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.

Monday, September 22, 2008

“I can't see the forest! There's too many trees in the way!”

See Sean.

See Sean mad.

See Sean hit desk with head.




See Sean fall over unconscious. Can you say “unconscious?” I knew you could.

Silliness aside, I just spent the past five hours trying to solve what ended up being a non-issue, and right now, being unconscious sounds appealling.

I was trying to install our second PostgreSQL version of “Project: Leaflet” and was not having an easy time of it. The MySQL version? Trivial, if only because every Linux distribution pretty much supports the LAMP stack and it Just Works™; not so much the LAPP stack.

In fact, our setup is rather custom in nature and was missing a key ingredient—PHP support for PostgreSQL. Only after that was installed did the five hour non-problem start. When installing “Project: Leaflet” (by running install.php) Smirk, P and I kept getting the following error:

Error in query: CREATE TABLE leaflet_ban ( id serial not null, address varchar(50) NOT NULL default ”, note varchar(75) NOT NULL default ”, status smallint NOT NULL default '1', PRIMARY KEY (id, address) ); Table 'mmpro_ban' already exists (Error #: 1050)

Further compounding the issue—when I reinstalled over our working PostgreSQL version, it worked. Let's see—it works under PostgreSQL 8.2.4, but fails under PostgreSQL 8.2.9. That was the only difference (as it turned out) between the two systems. Apache and PHP were the same.

Only with Wlofie's help (or rather, he sat there as I ranted, and then asked a few pointed questions) did I realize what the problem was all along—when I installed the PHP/PostreSQL module, I forgot to restart the webserver.


Reason #√-1 I hate PHP

So Smirk has me installing the PayPal module for osCommerce on behalf of one of our customers. I download the appropriate archive, extract the files, and start reading on how to install this puppy. That's when I read:

To install this module, back up your existing installation to a safe place and then just copy the included catalog/ directory over your existing osCommerce files. This will replace the modified files and add the new files. However, if you have modified your osCommerce installation, you will need to manually compare the new files with your existing ones, and possible manually merge the changes.

Oh bloody hell.

This installation of osCommerce I'm installing into has been in production use for several years now. Of course it has been modified! You can't help but modify it if you want to change the layouts or the verbiage. There have been countless modules added over the course of several years. Heck, I hate touching the thing because it's 88,067 lines of PHP code across 999 source files in 154 directories.

And this module from Paypal? It's 39,765 lines of code across 199 source files in 29 directories.

And Paypal expects me to manually compare the new files with the existing files … heh. Heh. Heh. Heh heh heh. Oh! It is to laugh!

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