Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

Setting up source control on Host Monster

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

I’m collaborating on a small project with a friend that means we’d like to share some source code around. As I have dynamic IP and don’t have a server at home always on the Internet I thought my web space on Host Monster (incidentally where this is hosted) seemed to be an ideal place to host this. My initial thought was to set up a CVS repository. CVS appears to be installed on my Host Monster account already – brilliant. However it seems that for anyone to access it they would have to have root ssh login to my account. Not that I don’t trust my friend but I don’t really want to start giving away root access to my web space.

So I thought about looking for other solutions – one that came to mind is svn so I looked into that and found this informative post on how to do what I wanted but with subversion, albeit on a different web host. I also found a helpful thread about how to install Subversion on Host Monster. Now I’m a newcomer to subversion although I know as a user it works in almost the same way as CVS.
Sadly it seems that there is no way to do this with CVS that I could find.  It may have been possible by tunnelling a pserver connection through ssh – however it seems the cvs install doesn’t allow even local pserver connections.  Finally I put all this together and thought I would share it with the world by writing a new article Adding a safe multi user subversion repository.

Sidetracked – upgrading wordpress

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Every time I log in to write a page as I did at the start of my lunch break today WordPress was asking me to update to a new version.  So I wondered what was improved in the latest shiny 2.6.  It turns out I can preview new themes without making them go live.  Great that’s a good excuse to upgrade so I thought I’d give it a go.  Apparently it’s as simple as a three step solution.

  1. backup
  2. copy over the new files and merge just one wp-config.php
  3. log in as admin and update the database.

Great, even I can do that.  So I downloaded the new installation here, played with the cPanel app at HostMonster until I was happy I’d a backup and then copied the new files over using Filezilla ftp from my windows box.  Then I merged up the configuration file, creating three new lines in my old one for new security using a website to generate random seeds.  All good – except then I couldn’t do step 3.  Fortunately my backups worked so I went back and tried again – nope.  So I got SSH access to my server, I needed to request it and the HostMonster help desk had enabled it within about 2 minutes after a quick e-mail.  Great!  I tried again, this time doing everything from the ssh log in as the process of unzipping and ftp-ing the php files appeared to have mangled line endings.  Still no luck.

Finally I read the more expanded instructions which make no mention of merging the wp-config.php file, instead just keeping your original.  As if by magic it works.  After some digging it turns out the automatic key generation had failed me and generated something that was messing everything up.  I generated new keys and added them for safety and now I’m on to the new WordPress 2.6.  Still sadly now there is no time for me to play with themes or write the blog I originally intended… bah!

Setting up the site

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

So I’ve never actually owned a web site or domain before. Sure as a computer science student at the University of Nottingham I had a web page – we all did. However my page wasn’t the most inspiring of things. I was a first year back in ’96 when Netscape 4 was king of the browser and the web was a very different shape than today. So excuse me if I’m a little rusty!

I’ve been considering setting up this site for a long time. My first concern was finding a hosting service and also registering a domain name. I’ve been keeping my eye out on different hosting services and such and reading some reviews and in the end settled on wordpress blog and now I’m happily typing away with my second entry detailing it. So far everything has been as easy as following tutorials and clicking in the web site.

The PageWizard tool was an interesting experience – it’s really trying to be a web 2.0 tool allowing wysiwyg web page creation. I feel it’s a bit rough around the edges though to be honest. It took me a while to find out how to change the page title for example. Also sometimes it complains that my browser (firefox 3) can’t handle html text entry fields. Which is strange because it appears to work. Eventually I intent to had code my html but I wanted to get up and running quickly.

The only other thing that I’ve had any problems with is what would be a cool tool that is supposed to be provided that allows me to map a windows drive to my web space and browse it that way using windows explorer. I guess I’ll have a fiddle with that although it’s not so important – at some point I’ll try out the ftp and will probably publish my own, hand crafted html that way, if I ever get around to it!

So far so good, my experience with the Monster hosting service is a good one.