Archive for category blogging

WordPress import from – 500 Server Errors & Timeout’s!

I’ve recently setup a wordpress blog to use when we’re on holiday to post pictures and let people know how we’re getting on. I had an existing hosted blog up at which I wanted to import to my new self hosted blog, but ran into a whole world of pain while trying to run the built in importer.

I ran an export from the hosted blog which gave me an xml file which contained wordpresses own variant of rss. I then selected import from my new wordpress’s tools menu and gave it the xml file- all went well but when i asked it to download the attachments it all started to go to shit!

There were two main issues which i had to fix- the first was wordpress goes mental when it hits a 302 redirect when trying to grab an image, but there is a fix available for the download function in wordpress;

From :

< //ini_set("display_errors", true);
< $response = wp_remote_request($url, $options);
< $headers = wp_remote_retrieve_headers($response);
< $cd = (string)$response['response']['code'];
< if ($cd == '301') {
< $response = wp_remote_request($headers['location'], $options);
< $headers = wp_remote_retrieve_headers($response);
< }
> $response = wp_remote_request($url, $options);
< //$headers = wp_remote_retrieve_headers( $response );
> $headers = wp_remote_retrieve_headers( $response );

Then i’m hit with timeouts coming from the FastCGI module- I’m running PHP 5.2 under IIS7 on Windows 2008 Web Edition- the error I was now getting when trying to run the import was;

The FastCGI process exceeded configured activity timeout

I found the fix for this one here: It was down to the FastCGI module timeout being hit, so it was just a matter of increasing that from the command line i executed;

%windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd set config -section:system.webServer/fastCgi /[fullPath='C:\php5\php-cgi.exe'].activityTimeout:600

In the end, I STILL didn’t get all the images over as some of them were quite large and the wordpress file server timed out while the script was trying to grab them, but i thought i would post this none the less, to save anyone else having to experience the evening i just had.


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Move from to WordPress 2.7.1!

I’m a .net developer by day, so am always keen to use .net technologies where ever possible.  For the past few months I’ve been persevering with, a dot net blogging platform which I run on my Windows 2k8 IIS7 box from home, however I can do it no more!  I’ve found myself looking on with envy at the features in the newer builds of WordPress as i struggle on with the various “quirks” of BlogEngine and finally decided I could no longer put up with it- I’ve made the switch to WordPress which I’ve used in the past and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised- not only is it as good as i remember, but it’s come on leaps and bounds both feature and interface wise since I last used it.

To get WordPress up and running I had to setup PHP5, mySQL (and phpMyAdmin to save me the pain of mySQL command line syntax again) under IIS7 which I also found to be easy (all up and running within an hour!) following the guides over on the TrainSignal training website

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Google Code Highlighter

You may have noticed that the little snippets of code I’ve been dropping into these post’s suddenly got a bit swankier looking. This is down to a new javascript tool I found for use on blogs and the like, for highlighting code you post on your pages.

Basically you download the zip file- unzip it and copy the javascripts and css files over, then add a few lines of code to the head of your page;

You then put your code in-between >pre< tags and set a name attribute to “code” and set the class to whatever syntax you have- it has support for a whole bunch of languages including c#, vb, php, javascript, css, sql and a whole bunch of others. You can grab this plug-in from here

The install was easy- but a couple of bits did catch me out- the code sample above was the example they give you in the install page. So I blindly copied over this code to the head of my blog, and copied all the files from the zip file over to my sites js and css folders. I found that html highlighting worked fine and so did c# but vb and sql weren’t happening… It eventually clicked that you need to add the references to the additional syntax types you need as the example only has a line for the CS and XML/HTML “brush” libraries. So I popped those lines in and it worked fine.

The other problem that I had, and indeed still have until I get home to actually edit the code, is compatibility with TinyMCE which is the editor used by default in BlogEngine. I found a couple of articles which might help with this but won’t know till tonight;

As mentioned on the Wiki pages there is also the issue that adding a name value to a pre tag, isn’t valid xhtml.

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My shiny new blog

My "Psycho" face!

Welcome to my new blog!  I’m a web developer so i will be using this to post anything useful or interesting that i discover during the daily grind that may be useful
in the future and that i don’t want to slip through my vice like memory.  Hopefully some of the stuff i note down can be useful to you, assuming I actually remember to keep posting content in this one as I’m usually awful at these things.

The blog platform I’m using is, recommended from a colleague at work- it’s running on IIS7 under windows 2008 web edition on my web server at home.   This seem’s to be a good dot net alternative to the popular PHP blog platform, WordPress which is the main one I’ve user up until now.  BlogEngine has a couple of nice features, one being the ability to use XML as your primary data store so you don’t have to use SQL Server.  Everything installed easy in just a few minutes following Al Nyveldt’s screen cast; I grabbed one of their default skin’s and was able to mod it to my needs, far easier than i could with wordpress, and i was done.

I did have one issue during setup where I kept getting 404 error’s when trying to view any of the pages or posts created through the system.  I found an article on the blog engine discussion boards over at codeplex which solved the problem for me.  I had the application running in an application pool using the integrated pipeline, but i should have been using classic.  The incompatibility is due to the way IIS7 expects the web.config file to be structured when using the integrated pipeline.  As the post points out, you just have to switch it to use classic, you can then run a tool to convert the web.config file over, then switch the site to run back using integrated again.  The syntax for the tool is;

%systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\APPCMD.EXE migrate config "BlogSiteName/"

Aside from that, so far so good!

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