The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Budgets and Asian disasters and work and parties

Monday 9 June 2008 at 6:16 pm

So I have been naughty and working too hard, quite apart from being naughty with respect to this blog. Although we did squeeze out a new Lichen version a fortnight ago, and if or when things finish up at the day job I do believe the next version of Azureus will be sweet.

Some of the things I’ve been wanting to write about:

  • Oh how the honeymoon has come crashing down for the Ruddster and his peeps! First there was the Federal Budget, which was generally sensible but reeked of compromise in every direction (that, and an unhealthy obsession with Costello-style future funds). Then we have inflation egad, public sector overworking oh my, and premix tax eeek! But it’s okay: they had pictures of troops leaving Iraq to distract the masses.
  • Speaking of Budgets, WA’s was remarkably unremarkable given it’s what Carps will be calling an election on. I mean, sure there are billions being splashed about for infrastructure and whatnot, but that kind of announcement is kinda getting old. (Then again, I’ve documented enough times how poor the field is.)
  • It amuses me how much sound and fury has been generated by the plan for a national version of FuelWatch. Surely the logic should be simple: did it work in WA? if so, implement! … just like the other State policies that went national (TravelSmart, Go For 2 & 5, and others; WA actually does have a reasonably inventive bureaucracy. Not to say FuelWatch is perfect, but having foresight does make us all feel better).
  • If Burma’s military leaders were a little less skilled at crushing dissent, they’d probably have riotous mobs demanding their heads for the latest in a long line of cock-ups. Alas, they’re not, and so their country has become even more of a mess than it was. Compare the Chinese government, who have done a far better job handling their natural disaster — not to say the Communist Party are any good at logistics, but at least they didn’t get unfriendly headlines before the Olympics.
  • Onto less weighty matters: may I briefly say, I deeply dislike the new Google favicon? It doesn’t look Google-ey at all, making it that much harder to find searches amongst twenty browser tabs …
  • The WordPress party of two weeks ago was fun! There was schwag from Automattic! I met people from such diverse places as Connecticut and Sweden! And there were many more ladies than your average geek event ;-)
  • This, I think, is hilarious — who’da thunk a metro ride could be so rowdy! And it reminds me of how weird it (still) seems to see people downing beer on trains here, while the staff walk past not caring.
  • Although, speaking of, I felt sorry for the girl across from me on the last Caltrain service out of San Francisco after the WordPress party, whose parents were going off at her on the phone for riding the train; apparently nice girls don’t do that sort of thing …

Fixing WordPress 2.1 + PHP 5 + HTTP 1.0

Saturday 31 March 2007 at 8:03 pm

So I’ve finally figured out the random problems that were plaguing this blog. It all started when I upgraded to PHP 5.2.1, which breaks lots of functions that software like WordPress depends on. The obvious step, which I was silly enough to delay, is to upgrade WordPress and all plugins to their most recent versions, thus making life much easier. (Many plugins are bitten by output buffering changes.)

But I was still having trouble due to this nasty bug, whereby recent versions of PHP plus recent versions of WordPress will cause the output to always be HTTP 1.1. Symptoms include seemingly random hex character strings scattered around your blog (such as when connecting via telnet), or blank pages that only affect some people. This is because HTTP 1.1 features, like the chunked transfer encoding, confuse clients that only speak 1.0 (including many commercial proxy servers and a lot of Python code built on feedparser).

The fix is to edit line 832 in wp-includes/functions.php. Replace this line in the status_header function:

@header("HTTP/1.1 $header $text", true, $header);

with this much happier code:

@header($_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"]." ".$header." ".$text, true, $header);

Also, I found that upgrading to 2.1 breaks the old version of Jerome’s Keywords, and can unexpectedly change your link category numbers.

Update 16/5: The problem has been fixed in WordPress 2.2. Thanks Ryan!