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Getting my B2Evolution Blog up

07/13/07

Permalink 02:59:17 am by guy, Categories: B2Evolution, PHP

What more appropriate topic to start my blog with than my experience setting up the blog.

I did a lot of reading on the different blogging engines before I selected this one (B2Evolution). I had originally set out to use a blog based on .NET since my host, CrystalTech, is a Windows/IIS based service for their shared hosting. I looked at Community Server, .Text, SubText, dasBlog, and so on, but unfortunately, most want to use SQL Server as their database. My hosting account is the “Intermediate” “Value” which includes IIS, PHP, ASP.Net 2.0, and MySQL 5. I wanted to get away with using MySQL which ment not doubling my monthly bill to add MSSQL Server! MSSQL Server is great, I use it daily at work along with Oracle, but I don’t think it adds value to a blog. I had to remind myself that it really doesn’t matter what language or database that the software uses, as long as it does what I need. I have no plans to hack the code, why should I, that just kills upgrade paths. Anyway, most blog software I found was PHP and MySQL which I knew I had access to, but I was concerned because everyone talks in terms of installing on Apache which isn’t even an option unless I change hosts. I decided to give it a try after wasting a ton of time agonizing about it. I decided to just try and quickly picked B2Evolution for no good reason other than it looked nice and I read some positive posts about it.

Anyway, I just installed it by first creating the database in MySQL and then copying over the required files. Then I launched the installer through my browser. I immediately got the following error:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 8388608 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 35 bytes) in
D:\Inetpub\jackman5\blogs\inc\MODEL\settings\_locale.funcs.php on line 135

This was just what I had been worried about. I had seen multiple references to PHP based tools requiring more than the default 8meg offered by many shared hosting providers. Crossing my fingers had not worked. I checked the Crystaltech forums and found a thread dealing with the 8mb limit. The sysnopsis is that they were considering making changes, but were not ready to commit. Again, against my instincts I wrote the CrystalTech support e-mail fully expecting a reply telling me that they felt bad, but too bad. Unexpectedly I had an encouraging reply via email within 30 minutes:

Hello,
You should be able to override the value using the line below.
ini_set("memory_limit","10M")
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you,
...

Sounded good, but VERY vague. Being a developer (VB, C#), I figured this belonged either in the PHP.ini file I had heard about, or somewhere in my application. I also knew that there was very little chance of getting the PHP.ini file changed on a shared server. I thought, “Maybe they think I signed up for dedicated hosting?", and followed up with an email asking for clarification. In the mean time I googled ini_set and learned a little about it. Still, I thought, if they have an 8meg limit surely they don’t allow you to just override it in code.

On a whim I decided to load up Notepad++ (a MUST-have piece of free software) and used it’s “Find in Files” functionality to search for “ini_set” in the B2Evolution zip file I had installed from. I was hoping to find an appropriate location to insert this magic line of code. Amazingly (to me, at least) the search returned this:

[C:\Users\Guy\Desktop\b2evolution\blogs\conf\_advanced.php]
Line 41 : // ini_set( 'display_errors', 'on' );
Line 46 : // ini_set( 'memory_limit', '16M' );

It was commented out, but at least I knew exactly what to try. I uncommented the setting and uploaded the file to my site. I was sure that this was a waste of time… but it worked.

So goes my first adventure… I’ll probably blog a bunch in the next couple days to clear out all these things that I always wanted to file somewhere.

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I'm a generalist, at least if I'm honest. In my job I am primarily a developer, but also a sysadmin, and (as little as possible) technical support. I know a little about a lot of things, a lot about some things, and everything about nothing. Here I will post random learnings...

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