22 Oct 2008

More Apache Hassles

I want to include the vertical menus on my webside by server side includes -

using the <!-- #include --> directive - this however took me a little while to cope with.

Firstly there are two forms -

<!--#include file="somefile.html" -->
<!--#include virtual="someotherfile.html"-->

now file will strangely not resolve any file that isn't in or below the directory of the file that
it is currently being included from. i.e. fully enumerated paths and the '..' symbol won't work.

virtual on the other hand will include a file anywhere, but importantly starts at the 'document root directory'

In apache2 as included and installed in mac OSX 10.5.5 the document root is /Library/WebServer/Documents

which is different from the individual users Site home directory. which is in a directory something like -


As I don't want to host my website from that directory - i have to go back and change the apache
config file again - which regular readers may recall is hidden away in private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf

it turns out you need to change this to -

# DocumentRoot: The directory out of which you will serve your
# documents. By default, all requests are taken from this directory, but
# symbolic links and aliases may be used to point to other locations.
DocumentRoot "/Library/WebServer/Documents"
and replace with the path to your sites folder, mine is "/Users/someuser/Sites"

Then find-

# This should be changed to whatever you set DocumentRoot to.
<Directory "/Library/WebServer/Documents">
And change there as well, e.g.

<Directory "/Users/someuser/Sites">

restarting apache2 is of course necessary to make it work....

\\localhost should change - but \\localhost wont find an index.shtml which is annoying.

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11 Oct 2008


I have always had trouble remembering which way the boolean values map in C (1 = TRUE, 0 = FALSE )
Although TRUE and FALSE are not actually defined unless you do a type_def

Of course it is worth remembering that C treat evaluation of any non-zero result as true.

So if ( 100 ) do something; // will mean always do it. and...

if (! 100) do something; // will mean never do it.

So ok fair enough, but then in objective C we do have a BOOL type with YES and NO as values
but how exactly do the two interrelate and can you assume YES is the same as TRUE?

Another few hours struggling to find an issue with displaying CSS on Apache2

The blog pages currently use two cascading style sheets - and some of the styles were rendering
properly and others not. PearsonMain.css was not rendering but OMWB.css was rendering. After hours of
trying to find in something that was wrong with the PearsonMain.css file I had a look int he Apache2 log file

In Mac OS 10.5 (at least for me) this meant going into terminal using the cd command to get to var/log/apache2
and then using the tail command - tail access_log to see the apache access log.

I got the following..... - - [11/Oct/2008:18:22:48 +0100] "GET /~tim/Car/Car-OMWB.shtml HTTP/1.1" 200 1191 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:22:48 +0100] "GET /~tim/images/achnag_from_the_air.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 6527 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:22:48 +0100] "GET /~tim/OMWB.css HTTP/1.1" 200 398 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:22:48 +0100] "GET /~tim/PearsonMain.css HTTP/1.1" 403 222 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:22:48 +0100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 404 209

which meant that the server wasn't even reading the missing css file?

Then I remembered something about access permissions and so I went to the directory and used the chmod command
to set ALL access permissions to the non-rendering css file - as shown below -

Tims-iMac:Sites tim$ chmod a+rwx PearsonMain.css
Tims-iMac:Sites tim$ ls -l
total 136
drwxr-xr-x 11 tim staff 374 11 Oct 18:15 Car
drwxr-xr-x 8 tim staff 272 11 Oct 10:48 Computing
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tim staff 398 11 Oct 18:08 OMWB.css
-rwxr-----@ 1 tim staff 1837 11 Oct 13:11 PearsonMain copy.css
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 tim staff 1440 11 Oct 18:05 PearsonMain.css
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tim staff 1440 11 Oct 18:09 PearsonMain2.css
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 tim staff 1466 5 Sep 18:59 family.css
-rwxrwxrwx 1 tim staff 1118 27 Apr 12:46 family_handheld.css
drwxrwxrwx 20 tim staff 680 8 Oct 10:08 images
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 tim staff 2104 10 Oct 19:35 index.shtml
Tims-iMac:Sites tim$ <br />

And sure enough this solved the problem, and now the access_log file could be seen not nly getting the
css file but also the other files it references

Tims-iMac:apache2 tim$ tail access_log - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/Car/Car-OMWB.shtml HTTP/1.1" 200 1191 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/OMWB.css HTTP/1.1" 200 398 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/images/achnag_from_the_air.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 6527 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/PearsonMain.css HTTP/1.1" 200 1440 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 404 209 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/images/header_fill_pic.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 990 - - [11/Oct/2008:18:52:54 +0100] "GET /~tim/images/PFW_Title_Bar.jpg HTTP/1.1" 200 9843
Tims-iMac:apache2 tim$ <br />

IN fact I only needed to turn on the read permission for 'other permissions' so the following would have
done ....

Tims-iMac:Sites tim$ chmod o+r PearsonMain.css

Key learning point - if you are using Apache2 to serve your files then make sure it has the relevant file
permissions......It seems a strange Apple quirk that you have to swap from friendly GUI apps right down to
Unix commands to achieve this....surely there must be a better way (don't call me shirley).

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10 Oct 2008

How to change the organization name in the objective C development environment

From Terminal

defaults write com.apple.xcode PBXCustomTemplateMacroDefinitions'{ ORGANIZATIONNAME = "Tim Pearson"; }'

To add a class in the objective C development environment

New file | choose template xcode from list on left | select objective-c class then finish

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9 Oct 2008

Relatively little done today, I have tidied up some of the code, and I have made some alterations

to allow the output to be put in the right locations - so that it links to the main site home page.

This generated me a new problem, in that it was the first time I had run the blog output under apache.
(as opposed to just opening the file from the computer - see yesterday's post if this doesn't make sense)

Running under apache2 browsing from safari gave me a problem that only one of the two style sheets
loaded by the header to each page - seemed to be having any effect - so the pages are rendering

You can see the difference looking at the same test pages below - they are exaclty the same bit of
html/css, not even copies the same files in the same place - it's just one is being served by apache
and one is being opened directly from the file system.

Here is it loaded with Apache -

some placeholder words for the tool tip

And here it is loaded as a straight file form the browser -

some placeholder words for the tool tip


Other things to do -

1/ Multiple Blogs - the code is really designed only to do one blog at a time at the moment, as I eventually
want it to do all the blogs then I think I should fix this soon.

2/ jpgs/pngs/gifs etc. - it doesn't move them around or put the links in for them at all yet

3/ filling up the navigation bar

4/ testing it on an online system

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8 Oct 2008

Four hours for one configuration line!!

Is it really worth this part of my life - probably not.

some placeholder words for the tool tip

OK, so more blah here

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