Computational rage


in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Rants

Only nerds and the nerd-tolerant should proceed past this point.

I finally bought TextEdit because I was really annoyed with how slow the web interface for WordPress has been. Unfortunately, TextMate is not compatible with WordPress 2.2.2 or 2.2.3, for reasons that are quite incomprehensible to me. (They have to do with XMLRPC and the formatting of time and date stamps.) It seems possible that upgrading to WordPress 2.3 will make TextMate work again. Unfortunately, upgrading WordPress might break my theme or my plugins. It has been breaking RSS feeds, as well as crashing Safari.

I am a bit obsessive about proper maintenance of computer systems and it drives me crazy when things don’t work as they should. I find that I cannot really concentrate on anything else until the problem is resolved. As such, it seems likely that I will have a very poor night’s sleep before my trip to Montreal: whether because I spend too many hours trying to fix these bugs or because the distraction of their existence forbids me from getting any real rest.

The best option is probably to make a full backup of my WordPress 2.2.2 install (both on the FTP side and the MySQL side), try upgrading to WordPress 2.3, test my theme and plugins, verify that RSS works properly, and then see whether TextMate can be made to talk to the upgraded version. Of course, that would take hours, and now is really not the time.

[Update: 31 October 2007] This site has been upgraded to WordPress 2.3.1. Happily, this has resolved the issue described above. Please report any bugs, particularly relating to the spam filters.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan October 24, 2007 at 2:37 am

The fix to make TextMate work with WordPress 2.2.X is insane.

First, you need to install the Apple Xcode tools.

Then, you need to install something called MacPorts. Doing so is a lengthy process that involves installing XWindows (X11) and setting up a bunch of things in the shell.

Once you have done that, you use MacPorts to install a new version of something called ruby. I don’t think ruby is the same thing as Ruby on Rails, but I may be confused.

Then, you need to do more shell configuration.

All this because “Unfortunately WordPress 2.2.1 introduced a Z in the date format which breaks Ruby 1.8.2’s XML-RPC parser.”

Unfortunately indeed!

Milan October 24, 2007 at 2:38 am

Description of the XMLRPC problem:

“There has been a few problems related to correct dates. This comes from the fact that the dateCreated argument (in the XML-RPC protocol) has no time zone info, and until WordPress 2.2 it was interpreted mostly as server time.

Starting with WordPress 2.2 this field is GMT and dates should be offset correctly.

Unfortunately WordPress 2.2.1 introduced a Z in the date format which breaks Ruby 1.8.2’s XML-RPC parser — so if you use WordPress 2.2.1 then you need to update your installed Ruby version. If you have MacPorts installed then you can run sudo port install ruby and update your PATH. See RubyVersionIssues for help with that.

Even more unfortunately, the next version of WordPress will revert its date handling to before 2.2 and so, after that release, dates will again use the wrong offset.”

Milan October 24, 2007 at 2:42 am

XMLRPC related entries on the forums

I am now officially going to sleep…

Anonymous October 24, 2007 at 2:47 am

Only nerds and the nerd-tolerant should proceed past this point read this blog in the first place.


Milan October 24, 2007 at 3:10 am

The sandbox / whipping boy blog has been upgraded to WordPress 2.3. (No need for extensive backups or testing there.) It doesn’t seem to crash Safari.

TextMate 1.5.6 seems to talk with that installation happily enough.

This means I just need to work through the steps described in the last paragraph of the post above. Perhaps I can do so while on the train tomorrow.

Now, to actually get to sleep.

Milan October 24, 2007 at 8:29 am

Apparently, upgrading to Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) will also fix the problem.

There is one other good reason to do so: Memory randomization to protect against buffer overflows.

. October 24, 2007 at 10:05 am
Ashley October 24, 2007 at 11:08 am

Not true, Anon, as an intellectual non-scholar I am variable in my nerd tolerance. Thank you for prefacing an article with such a caveat, it prevented my brain from imploding.

R.K. October 25, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Don’t sweat this stuff.

Enjoy Montreal.

Milan October 25, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Not true, Anon, as an intellectual non-scholar I am variable in my nerd tolerance.

You are a positive nerdophile – look at your group of friends.

Anon October 29, 2007 at 1:38 am

WordPress 2.3.1 is out. I hope you haven’t already gone through the trouble of upgrading to 2.3.

Milan November 17, 2007 at 8:33 pm

TextMate is really pretty great.

I getting more familiar with the features and finding new ones all the time. I especially like the ‘wrap word as link’ tool and some of the ‘snippets.’

The integration with Fetch is also excellent and highly useful.

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