Backup Before Upgrading

There is a bug in Breadcrumb NavXT 3.5.0’s install script that will reset your settings on activation. If you do not want to lose your settings, please export them using the Import/Export/Reset tab, and then Import them after upgrading to 3.5.0. Next week 3.5.1 will be released to address this problem and a few others that were discovered today by myself and others (probably Monday night).

As for how these made it into the main release, there is no one to blame for it but myself. As I work directly out of my testbed, I don’t activate/deactivate my plugins except when to test the install script. The actual cause was back in 3.4.0 when I changed ‘tag_’ to ‘post_tag_’ in some of the option names to fit with the custom taxonomy support (and WordPress’ name for tags). However, 3.4.x had a bug where the install script did not actually run (in most cases). When that was fixed with the rewrite of much of the administrative interface code, this dormant bug appeared, but I didn’t notice it until today while trying to fix a bug with the “Archive by Date Suffix” setting.

Moving forward, if you are using Breadcrumb NavXT in a system that does not use the default settings, please do a settings export before upgrading. This will save everyone headaches in the future. Also, I try to fairly transparent about development progress, and almost always announce when the plugin is going to translators for translation updates. This is typically a week before I intend on releasing it. In this time, please feel free to test out the SVN trunk for bugs that may affect you. Since there are features in Breadcrumb NavXT that I do not routinely use, I may not catch bugs in these areas. The more people looking at the release candidate, the fewer number of bugs that will make it through (same goes for WordPress as well). As always, if something is broken let me know.

-John Havlik

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An Unexpect End Error

Ok, so a few of you have reported a PHP error involving an unexpected $end in breadcrumb_navxt_admin.php on line 1567. After some searching and thinking, the cause was found. Line 1248 of breadcrumb_navxt_admin.php has an improper opening tag (<? instead of <?php). For some reason only Windows based PHP installations were catching this. None-the-less, this has been fixed in the SVN trunk and a bug fix release, 3.4.1, will be made next week.

As one has not been able to reproduce this error on either of one’s testbeds, feedback from those who had this error is essential to ensuring that it is fixed. If you experience the error with Breadcrumb NavXT 3.4.0, please try the SVN trunk and see if it is resolved and report back in the comments section of this post.

-John Havlik

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Let’s Play a Game

Question: What causes the following error in Apache’s error logs?

[IP_address] Undeclared entity warning at line 226, column 1

Answer: A fairly popular, yet, poorly written WordPress plugin.

The first time this error hit the error_log, one had no clue what was causing it. Unfortunately, the error does not indicate what file triggers the error. However, it will include the referring URI, if applicable. That’s how one found the specific virtual host on the server that was triggering the error. Next, was finding the infringing code. To do this, one added define('WP_DEBUG', true); to the wp-config.php file for the virtual host. Now, there will be an avalanche of errors and warnings for most sites, all that needs to be done is sift through them and look for ones like “undeclared variable” and “undeclared index”.

Now, what was the actual culprit? The Twitter-for-Wordpress plugin. Specifically, lines 100, and 158. Line 100 tries to increment a non-initialized variable. To fix the issue on line 100, add a new line between line 66 and 67 and place in it $i = 0;. The error on line 158 is it tries to use the undeclared variable $username. What probably happened was author copied the line directly from line 53, while not properly modified for its location. Line 158 should read:
$messages = fetch_rss(''.$item['username'].'.rss');

After these two changes everything should be good to go. Yes, the plugin author was notified of these problems. We’ll see when they officially get fixed in the plugin.

-John Havlik

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Windows 7 Beta 1

Like with Vista, I’m beta testing again. This time, I’m using something a little more powerful, my laptop. Since it came with Vista, some direct comparisons can be done. The first thing to note is Windows 7 Beta 1 is just that, a beta. Though I have yet to have something on it crash, there are some visual bugs that need to be worked out. In certain circumstances I am getting visual corruption in Aero. One thing that was improved right off the bat was wireless networking support. Vista was much better than XP, likewise Windows 7 is much better than Vista in this regard.

Booting does not seem much faster than with Vista, but I am using a slightly slower hard drive, and all my ready boost stuff is disabled at the moment. The sound driver that was installed did not work for the built in speakers on my laptop, but installing a Vista driver for it resolved the issue. Like Vista, the automatic installation of drivers is improved greatly over XP. Unlike Vista, in Windows 7 more information about the devise, and process the installer is following is available. Most devices are just plug-n-play with Windows 7, even more so than with Vista.

The window peaking, and new taskbar are two things I’d throw onto the improvement list. On the taskbar you can move around the currently active applications in a manner that reminds me of Avant Window Navigator (OS X is probably like that too). The mouse gestures will take a little bit to get used to and fully learn, so I won’t comment fully on them at this time.

There are still quite a few problems, but hey, it’s a beta so it’s my job to let Microsoft know about them. The first issues is FTP support, it sucks. Vista FTP support wasn’t much better than XP, they both have issues if you double click on an file (they both try to open the files in Internet Explorer). In Windows 7 Beta 1 I can not even log into my FTP folder, all authenticated FTP accesses fail with the error “The handle is invalid.”

Printer drivers for older USB devices do not exist. My HP Officejet v40 (which is built better than most new printers) had drivers built in to Windows since XP. In Vista the included drivers were slow and made printing painfull, in Windows 7 the drivers are not there. HP does not even distribute Vista drivers for the Officejet v40, so unless you have Vista and rip the drivers out of it, or are resourceful with Google, you are SOL.

There are some screen corruption issues, where Aero flakes out, or the font does not render properly. The font issue is reproducible, go add a printer, and scroll quickly through the driver listing (not using the scroll wheel but instead the scroll bar). It is a flaw in the rendering of the letter ‘e’, and specifically the horizontal line is too thick (two to three times the thickness it should be). The fact that a screen capture using the Print Screen button captures this points to a rendering issue caused by windows rather than a driver issue. Using the ClearType configuration utility (a quick, six step, which text chunk looks best ‘test’ ) seems to resolve this issue.

The Aero corruption issue may be a graphics driver issue. So far I have not found a method that reliably reproduces the issue. It will some times affect the taskbar, when opening and closing windows, or minimizing and maximizing them. Sometimes it will affect the titlebar of an application.

Overall Windows 7 is shaping up to be a good replacement for Vista and XP. Sure the Beta has some bugs, but then again it’s a beta.

-John Havlik

Beta 2 Problems

It looks like the Breadcrumb NavXT 3.0 Beta 2 has an issue with migrating settings over from 2.1.x. The SVN trunk should have a fix for this, please download that instead of Beta 2 at this time. A few other miscellaneous things are preventing the full release. Expect these to be cleared up by Thursday. Thus, the release will happen either Thursday evening, or Sunday night. Oh, and WPMU should be supported by the SVN Trunk version now, but it needs testing by WPMU users.

Download Breadcrumb NavXT – SVN Trunk.

-John Havlik

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