Posts Tagged ‘Wordpress’

Testing the WordPress Facebook plugin

This is me testing the WordPress Facebook plugin. It was generally missed when I could sync posts to facebook notes, but I guess this is the first step for that to happen again. Great use of a lunch hour as I wolf down some grandma-made malaysian-style chee cheong fun.

Make sure your WordPress plugins are up-to-date

This is probably stating the obvious, but make sure your plugins in WordPress are up-to-date. You keep up with the latest WordPress releases (and you should — there are lots of security fixes within releases), but you also have to make sure that the plugins are updated.

I deploy some systems using SVN, and on some sites, make use of the Disqus plugin for commenting. The plugin itself, as of writing, has only been tested against WordPress 3.1.4. Today, you have WordPress 3.2.1. Don’t fret though — Version 2.66 works just fine.

Why do I preach about updating stuff? My recent update had broken a production site… not the site itself, but the authors could not upload any media. The uploader (JavaScript) wouldn’t work. Chrome has the JavaScript Console available which showed me exactly what was going wrong, and that’s how I debugged the offending plugin.

Upon a little search later for wordpress 3.2.1 upload image, I see a bunch of people asking questions. The standard answer is to disable plugins to see if things work. In this case, updating solved the problem.

Updating PHP in RHEL/CentOS 5.6 for WordPress 3.2

Try doing yum install php53 on a RHEL 5.6/CentOS 5.6 system, and see the following:

--> Finished Dependency Resolution
php53-common-5.3.3-1.el5_6.1.x86_64 from updates has depsolving problems
  --> php53-common conflicts with php-common
Error: php53-common conflicts with php-common
 You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
 You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
                        package-cleanup --dupes
                        rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest

Not pleasant right? Seems the only workaround is to issue a yum remove php php-cli php-common, watch the dependencies and reinstall everything. The only thing that seems to be missing? php53-tidy.

Restart Apache (service httpd restart). Update WordPress. If you miss on restarting the web server, it won’t detect the newer PHP install and WordPress will just show you a magical message as follows: “You cannot update because WordPress 3.2.1 requires PHP version 5.2.4 or higher. You are running version 5.1.6.”

RethinkDB all the rage today

RethinkDB is all the rage today, as its a Y Combinator funded startup, which also launched a developer pre-alpha today. So what is RethinkDB you ask? Yet-another-MySQL-storage-engine, that’s what. But this time, its tuned for solid-state drives (SSDs), which also happen to be all the rage these days.

Anyway, check them out more, and the materials currently tell me that they’re using append-only algorithms, which allow for live schema changes and hot backups, with instantaneous recovery from power failure. Those are just some of the exciting bits.

What didn’t excite me so much was the fact that you were only getting 32-bit or 64-bit Linux binaries, built against MySQL 5.1.31 and you’ll just install it via the INSTALL PLUGIN option. But they are trying to get some semblance of a community growing, with their getting involved page, filled with some papers, as well as a support mailing list (I see Mark Callaghan is already busy asking them questions). And of course you can follow them on their blog, or on Twitter. All this without source ;-)

One of the developers also confirmed that they’re adding “features required by WordPress so we could eat our own dogfood”. They haven’t started profiling (much yet?), and they’ve probably got ways to go on performance. Seems like “getting it working for WordPress”, is slowly becoming a good testing ground – Jeff Waugh did so for WordPress and Drizzle, too.

Anyway, it seems like its time to get some SSDs, as we start seeing things like this pop up. RethinkDB will also face another problem for mass adoption – how many hosting providers are using SSDs? Probably not many (if at all).

Have you tried RethinkDB? Your thoughts?

Barry Abrahamson, talks about WordPress.com technicals

While at the MySQL Conference, I caught up with Barry Abrahamson, the systems wrangler/de-facto DBA behind WordPress.com (and all other Automattic properties). Watch the video.



You probably already know that WordPress itself is built on top of MySQL. And despite everything you might have heard about our (MySQL/Sun’s) new founders, WordPress is MySQL today, and for the foreseeable future. Anyway, I digress.

WordPress.com has about 70 million tables, and tens of thousands of blogs. Large amount of tables, serve for easy sharding – after all, its based on WordPress MU, which creates a table for each blog (read does it scale?).

WordPress.com has a few terabytes of data in MySQL, with over 350 instances. They’re all powered by Debian servers, with MySQL.com binaries.

Of interest to lots of folk, is WordPress stats (you get them with your own install, thanks to the Stats plugin). There is about 150GB of data for stats, that enter MySQL every month, and the data is queried multiple times a second. WordPress stats currently are based on a per day basis, but real soon now, you’ll see hourly stats. So you can even switch when your day ends, because chances are, you’re not based in GMT.

WordPress has about 90%+ reads, so the single master multiple slaves replication methodology works well for them. They’re moving to solid state drives, which is giving them more capacity to their current SAS solutions, since its all many tables, MyISAM, and it fits their workload model really well. Moving to SSDs is interesting – if you weren’t at the MySQL Conference, you should definitely catch the video from Andreas von Bechtolsheim, titled The Solid State Storage Revolution. Andy is a co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

Off camera, Barry also told me that they ran HP hardware, and he gave me the tale of how PollDaddy got a new heart – i.e. they moved from .NET/SQLServer to PHP/MySQL.

So, here, I can’t wait for hourly stats to come to WordPress. And I’m most interested in seeing what comes out from this (via Matt Mullenweg’s blog post):

There are some new developments in the WordPress world, namely that I think it would be possible to add support for databases other than MySQL without changing every $wpdb call or breaking any plugins or themes. It won’t be easy, but the coolest stuff seldom is.

