Brendan Dawes
The Art of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 19th July 2020

This was the week my site, and a few sites I host, totally blew up, and not in good way.

It started with a text from a restaurant owning friend of mine, whose site I designed many years ago and still continue to host. It uses the Perch CMS, yet on this Monday morning, my friend went to update the site and the page was full of error messages. After doing some checking, my site was also showing errors — though I don't use Perch.

The culprit was a new version of PHP which Mediatemple — my host provider — had migrated to. Previously everything had been running fine on PHP 5, but there's quite a lot of differences with 5 and 7, apparently. After digging through the code and reading lots of Stackoverflow (and zero response from the makers of Perch), I managed to track the bugs down, caused mostly by PHP 7 being a lot more strictly typed, particularly with arrays.

A couple of hours later I had things back up and running. Since all that code wrangling, I found out I could have just set the PHP version to 5.* and it would have quickly fixed everything. At least this way it's a little more future proof.

Meanwhile I was wrestling with CSS and responsive shit. This is the last time I'll do a client piece of work involving web technologies. Not for me.