WordPress MU 2.6.2

WordPress MU, the multi blog version of WordPress that runs on WordPress.com has been updated.

Version 2.6.2 is now available for download and is a required update. WordPress MU isn’t vulnerable to the security bugs that were the reason for WordPress 2.6.2 but it does contain a number of important bug fixes, including:

  1. xmlrpc.php works better if you use multiple sites. #735
  2. get_option() wasn’t reading all options.
  3. Configurable media buttons on the Write page. #598, #738
  4. 404 “file not found” errors on folder installs is mostly fixed. #745
  5. And more .. (timeline)

PS. Don’t forget the voting is now open in the WordPress MU plugin competition.
PPS. Registration is now open for BarCamp Cork II on November 1st. I’ve put my name down to give a talk there.

Want to test super speed caching?

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings. I couldn’t sleep, but not for want of trying. Around 5am our 17 month old baby wasn’t too keen on the whole notion of shut-eye. Instead I took him downstairs to feed him, and do a little surfing and hacking to pass the time until the sun rose.

Lucky for you that I did.

I discovered that WP Super Cache was compressing the page output twice! That’s right, it’s my own fault, but for over a year that little bug has gone unnoticed. I won’t bore you with details, but it’s fixed now and if you compare wp-cache-phase2.php from the latest release with that in the development version you’ll spot the differences.

In testing, I noticed that pages were generated more quickly. Sometimes twice as fast as before if everything else had been cached by the object cache. I even posted a message to the support forum asking people to try it out but the silence is deafening which is why I’m turning to the power of the blog post.

If you’d like to give this bit of code a go, grab the development version of WP Super Cache, test it, and leave a comment here. Before you install it, grab a few pages while not logged in and record the page generation time, then after install, check out the same pages. I’d love to hear if it improves things.

You could also try setting “$cache_rebuild_files” to 1 in wp-cache-config.php. That will enable some experimental code that moves supercache files out of the way when the page becomes stale but then restores them while the page is being rebuilt. That should help significantly on busy sites where lots of comments are made. It’ll be switched off by default because I don’t think it will benefit most sites, and will only result in more I/O. Check out this forum thread for further info.

If you’re interested in testing the plugin in the future, you could subscribe to the wp-super-cache-dev tag, where I’ll post development updates on the plugin.

WP Super Cache 0.8

WP Super Cache is a page caching plugin for WordPress that will significantly speed up your website.

If you’re not interested in the changes, simply grab the latest version of the plugin and copy the files into your plugin folder. It’ll work, but if you’re upgrading, you should read on.

Major changes in this release:

  1. Generate a semaphore id based on hostname and cache path to avoid problems on shared hosts, props Tigertech.
  2. If you run WordPress from a different directory to where it’s installed, supercached files weren’t deleted when a post was made or updated. That is now fixed. Thanks Viper007Bond for all your help on that.
  3. Paged archives, category pages, and tag pages are now cleared when a post is edited or comment approved. This replicates what WP Cache did all along so you should hopefully see supercached static files updating more often.
  4. If your .htaccess is read-only, the mod_rewrite rules are displayed on the admin page. Thanks Matt for the patch.
  5. Updated mod_rewrite rules won’t serve static html files if there’s a “=” in the url. Should catch all sorts of problems with plugins and attachments. You’ll have to manually edit your root .htaccess to match the new rules.
  6. Set cache control and expiry headers of supercached files. They are cached for 5 minutes, but with a “must-revalidate” header. Delete wp-content/cache/.htaccess for the new rules to be updated.
  7. Check for WordPress MU because it can’t update the .htaccess file.
  8. Write supercache html to temporary files and rename. The old way opened the correct file for writing, did some work and wrote the file. In the fraction of a second it took to write the file, someone might request it and get an incomplete page.
  9. The Supercache expiry time has been removed. There can be only one.

Edit: 0.8.1 has just been released. This addresses the following:

  • The “forbidden files” problems some users had is fixed.
  • Supercache files were being removed needlessly when a moderated comment was made.
  • I added a “Clear cached files when post is edited” checkbox.
  • I added a “Delete Cache” link next to the Dashboard link on the dashboard.
  • Tigertech found that when a file is renamed and the new filename is already used, the old remains.
  • Updated readme.txt.

Google Chrome on Linux and Mac

Google Chrome, the open source browser that recently made headlines, was unfortunately only released for Windows. Linux and <a href="Mac users were left out in the cold.

It was possibly to get the browser working with Wine, but it wasn’t very stable by all accounts. Thanks to CodeWeavers, they have ported the Chromium browser to Linux and Mac OS X and packaged it ready for download on both systems!

