Spelling Fix Directive on Modwest Hosting Provider

April 12, 2011

Caveat: Modwest is a really dependable hosting service but it is sometimes hard to locate info from Knowledge base support.

While uploading our new course player which loaded swf files that had corresponding audio files to be played (audio files which had been named but not created yet), I noticed that random audio files were being played with each page. Rather a disconnect between what was being visually seen and what you were hearing from some random audio file. This was unexpected since it was not happening on my local testbed server.

I then noticed in my error_log on Modwest that when a file could not be found that a message in the following basic format was output:

“Spelling fix: /”missing filename here ” [info] Audio file requested but does not exist 20 candidates from http://mysite/callingPage.swf

and then some random file would be selected that was considered a best match.

I had a difficult time trying to find out how to turn off this feature but finally my googling skills found this information about the Apache http server having a mod_speling extension:


I really like how it is spelled mod_speling with a single L in spelling:)

I then was able to find the appropriate link on Modwest by searching for checkspelling(which is the apache directive to enable/disable the spelling module) at the support site(support.modwest.com) to find this link:

So I created an .htaccess file in my www directory which had the following in it:
CheckSpelling Off

This directive then holds for all subdirectories as well. Random files were no longer being selected. Done.


phpMyAdmin – Installing LAMP/MAMP on Snow Leopard/Mac Pro Part II

January 14, 2010

The only missing piece from the LAMP configuration was the phpMyAdmin package. So I did the following:

  1. Downloaded the zip file for phpMyAdmin from www.phpmyadmin.net
  2. unzip the downloaded fie
  3. rename phpMyAdmin…3.2.5 to phpMyAdmin
  4. copy the directory to the apache server location(/Library/Webserver/Documents)
  5. FAQS stated – you need to create your own config.inc.php. I started from config.sample.inc.php
  6. Go to http://localhost/phpMyAdmin which should show you the login view

My config.inc.php is displayed below

Continue reading

Installing LAMP/MAMP on Snow Leopard/Mac Pro Part I

January 14, 2010

I am coming from a windows background and loved the simplicity and ease of use of WAMP when it came out. So I looked for the comparable package for my new Mac Pro. I had heard about MAMP so I jumped on that package.

I used this article from Sitepoint to get started: Build Your Own Database Drive Website Using PHP and MySql, Part I: Installation. If you are starting out, I highly recommend buying this book to get you up and running. I followed the directions to install MAMP. I was rather disappointed. I guess the comparable package to WAMP is MAMP Pro. I had the following problems:

  • MySQL socket – even after I set the socket to the default of 3306, it kept reverting to 8889 after I stopped and started MAMP
  • MySql startup was error prone and the logs spewed out warnings using the default mysql settings which have been noted on other sites(lower_case_table_names warning,Plugin ‘FEDERATED’ is Disabled,plugin ‘ndbcluster’ is disabled, can’t find a file ./mysql/plugin.frm’,etc)
  • Missing ini files – my.cnf or my.ini,php.ini
  • Tried to configure the system to start automatically on startup using plist files unsuccessfully, mainly because of mysql issues

Continue reading

PHP Session Timeout Problems

August 28, 2009

Users of our website were being timed out when they stopped using their computer for an extended period of time(Whether being interrupted by someone or going to the bathroom, you get the idea). This caused issues when they tried to pick up where they left off when taking one of our courses.

For example, if they were lucky and selected another php page, the session variable was checked and they were automatically logged out. But if they tried to launch a new course from the current php page, the player would be launched and indicate that the page could not be found which was misleading. The user had actually been timed out.

In other words, the desired timeout response was only triggered if the page was refreshed or a new page was loaded, otherwise a user would get misleading http response messages.

I finally found the following blog entry explanation The Quest to Conquer the PHP Session Timeout which provided the solution I needed.

Solution: modification of the session.gc_maxlifetime variable value.

In the php.ini file I changed the value of
session.gc_maxlifetime = 1440
session.gc_maxlifetime = 86400

Solution to problem, changing the php default session timeout from 24 minutes to 24 hours.

Protected: Transfer site to Modwest

June 2, 2009

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Using Runtime Configured Services in Flex

May 18, 2009

Now that I have

  1. Passed FlashVars to Flex using php
  2. Dynamically configured Flex runtime services from FlashVars

The flex application can now request the actual service using the channel setting defined in the initialization function in step 2 above. Continue Reading

Passing FlashVars to Flex using php (w/o SWFObject)

May 18, 2009

Recommendation – use SWFObject to pass flashVars into a flex swf file application since it simplifies the whole process. The passing of data is centralized and taken care of for you in an OOP programmatic fashion.

My intent was to pass server data into a flex based application so that it could be configured dynamically on the fly.  I did not want to hardcode these  values into the application in case I moved the web application to anther URL.  I wanted to pass the server path and the php context root values as flashVars.

The first step was to generate a php file that would pass this information into the flex application. I started by grabbing the html code generated by the flex compiler. Continue Reading