Tab roundup for December 2008

Om Malik’s blog design, and themes as a business
I stumbled upon Om.Is.Me…, Om Malik’s private blog, and was taken away by the design. For one, its hosted at wordpress.com (something I’m thinking I might do at some stage, if it was less rigid). But more importantly, what I noticed was the design – I was really taken away by the blog theme. Its designed by GNV & Partners, and it looks snazzy.

Is there big business in WordPress themes? If their website was in English, I’d be a little more interested… Largely because I have to theme at least two WordPress sites in the near future, and I’m not looking forward to mastering CSS, etc.

What do custom WordPress themes go for? How many folk pay for themes?

Hackerspaces
Found this via Twitter (thanks @achitnis), and it Hackerspaces reminded me a lot of coworking. When in Melbourne, I always pined of a co-working space (I believe, Joe’s Garage came close to it – upstairs, anyway). Now that I’m in Kuala Lumpur a lot more, I am wondering if a warehouse somewhere, might make sense…

Cybercafes in Japan, offering physical addresses to the homeless
Read Cyber cafe offers address to homeless. I didn’t know that cybercafe’s in Tokyo gave away a free email address (maybe they don’t, but they might give you access to one), but I was impressed that comic books and unlimited beverages were a norm. Kudos to Cyber @ Cafe offering long-term lodging and an official registered address (important, when PO BOXes aren’t acceptable or you’re homeless).

Takemitsu Karitachi, used to sleep on park benches, but he doesn’t have to anymore:

This simple service is vital for the 50 semi-permanent residents of the cafe, many of whom have taken refuge here after being laid off abruptly during the current recession.

Takemitsu Karitachi, a contract worker at a nearby factory, is one of the many people who have been sleeping at the cafe every night for the past two months since he lost his office job and his apartment.

Karitachi, who used to roam the streets and hopped between various Internet cafes for months, says he is now relieved to have found a more permanent home — even if it’s a cubicle just slightly bigger than the back seat of a car.

BMW India sales records
It stunned me when I found out that in 2007, BMW only sold 1,338 cars, and in 2008, plans to sell 2,800 units. The sales ratio between the BMW 5 and 3 series is 55:45 (so the one’s buying a BMW, actually have a lot more disposable income than one would think).

I don’t know the cost of a BMW in India, but if its prohibitively expensive as it is in Malaysia (what is it, up to 300% excise duty?), I’m surprised the numbers are a lot lower. Seeing a BMW (or a Mercedes) on the road in Malaysia is very common – yuppies are driving 3-series cars (BMW 320), straight into their first management job, willing to fork out RM220,000+, and paying it off over seven or nine years.

Lucky for me, I don’t think of a car as a status symbol (and think that people that do, are rather daft).

After Credentials
Read Paul Graham’s After Credentials. It is probably his best essay in recent time, and its very pertinent to those living in Asia.

Not only in South Korea, but in most parts of Asia, education is touted as being very important. Quotes like “In our country, college entrance exams determine 70 to 80 percent of a person’s future,” don’t surprise me. Paul thinks its old fashioned – I tend to agree. Today’s universities are not more than cram universities.

The problem comes when parents use direct methods: when they are able to use their own wealth or power as a substitute for their children’s qualities.

Let’s think about what credentials are for. What they are, functionally, is a way of predicting performance. If you could measure actual performance, you wouldn’t need them.

This doesn’t work in small companies. Even if your colleagues were impressed by your credentials, they’d soon be parted from you if your performance didn’t match, because the company would go out of business and the people would be dispersed.

In a world of small companies, performance is all anyone cares about. People hiring for a startup don’t care whether you’ve even graduated from college, let alone which one. All they care about is what you can do. Which is in fact all that should matter, even in a large organization.

The whole article is interesting. There is a good analysis of the big company versus small company paradigm, as well as the fact that people want instant (and not deferred) rewards.

I predict that within Asia, in the next two decades, hiring based on your after credentials (first bachelors, then masters, possibly doctorate eventually), are going to be a thing of the past.

Lawyers use Facebook to serve notices
Via The Age:

Canberra lawyers have won the right to serve legally binding court documents by posting them on defendants’ Facebook sites.

In a ruling that could make legal and internet history, a Supreme Court judge ruled last week lawyers could use the social networking site to serve court notices.

Email and even mobile phone text messages have been used before to serve court notices, but the Canberra lawyers who secured the ruling are claiming service by Facebook as a world first.

“The Facebook profiles showed the defendants’ dates of birth, email addresses and friend lists and the co-defendants were friends with one another,” a spokesman for the firm said.

On perfumes, and smell
This is interesting, The scent of a man. Very captivating, here are a few select quotes:

They already knew that appropriate scents can improve the mood of those who wear them. What they discovered, though, as they will describe in a forthcoming edition of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, is that when a man changes his natural body odour it can alter his self-confidence to such an extent that it also changes how attractive women find him.

They found that those who had been given the commercial fragrance showed an increase in self-confidence. … What was surprising was that their self-confidence improved to such an extent that women who could watch them but not smell them noticed. They were, however, unable to distinguish between the groups when shown only still photographs of the men, suggesting it was the men’s movement and bearing, rather than their physical appearance, that was making the difference.

Perhaps the greatest takeaway was: “The sexes themselves smell different, too, and women can glean information about a man’s social status from his smell alone.”"

Women can smell success?


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