First impressions of the Linux version? For some reason my whole screen goes black while a page is loading or when a new tab is opened. I see this in Vice (The C64 emulator) and any movie player other than mplayer so it’s an issue with my setup, not the browser. The fonts in the url bar suck as well, but I’m sure they can be fixed too. My curiousity is sated. CoveWeavers did a great job, but I’m going back to Firefox. (Via Tom)

So today I am pleased to announce that we have shipped freely available versions of Chromium for both the Mac and Linux. Not only does this give Mac and Linux users a chance to see what all the hype is about, it also lets the world see just how far Wine has come and how powerful it truly can be. In just 11 days, we were able to bring a modern Windows application across to Mac and Linux.

Guinness, say hi to the Data Protection Commissioner

This morning, Diageo Ireland (the company behind Guiness) spammed me again, despite my repeated attempts to remove myself from their mailing list.

Thanks to Damien who pointed me in the direction of the Data Protection Commissioner I filled out the complaint form with the following. The Commissioner’s Guidelines for marketing by electronic mail are quite clear and Diageo obviously ignore them. Hopefully something positive will come of this.

On the 8th of April, 2007 Diageo Ireland sent me an unsolicited email regarding a “poker nights” promotion. It appears that someone signed me up, but Diageo never confirmed the invitation. I did not opt in to receive any mailings from them. I also unsubscribed using their subscription page. More details, including commentary about the unsubscribe process are here: http://ocaoimh.ie/2008/02/07/a-pint-of-guinness-flavoured-spam/

Unfortunately, on June 20th 2008, I was spammed by them again. http://twitter.com/donncha/statuses/839602319
I unsubscribed again.

This afternoon I was sent another email from Diageo with the text:
“CONOR,
BECAUSE WE
DON’T WANT YOU TO BE
LEFT IN THE DARK…
Give us a few minutes and we’ll give you so much more
GIVE US A FEW MINUTES
AND WE’LL GIVE YOU
SO MUCH MORE”

Unfortunately I suspect I’ll always get spam emails from them despite the fact that I never signed up for anything, don’t drink Guinness and unsubscribed twice already.

Regards,
Donncha O Caoimh

Peeing into the wind at the North Pole

The funny thing is, when I started reading Richard Hammond’s account of racing Jeremy Clarkson and James May to the North Pole, I did not expect to find out quite so much about the toilet habits of sub zero temperature travellers. Still, a fun read about the Top Gear crew.

“Bloody hell, guys, there’s a bog here. I’ve found it. It’s beautiful. I want to see if it’s real. Give me the gun. And the bog roll. If I’m not back in half an hour, tell my family I died a happy man.”

If that’s a little too squeamish for you, then you really should avoid Clarkson Island. Thanks Mark for twittering this excellent little piece. I love the bit where the young Clarkson gets on the quad bike, and the announcer’s comment that follows ..

PS. WP Super Cache update to follow in a few days. If your blog uses a mixture of query strings and fancy permalinks I’m testing a mod_rewrite rule that may make your life easier:

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} !.*=.*

I used to …

Looking around the shopping center this afternoon I remembered how I used to wonder why parents had a dull lifeless haggard look about them. This was when I was single. Now I’m a parent and I know why.

I used to think that people who had their credit cards stolen probably used them on a dodgy site or entered their details on a non secure server. Then my credit card details were skimmed somehow.

I used to spell Windows Windoze, but then I graduated from college.

I used to think I was invincible, I’d climb trees, climb the local quarry, go caving, do slightly mad stuff. Life experience taught me otherwise.

I used to look for gratification in material things but then I got married and my son was born. Wow.

I’ve never been happier. What about you?

The Copper Kettle

The Copper Kettle in Castletownbere is a small little cafe we stumbled upon the first time we visited the town earlier this year and again in April. It’s in the main square of the town, near the petrol station and well worth a visit if you’re down that direction.

It’s always a good sign when local people eat in an establishment and the first time we were there a granny took her grand daughter and her 3 friends for lunch, sitting next to us, and keeping Adam delightfully amused with their chattering and laughing.

Were we lucky or is it normal that everyone we met in the Bantry area of West Cork was extremely pleasant, helpful and a joy to talk to?

Shocked that my credit card number was stolen

Wow, this is one of things you never expect to happen to you. Linode, where this blog is hosted, recently emailed me saying my monthly payment had been denied and I should contact my bank.

This morning I received a letter from the bank saying they had tried to call me and would I ring them which I did. After holding for what seems like an age I talked to a nice girl at the bank who told me there were suspicious transactions on the card:

  1. Aug 30: 1 Euro spent at the iTunes store. Never used it. Alarm bells ringing.
  2. Aug 31: 3 Euro at “Usenext”, whatever that is.
  3. Sep 3: Various amounts (168 Euro, 48 Euro..) spent at Virginmedia on subscriptions.

Ouch, thankfully the bank caught it and I’m not out of pocket, but it’s frightening when you’re the victim of credit card fraud. I presume it was skimmed by the same guys who had impersonated repair men and modified credit card machines around the country that was widely reported last week. The card hardly ever gets used online. Cutting it up now.