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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, September 14, 2007

For Want of a Backslash, The Website Was Lost

The Sunshop 4.0.1 upgrade that you’ve been reading about for nearly two years is now in progress. Due to the magnitude of the changes, I decided to start with an entirely new install rather than risk introducing bugs and downtime by patching my existing store. While my developer (Eric) works on customizing the standard templates, I’m applying all of the settings and customizations that are within my grasp.

There’s a lot of default text to rewrite. Much of it resides in a .php file. Yesterday, I spent perhaps an hour customizing various messages and interface strings. Then I decided to place a few dummy transactions to generate some email messages. But the 401 store is isolated from the database. So I I had to create a dummy product, and for that, I had to create a category to put it in. Which I did, whereupon the store and the admin interface both promptly crashed to a plain white screen.

After a fruitless hour of troubleshooting, I ran crying to Eric. The verdict? I didn’t “escape” my apostrophes. You have to type backslash-quote in a php file: “don\’t”. I actually knew this. The ability of rogue single quotes to bring down the site entirely, however, came as news. Learning this lesson cost me most of a day’s progress, plus at least an hour of development charges.

In unrelated news…

Last week I mentioned the interruption in my free krakenenterprises account. I did ultimately cough up $5 to turn the address back on. Now I need to remove the email links from my Kraken website. I’ve gotten over 100 spams before lunchtime today. All of them are addressed to my two krakenenterprises.com mailboxes. Some spambot is having a field day.

Oh, and business is still very strong. I am going to absolutely demolish last September’s weak sales results.

The Fall Boston Gift Show is tomorrow. If there's anything remotely interesting about it, I'll tell you next week.

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