Archives for: March 2012


Permalink 12:04:59 pm, by sarneil, 79 words, 220 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 15

add new tag or branch to svn repo

note to self on nuts and bolts
on local file system:
create the folder structure you want (if you're copying an existing local instance of an svn project, you have to delete the .svn file from each folder in that project)
on command line,
cd to parent folder of the one you want to add (that parent folder has to already be in svn)
svn commit -m "message about adding new folder"

Permalink 10:46:15 am, by sarneil, 118 words, 102 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 15

editing config files in new svn branches

There are three files in the site which contain database connection strings:

In each of these three files, the values for the database connection string have been replaced with placeholders. You have to make a copy of each of those files with the following names:
In the copies, substitute the correct values for your connection string.

If the folder is in svn (which it probably is), you'll need to use svn add to add each of the files to the repo, then do your svn commit.


Permalink 02:05:58 pm, by mholmes, 76 words, 141 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 60

Streetcar map fixed; other issues o/s

I've now fixed the streetcar map problem, by changing all filenames and references so that they're consistently referring to 1939 instead of 1936. The fixes have been committed to trunk, and put up on the website.

The other two issues remain outstanding; PD will get back to me with the correct firemap URL at Malaspina, and we'll wait until the DNS has been changed before addressing the problem with Firefox and captcha, since it seems to be cookie-related.

Permalink 08:43:47 am, by mholmes, 292 words, 108 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 45

PD has checked the site: a couple of remaining issue

PD has checked the new VIH site on taprlans/www, and reports only these issues:

  • Captcha reports errors for him on FF. I can't reproduce this -- it works fine for me -- so waiting for more details.
  • There's a link on the maps.php page pointing to the "1936 streetcar map" which fails, defaulting to the panorama, because it should point to 1939. The confusion arises thus:
    The map itself has the date "1939" on it.
    The .map file (the basic definition file) is called
    However. it contains pointers to images called:
    and this page:
    has 1936 in its caption. However. if you go to the map viewer,
    click on the Maps menu and drill down to it. you see the caption "1939
    - Streetcar routes".
    I think that:
    	- The actual date is 1939.
    	- The images are wrongly named, as are the pointers to them in
    the .map file.
    	- The caption on the maps.php page is wrong. whereas the Maps 
    menu in the map viewer is right.
    Waiting for PD to confirm my analysis before changing the image file names, the .map file, and the caption/link on maps.php.
  • PD reports this:
    The link on the page describing the 1885 Fire Insurance Plans of Victoria 
    needs to be changed. The page in question is located at:
    The hyperlink should be redirected to:
    [The link currently points to an obsolete server -
    However, the new URL is about 1891 panorama images; it has nothing about the 1985 Fire Insurance Plans. Waiting for the correct URL from PD.


Permalink 10:39:32 am, by mholmes, 104 words, 115 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 30

Removed a browser restriction on the VicFire 1891 map

There's one special map that uses SVG for its interface, and which was originally working only on FF; DB had put a complete block on other browsers, but now most of them support SVG so I've removed that block. Browsers that don't support SVG should get with the program. Committed that change to SVN, but I was unable to commit the bulk of my additions (code which was not originally in SVN, but should have been) because we ran out of disk space on We'll be switching to the new SVN on Monday, so hopefully this problem will be solved.


Permalink 03:33:08 pm, by mholmes, 187 words, 113 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 360

Got the maps working

Got the site basically working by doing this:

  • Moved everything from taprhist/vihdev/www to taprhist/www (it really doesn't like living in that odd location, and there are hard-coded paths in several text files).
  • Removed "vihdev" from paths in config files.
  • Cleaned out the /home1t/taprhist/www/content/maps/cache folder so it had to start rebuilding.
  • Now we found that most maps were working, but a handful were failing. The failing maps had one line in their .map file:
          "queryable" "true"
          "tile_source" "cache"     <-- This line has to be removed.
    Our surmise is that this problem line causes the server to construct a broken path to a cache folder that doesn't exist or isn't writable, and therefore it cannot read or construct tiles.

We now propose to have the DNS repointed so that points at taprhist/www, and keep the live site there.

Greg also noticed that is broken; outside of the ring it's pointing at DNS servers, so he's emailed PD to get him to fix that on the domain host.


Permalink 03:52:25 pm, by sarneil, 417 words, 131 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 300

missing maps resist debugging

I've been working for the better part of the last couple of days trying to figure out why the imap maps in ViHistory are not appearing.
Problem appears with the production front end and a test front end connected to either the old db server or the new db server.
Problem appears with a test front end which is the production front end minus the captcha code (which is the only code that has changed since Jamie left us a working site).
We weren't getting errors when we trolled the server logs on lettuce.
We did get the following errors from the sysadmin:
Apache error log:

[Tue Mar 06 09:16:21 2012] [error] [client] [Tue Mar 6
09:16:21 2012].616424 loadSymbolSet(): Unable to access file.
(/home1t/taprhist/www/content/maps/user/symbol/generic.sym), referer:

AND syslog:

2012-03-06T09:16:21-08:00 user.notice
php-cgi: PHP Warning: [MapServer Error]: loadSymbolSet(): (/home1t/taprhist/www/content/maps/user/symbol/generic.sym)
2012-03-06T09:16:21-08:00 user.notice in: /home1t/taprhist/vihdev/www/content/maps/htdocs/init.php on line 125
2012-03-06T09:16:21-08:00 user.notice
php-cgi: PHP Warning: Failed to open map file /home1t/taprhist/vihdev/www/content/maps/user/map/ in /home1t/taprhist/vihdev/www/content/maps/htdocs/init.php on line 125
2012-03-06T09:16:21-08:00 user.notice
php-cgi: PHP Fatal error: Call to a member function getMetaData() on a non-object in /home1t/taprhist/vihdev/www/content/maps/htdocs/init.php on line 131
2012-03-06T09:16:21-08:00 local0.debug
suphp_wrapper: 0 PHP5

That init file is as provided by the imap people, so I really, really doubt it is causing the problem, though it is the where a problem occurs. It looks like that file is trying to create objects based on what it reads from some kind of config file, and somehow that process is breaking down, so the object doesn't get created, so invoking a method on the (non-existant or empty) object throws the error. MOre precisely, it looks like the config.php file is supposed to create an array in the variable aszMapFiles and then those values are used in the init file, but for some reason something is failing with the way that array and associated variables are being populated.


Permalink 04:57:58 pm, by sarneil, 51 words, 95 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 180

post-gres based maps not showing up

User reported that none of the post-gres based maps (insurance etc) for ViHistory are appearing. The imap infrastructure appears in the browser window, but no image tiles. PD forwarded this and I confirmed it. Spent a number of hours with Greg and Drew trying to solve the problem. Still not resolved.


viHistory is a web site that is a teaching, learning and research tool. It's principally about the history of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, but it is also a vehicle for exploring the larger field of Canadian history during the late 19th and early part of the 20th century. It allows census, directory and tax assessment roll data from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to be searched in many ways. It also incorporates IMaP to display historical maps. The project director is Dr. Patrick A. Dunae.



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