Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Brrr
December 30th, 2008

Went riding today, but only managed just over half the distance. It was Baltic out there. Ended up getting frost nip on my right hand (even through big thick winter biking gloves) and very cold feet. Still at least it was so cold all the mud was frozen so we came home with clean bikes.

A certain je ne sais quoi
December 28th, 2008

Headed over to Paris for a long weekend before Christmas. It was warmer than Manchester, it didn’t rain and there was even one day of sunshine. Fantastic city, but don’t go there for the Christmas markets – the one in Manchester is better. Go there to experience an amazing city, absorb culture, be sickened by the opulence of Versailles, be amazed by the vast galleries and treasures of the Louvre and gobsmacked by Parisian parking and the traffic chaos that encircles the Arc de Triomphe…

Didn’t find any bike shops, but never looked. Did find the Peugeot store on Avenue des Champs-Élysées and was able to marvel at the impressive concept cars including the rather funky Hoggar twin engined dune buggy… In other news Apple are featuring Brain Cox on their website at the moment. Nice bit of cross promotion for the University and them which propels the prof further into the media limelight…

Web Geekery Mode Engaged
December 14th, 2008

For a long time I have been putting off upgrading the Independent Fabrication Owners’ Club website, ifrider.com. It’s been running on a legacy version of WordPress (version 2.3.3) for a lot longer than most people would be happy with. Indeed it was even compromised as a result, but I managed to fix that and patch it. Still with WordPress 2.7.0 now on the scene, it was time to catch up, especially when a large group of friends including Samuri, who all share the same host have just had their sites affected by a recent compromised server, caused in part by people running insecure software installations. It pays to keep up with the versions!

One of the key things holding back the move was the fact that the Disclose Secret plugin that had previously been used to keep the private members only content secure didn’t support versions 2.4 onwards fully. Part of the waiting game has been waiting for a suitable replacement to come along to let the upgrade take place and keep the content secure. The solution to that issue has come in the form of the Role Scoper plugin that offers even greater granularity to admins to control access.

Of course there are always other issues that you don’t expect to happen. One is that the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor in 2.7 turned out to be a WYSI not WYG editor, corrupting hyperlink tags when you flicked between the visual and code views of the page. Turning off the visual editor in the profile fixes the issue, but loses some of the useful functionality of the application. I’ve tried replacing the wp-includes and wp-admin folders on the server in case there was a corrupted element that occurred during upload, but this made no difference. Haven’t had this issue for a while and a search of teh web hasn’t found any one else having the same issue…yet.

The other issue is that the RS Discuss forum plugin that I’d been using doesn’t work either and even after trying a patch that had been developed for WordPress MU, I still couldn’t get it to display posts. The solution to that has been to create an installation of BBPress on the server. I looked at PHPBB which is arguably the most popular solution for bulletin boards, but couldn’t find a neat way of integrating it into the WordPress user table. BBPress comes from the same team of developers as WordPress and has the option to integrate straight out of the box during the installation phase. That option didn’t work for me, but you can complete the install without it and create the link once the setup is complete.

The other useful thing was the offline for maintenance solution, which was simply to add in the following three lines to the .htaccess file in the Public HTML folder on the webserver. The first line shows the IP address of the computer you’re working from and creates an exception so that you can see the site. The only other requirement is to create a simple html page (maintenance.html) that tells the world why they can’t access the site. Neat solution.

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^111\.11\.111\.111
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/maintenance.html$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* /maintenance.html [R,L]

Integrating BBPress and WordPress 2.7 (Update)

Issues to date:

1. If the function that allows users to register with BBPress is left active then, when these users log-in to WordPress it breaks the WordPress site. If users are created in WordPress then they can access the BBPress forum without any issues.

2. Users are not automatically logged into BBPress if they are logged into WordPress.

Other Upgrade Issues (update)

Seems like WordPress 2.7 doesn’t like to play with Lightbox2. As a result the navigation within agallery of photos isn’t working anymore. Some discussion here.

TFI Friday
December 12th, 2008

It’s been a long week. Looking forward to the weekend and getting out on the mountain bike and getting dirty! That said I’d be quite happy if it chose to warm up a bit so it wasn’t the kind of weather that makes your toes feel like they’re going to fall off! There is a beautifully photographed set of pictures cataloguing the return to racing of Lance Armstrong. Check it out Elizabeth Kreutz’s site for pictures and go to index bottom left and look for Lances return. They’re incredible photos.

Legs like Lead
December 9th, 2008

Rode in today late because I had to go to the Hope Hospital for an outpatient appointment. Dermatologist reckons that one of the moles on my back is worth taking out for a closer look so I’ll be going under the knife next year. No big deal, better to be proactive about these things I thing.

Anyway legs felt like lead. Like one of those times you have a big headwind and the going is really slow and hard work for not much progress. Ground into work and realised that I was probably wearing too many layers for the temperature outside. I’m fighting off a cold, but it’s taken ten days for me to feel it affecting my legs. Not particularly excited at the prospect of having to ride home again in the cold…

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides