May 2022 work summary

No question that this was a slow month. Having released a new edition of my book and having updated most of my extensions, there wasn’t much to fill in the slack. I did release version 3.3.15 of my digests extension, but the changes were very minor. And I released a development version of a Notify admin on new error log entry extension for comment.

For my large commercial client, we completed our own testing and patched a number of minor bugs. It now goes to a more formal internal review by the company.

For another long standing commercial client, I helped troubleshoot a number of issues. The server had been moved from one virtual private server to another some months back. This caused a Let’s Encrypt certificate issue to manifest itself. I don’t consider myself a system administrator but was able through trial and error in Plesk to figure it out. Essentially, the new server couldn’t work with an old package that kept Let’s Encrypt updated and I had to install a new one while figuring out why it kept complaining that the certificate was out of date. I also installed the Auto Groups extension to ensure newly registered users were put into a Subscribers group I created. Anyone in this group gets emails when new posts are made.

Other work in May:

  • A client’s sessions table needed repair. I repaired it then changed all tables to use the INNODB storage engine. I had to write a script to do this rather than use phpMyAdmin because the logged in phpMyAdmin user did not have the permissions to do this. I provided guidance on how to remove or reduce administrator permissions for a user.
  • Updated a board from phpBB 3.3.0 to 3.3.5. I also changed PHP from 7.2 to 8.1, which required enabling mysqli. I updated the parent Absolution style from version 3.3.0 to 3.3.5. I investigated a WordPress error but only noticed that there was a complaint in the dashboard that PHP 7.2 was no longer supported, so updating PHP to 8.0 solved that. A digest cron was disabled that had to be re-enabled. Had to increase the memory size for PHP to avoid a timeout manually running digests. The simple mentions extension required reparsing of tables to get it working again.
  • Rehosted a board with 330,000 posts and 43GB of files from Network Solutions to Dreamhost. Worked with customer to determine good plan on Dreamhost he picked a VPS solution. Customer moved files to Dreamhost because he has a much speedier connection than me, saving him some money and time. I loaded and moved events database and software (something I had written for him years ago, and sits outside of phpBB), updating the database connection statements so it would find the right database. I loaded this database from extract provided by customer. I then upgraded the board from phpBB 3.3.3 to 3.3.7. I upgraded the Add user extension from 1.0.4 to 1.0.5. I set up two email accounts on the new host. I changed the DNS to Dreamhost for the client. I also got email integrated again. This feature no longer worked on the old host. I installed a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. I remade the search index (chose MySQL fulltext) and disabled Google search extension, which was no longer needed.
  • I billed a client for miscellaneous work on a site he is relaunching since I last helped him in January. The work involved about three hours of answering questions mostly related to integrating phpBB forum feeds into WordPress. I installed two extensions: Smartfeed and Install External Link in New Windows. I later updated phpBB from 3.3.5 to 3.3.7 and the American English language pack to 4.7.0.
  • Performed a commercial upgrade from phpBB 3.0.11 to 3.3.7. No mods and no style issues to worry about and only 4000 posts. I disabled contact form. Set up and tested reCaptcha V3 spambot countermeasure. I disabled SMTP because of certificate mismatch issue. I set up home page link.

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