May 20, 2011

As happens from time to time in a software cycle, errors occur. A software cycle is the life of a given piece of software. Products which are not static, but experience updates have more opportunities for error because the code in the software is being changed or added to for improvement purposes.  Errors should not mark a software package as good or bad because errors are merely a part of the statistical chances for things to happen in a fluid environment. Anyway, I use sofware called IntenseDebate to handle the comments to my blogs: this, my projects blog or my chronicle about my cancer on Deludia. They do a great job making sure that robots don’t create comment rights and deluge me and everyone with ads for viagra and the other crap. They also archive all of my comments, allow me to combine multiple blog comments or operate them separately, as well as a host of other niceties that make administering these websites a lot easier.

But, in the last update of IntenseDebate an error was distributed which had the terrifying effect of blanking the screen of every blog page, including the admin pages. Eeek! There was no way to fix this via a web browser, it would take a little bit of command line action. I knew that the problem was IntenseDebate, after all everything was fine until the update was performed. So I renamed the IntenseDebate directory to xIntenseDebate and went back and checked the blog. It was working again but had no comments, of course. Since I run two blogs, and I only had updated the one so far, I went to the other blog and took a copy of intensedebate.php and copied it to the xIntenseDebate directory, then renamed the directory back to intensedebate. Bingo! Using the old version brought it back to life.

IntenseDebate has already updated the released update and so all I had to do was hit the update button and I was graduated to the latest version, without the error.

I thought I would explain all of this in case they had an IntenseDebate plugin or other plugin issue. In WordPress, you can always just rename or delete a plugin directory from the plugins folder and WordPress will go merrily on without it, complaining a bit that it was unable to find the plugin so it deactivated it.  In other words, it’s easy to fix issues with the external components to WordPress. Being able to disconnect them or manipulate them as I did is a great plus to the system. If I had to though, I could have simply deleted the IntenseDebate directory and the program from WordPress then re-installed it from scratch. Because IntenseDebate archives all comments, you can re-integrate them to your blog with a button click.


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