If you visited CK anytime between 5pm this afternoon and 10 minutes ago you witness a really confusing muddle of a half-installed WP theme and a cascade of PHP errors.
That’s all due to some sprucing up I did today to prepare for my big November plans for CK. November will mark my 10th anniversary on WordPress, and my ninth anniversary on this lovely, plain little WP theme, Very Plain Text.
I don’t tend to give a lot of thought to the interoperability of old things until they up and die. I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that E’s iPad from 2010 is trapped on version 5.something of IOS and cannot load any apps from the App Store since the lowest IOS they’ve been developed for is v6. I was puzzled when my old PreSonus FirePod didn’t have drivers to work on the newest operating systems – sure, it’s a decade old, but I payed good money for that hardware only a decade ago!
The sad fact is, a decade is now forever when it comes to technology. Heck, four years is practically an eternity. It’s not so much planned obsolescence as forced obsolescence.
Which brings me to tonight. I did a bad developer thing and changed multiple variables of my WP install at once without backing up first, and as a result none of my plugins wanted to speak to each other on the Admin Panel anymore. To make things worse, when I turned on debugging in WP_Config, a massive litany of errors unfurled because apparently when your WP theme was last updated to work with WP2.6 and you’re on WB4.6 pretty much every function call it uses has been deprecated in some way. It was impossible to figure out what other things were broken through the waterfall of complaints about my theme.
Three frantic hours of pulling back-ups later and everything was back to normal (well, normal for my 9yr-old theme) except for my one most relied-upon plugin, WordPress Editorial Calendar. It was still borked.
I’ve written about my love for WordPress Editorial Calendar before, and that love has never ceased. Nothing ever gets done here without it; if you notice I’m making halfway decent posts at a rate of more than once per week, it’s because I am spending quality time with my EdCal. Yet, even after all of my rollbacks it was still throwing a “Unable to Parse” and “Unexpected token” error. I was tearing my newly re-purpled hair out. There was only one hit on Google and WordPress.org and it had no guidance for me. I had reversed everything to the state it was in when I woke up this morning!
Except… except when I rolled out of bed this morning and immediately started doing SQL in Sequel Pro (seriously: not working at an analytics company anymore, but that is still my life), I noticed a few recent post titles that had wrong punctuation and edited them directly in SQL. And some of that punctation could be escape characters in some contexts. Could it be that even thought the rest of my blog was fine, those unescaped title characters were killing my EdCal?
So, if you’re ever getting those errors on EdCal, try going far into the future and then scrolling back week by week until you hit a week that throws the error, then review your post titles for that week.
And, I’m very grateful that everything is back to nine-year-old normalcy here on CK. You should take a moment right now to appreciate some of the older things in your life whose function you take for granted.