February 2022 work summary

February was a bit like January: plenty to do at the start and end of the month with not so much in the middle of the month. So during the middle of the month I released new versions of three of my extensions: Digests, Spam Remover and SCSS compiler.

I thought my development work for a major commercial client was done but a few new minor tasks were discovered. These tasks included:

  • Replicating a kill user feature that was overlooked. It gives an admin a one button press to remove a spam user and all their posts.
  • Changed an extension I wrote that emails to a mailing list all admin log entries to also send the list critical error log entries.

Other work for clients in February included:

  • WordPress work. Updated an old WordPress instance from WordPress5.3 to 5.9. I got errors after logging in and solved them by going into the database and changing the row in the wp_options table that enabled all the plugins. Installed a default theme. Moved a number of posts and pages into the trash. Rearranged the menu and added some pages. Then demonstrated how to add PDFs to the Media Library and how to use the Gallery extension, which I had to reinstall, but a gallery of smilie fingerprints was already set up. I just had to add the correct shortcode to the page so it would render. Set up another gallery for a set of other kinds of images and demonstrated uploading some of these. The client may be able to take it from here.
  • Installed the Topic Tags extension using a 3.3 version I found on a client’s test website. Client tried it out and had me install it in production.
  • Upgraded a board from phpBB 3.0.14 to 3.3.5. Tried to use Support Toolkit but had errors manifested by syntax errors in language pack files but eventually decided to give up on it. Set everyone to use the British English language pack. There were dozens of language packs installed. Three database errors had to be fixed to complete the upgrade. I stayed with default prosilver style. I disabled the contact page and set up reCaptcha V3 spambot countermeasure. I set up a home page link and installed the Advertisement management extension and placed sample ad.
  • Rehosting and conversion. This was a conversion from phpBB 2.0.16. I moved the files and database to temporary hosting for a subdomain. The board had 354,000 posts. I had to split extract of phpbb_post_text table into two extracts to get under the 50mb upload limit, as well as not carry over the search tables. Converted using phpBB 3.3.4 to avoid conversion bug, then updated to 3.3.5. I tried to install SiteSplat style but didn’t show an ad, so used ProLight style, then created a custom style based on it. The style needed to incorporate the site’s WordPress headers and footers, which took two hours of time. Installed the Advertisement Management, Site Map and Google Analytics extensions. I placed sample ad. User tested it then let me move it into place, which was a folder inside their new WordPress site done by someone else.
  • I was asked to check emailing from the board. No problems were found, but I couldn’t get to work with SMTP. I created an admin email address for domain and changed email address default for board to that. Provided guidance on subscribing to forums and topics. Later, attempted to integrate simpler WordPress theme HTML provided by their contractor but couldn’t get it to work. I moved over both the the files and database. The board came up without an issue after changes to config.php.
  • Upgraded a board from phpBB 3.2.9 to 3.3.5. I deactivated and removed a number of styles and made prosilver the default style for everyone. Upgraded the Pages extension from version 2.0.4 to 2.0.5. Originally I figured out that the reason the board did not come up was because BlueHost changed PHP to 8.0. Temporarily reverted the domain to PHP 7.3, then later after upgraded the board I enabled PHP 8.0 again.
  • Updated board from phpBB 3.3.4 to 3.3.5. Create a custom style inheriting from prosilver to simply updates next time. Since the Board3 Portal extension was installed, I changed the .htaccess file to load the portal page by default.

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