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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

The Joys(?) of Open Source Software - Thu, 27 Dec 2007

I thought it would be good to install the same packages on my own computer that I’ll have on my new website. That way, I could experiment and set up the site the way I wanted without doing it live.

So off I went, merrily downloading the scripting language PHP, the database MySQL, the database manager phpMyAdmin, the list manager phpList, the blog tool WordPress and the forum software Vanilla.

Mine is a Windows machine. I already have experience with the Web Server IIS that comes with Windows. It was just a matter of installing the other packages under it. Should only take a few hours, shouldn’t it.

Well, yes. It only took a few hours for the install. What wasn’t easy was getting the settings right. It took the next three days to track down and fix all the problems that prevented anything/everything from working. I had a wonderful set of error messages pop up, such as: “Cannot load mysql extension. Please check your PHP configuration.”, “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL which is required for WordPress”, “Permission denied (13)” mysql windows” and “access denied for user “ODBC’@'localhost’”. Look up any of those phrases on Google, and you’ll see I’m not alone in encountering them.

So after researching each of these in sequence and trying the various fixes that were suggested for Windows and IIS, I made very slow frustrating progress.

Luckily, I found a page that gave me everything I needed and let me finally get the settings right. Ironically, it is a documentation site for a genealogy program. The program is phpgedview, and is an open source program to view and edit your genealogy on your website. It has been around for years and I am quite familiar with it. If you know something about programming in PHP and have your own website, it’s an excellent product to make your genealogy web-based.

But take a look at the great instruction page they have that helped me out. It’s extremely well layed out, simple to follow, pictures at every step, and it works. I only wish I found it three days ago. Oh well. At least that’s done now.

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