Not Found” page, they simply redirect to the main page. Wunderbar!

Poking around some more, it seems that the inspired leadership at Insipid has felt that there is no longer any need for any forums at their site, and thus, it's gone. I keep getting the main page.

So far, my searches have lead to pages that are either missing, or selling support, or are simply nothing more than link farms—ah wait! It seems Insipid was bought out by the company Perpendicular. Okay, try their site and look for “Insipid FAQ”.

And nothing that will help me.

Oh wait, this seems promising:

Document Root Problem with Ensim

February 8, 2006

I am trying to point the default /var/www/html folder to a subfolder of the site. I am trying to acomplish this by doing the following:

# pico /etc/httpd/conf/virtual/siteXX

<VirtualHost XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:80>

ServerName XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
ServerAdmin me@mysite.com
DocumentRoot /home/virtual/siteXX/fst/var/www/html/toanother/folder
RewriteEngine on

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd restart

After Apache restarts I am placed in the new folder structure, but the PHP code on the page is not being parsed.

I am at a loss as to what the problem may be. Any help is appreciated.

Okay … where are the answers? Answers? Um … answers? Nothing on that page. Go up one level, find the link to that page, and see “Replies: 0”.

Well XXXX! In three years no one has answered this person's cry for help!

On a lark, I decided to try the following:

GenericRootPrompt# ls -l
total 20
total 20
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 cgi-bin
drwxr-xr-x  9 admin229 admin229 4096 Mar 25 01:06 html
drwxr-xr-x  2 root     root     4096 May 27  2008 icons
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 interpreters
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 usage
GenericRootPrompt# mv html html.orig
GenericGootPrompt# ln -s html.orig/app/webroot/ html
GenericRootPrmopt# ls -l
total 20
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 cgi-bin
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root     root       22 Mar 27 16:19 html -> html.orig/app/webroot/
drwxr-xr-x  9 admin229 admin229 4096 Mar 25 01:06 html.orig
drwxr-xr-x  2 root     root     4096 May 27  2008 icons
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 interpreters
drwxr-xr-x  2 admin229 admin229 4096 May 27  2008 usage
GenericRootPrompt#

It was a nice try, but it didn't work.

Can somebody remind me why we're using control panels?

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