Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Repairs underway

Sad dog broken legSurprising myself as much as anyone else, I actually got down the promised start of work on inspecting things ‘under the hood’ of the Wiki, after the recent hiccups with our hosting service following the move and server upgrade which seemed to crash and burn almost on cue.

Although the system doesn’t have any sort of magical self-repair or fault-finding ability, it does have some routines that do the usual version checks (where the info is available), and I was pleased to see that there was nothing that was out of date or crying out for some latest tweak to the last add-on to be urgently installed at the first opportunity.

The Wiki code itself is always up to date, pending a week or two’s delay, just in case a bug has crept into the newest version. While this sort of bug does creep in, it’s never anything serious, but it has taught me never to be TOO keen to get that latest version installed.

More interesting was the loss of formatting on the history report for each page, which I found made it hard to read, even though the info was there.

Fortunately, this was quickly identified as being an add-on that had been disabled when the hosting had gone funny, and the service had been really slow to own up and let us know they were having problems. This appears to be fine now, and page edits shown in the history are now being properly highlighted for quick comparison with the previous version of the page.

That’s probably the easiest stuff out of the way, and also given the control and configuration side of things a reason to be left alone for now – “If it ain’t (obviously) broke, don’t fix it!” probably being wise at this point.

Next up will be taking some time to look at the Google map add-on, since the code for that is known to contain a wedge of dead and useless code which used to do some browser type checking using an application hosted by someone else – and they have now vaporised, so the code fails when called.

Why this was ever included I don’t know. The same checks were apparently possible locally with only a few lines of conditional code, yet this add-on contained a script almost as big as the Wiki code. I didn’t understand what it did (it was too big and undocumented), and didn’t like it – I anticipated the writer disappearing, and with it his server and the remote code it called. Sadly, I was right.

A kludge has disabled it and stopped the error messages it was causing to be generated, so all I have to do is work out how to excise it, and hope I can do this without breaking anything.

I really hate the way that not documenting or commenting most code nowadays has become acceptable, as it makes life tough for those of who modify things later, as we have little or no idea what was going on in the original programmer’s mind.

Fingers crossed over the next few weeks.

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September 7, 2012 - Posted by | Site News |

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