Friday 08 May 2009


I started to upgrade my Slice to Jaunty Jackalope from Intrepid Ibex about 30 minutes ago, only took about 10-15 minutes. It’s really quite impressive to simply issue one command, with the minimum of queries about user-modified config files, and within a few minutes you’re running a brand new operating system.

Beats the pants off the 40+ minutes it takes to upgrade to another version of Windows!

Thursday 08 January 2009


I finally updated my templates to allow comments, with hierarchical threading. I was looking for a way to only allow 1 or 2 levels of threading, but I don’t think there is one. I was never able to get my AJAX script working with Movable Type 4.2x, so I’ve decided not to use it at all. I was wasting way too much time playing with it.

I also re-enabled comments on all my old entries, as spam shouldn’t be that much of a problem, and I now have a VPS that should be able to handle most things a spammer can throw at it. Unlike when I was using Fasthosts on a shared server so resources were incredibly limited!

I have also replaced the image in the header that said “does it echo?” with sIFR (which does my stylised dates), which I could never get to display the text where I wanted it. Finally I have it just how I want it.

Wednesday 07 January 2009

Strange Perl Error

I started getting a weird error on my Slice involving Perl.

LWP failed with code[500] message[Errno architecture (x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi- does not match executable architecture (x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi-2.6.24-16-server) at /usr/local/share/perl/5.8.8/ line 11.

Searching on Google didn’t throw up too many helpful solutions, except one. Edit the file and remove/rem out the lines throwing that error. Possibly not the best solution, but it seems to work for now.

sudo nano /usr/local/share/perl/5.8.8/

“$Config{‘archname’}-$Config{‘osvers’}” eq
“x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi-” or
        die “Errno architecture (x86_64-linux-gnu-thread-multi- does not match executable architecture ($Config{‘archname’}-$Config{‘osvers’})”;

Friday 13 June 2008


I’d never come across a “PHP accelerator” before, but a friend from #bit-tech (andatche) told me about APC – the Alternative PHP Cache.

Wikipedia has this to say about PHP accelerators:

A PHP accelerator is an extension designed to boost the performance of software applications written using the PHP programming language. Most PHP accelerators work by caching the compiled bytecode of PHP scripts to avoid the overhead of parsing and compiling source code on each request (some or all of which may never even be executed).

With andatche’s help, I managed to get APC installed on my Slice and it instantly sped up the PHP execution. As my templates use PHP and are mostly static, they are cached in memory instead of being regenerated each time, and with each successive request the pages are built from the cache instead of from the filesystem.

Anything that speeds up my site cannot be a bad thing!

Wednesday 04 June 2008

Movable Type Open Source 4.1

After what seems like forever, I have finally managed to get Movable Type OS 4.1 installed and running perfectly on my Slicehost slice.

It has taken me a few months to get to this stage, mainly because I’m not very good with Linux – Ubuntu in particular. Lots of trial and error was the order of the day for sure. Thankfully it is very easy to start again if you mess up, you just need to rebuild your slice and the slate is wiped clean. I lost count of the times I rebuilt my slice!

I thought it would be an excellent idea if I documented every configuration change and command I performed each time, so I would be able to get back to where I was before rebuilding but also just before I screwed up. This made it much easier to work out what I was doing wrong. A big thank you to Google Docs!!

I started out using Lighttpd as my web server, but I kept having problems with FastCGI, so in the end I decided to dump it for Apache. Sure it’s a heavyweight and uses more resources, but I understand it more!

I also had a few problems getting some of the required Perl modules installed through CPAN, but I eventually compiled them manually and things went more smoothly.

When it came to upgrading my old blog from 3.36 to 4.1 I originally just overwrote the old files with the new ones, this was not a good idea – mainly because it didn’t bloomin’ work! After I deleted the old files and only used the new ones, it worked!

I also had some major problems getting comments to work. My templates are highly modified, and so I had to update a few areas to support 4.1 properly, and my AJAX-ified comments really didn’t! I also had an issue with accepting TypeKey authenticated comments but that I found to be an problem with ME using MY TypeKey account – apparently I can’t do that any longer and just get “Name and email address are required”. Not the most helpful of error messages. Once I tried it with a totally unrelated TypeKey account it worked.

I fixed my AJAX comments by updating Prototype and Scriptaculous – not sure why I had to, I just did!!

While testing posting comments I found that it was taking ages to actually post one. Using the excellent Temper plugin by Timothy Appnel, which stands for TEMPlate profilER, I discovered that it was the Google Sitemap and Archive Index templates that were causing trouble – both taking almost 25 seconds to rebuild. I have disabled the Sitemap for the moment, and I decided to change the Archive Index around a bit. Instead of showing a link to every entry I’ve posted, I’m now showing just the last 6 months, and then links to the monthly archives. This has reduced the build time from around 22 seconds to a much more reasonable 1-2 seconds!

I believe I have squashed every bug I’ve come across in the migration process, and I am happy to replace my old blog with my new one – not that much will have changed from the outside!

There are still a few little things here and there I need to address (installing SendMail is one), but they’re on the back-end and nothing for anyone else to worry about.

So welcome to Movable Type Open Source 4.1 and goodbye Movable Type 3.36.

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