Archive for the ‘Programming’ Category

Speedy support reply from Zoho

October 11, 2010

I am posting this to thank the team at http://zoho.com

Zoho Cloud Spreadsheet Support replied as follow:

Thank you for your detailed feedback. We tried the scenarios that you mentioned in your email. Below are our observations. We can also have a desktop sharing session using Zoho Assist to help us understand the issues better.

1) Copy/Paste large no. of rows:

We had already tested Zoho Sheet with 10000 rows and 10 columns of data and this has worked fine. We have also tried copy/paste of all the 10,000 rows of the file sent by you. The copy/paste what we have tried was done on the same sheet. We did not face any issue here. Let us know, if you have tried to copy data from external applications and paste it in Zoho Sheet.

2) Formula corruption and error:
We noticed the formula error only in the following scenario. And that too, this is the expected behavior which can be seen in MS Excel as well. I am not sure, if this is what you tried.

a) Import the file ZohoProblemLastLine.xls
b) Go to the last and copy the last 5 rows
c) Give some 5 rows gap and paste it to the say A10010 cell. The cell A10010 will have the formula as ‘=SUM(A10009+1)’
d) Now delete the in between empty rows from 10006 to 10009 e) The cell A10006 now has the #REF! error as the cell referred by formula in this cell was A10009 earlier and it has been deleted now. This is same behavior as in MS Excel or OpenOffice.
f) Correct the formula in cell A10006 and rest of #REF! error cascaded will automatically be corrected.

If you have any other scenario other than above, please let us know.

3) Zoho Sheet size limit:
Zoho Sheet supports upto 10MB of file import/upload. Apart this, we support 65536 rows and 256 columns per sheet; and a document can hold upto 1 Million of cells (rows and column matrix) having data. You had mentioned about a 50 MB file. I believe it is a typo as Zoho Sheet supports files only upto 10 MB. The 10,000 row Excel file that you sent was actually a 5 MB file.

4) Export/Download has last rows of data missing
We have not encountered any problem here. We would like to know, how we can reproduce this. Are you downloading from Zoho Docs? That should work fine. However, can you try doing an Export from the spreadsheet editor itself? The Export button is available on the Spreadsheet editor’s toolbar.

5) Regarding privacy and security of ZOHO
We take security very seriously as our business of completely dependent on trust factor. None of our admins have access to any content that is uploaded to our services. Our infrastructure automatically replicates the data for more reliability/availability. The backups are also automated where the data is compressed and password protected. Learn more at

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/security-practices

The files in your account are protected by your username and password. Your files are private in nature, unless you explicitly make them public or share with others. You might also want to look at this forum post on how Sharing works in Zoho Sheet:

https://forums.zoho.com/topic/can-a-public-spreadsheet-be-password-protected-%3f

You can access our services over SSL so that the data is encrypted and sent over the wire.

However I should mention that we did face an issue in 2006, during the initial stages of Zoho Sheet. Refer the below URLs to learn more about the issue.

http://dan.idano.net/google-spreedsheets-verses-zoho-sheet-23.htm

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/some-stability-issues-with-zohosheet

We fixed this issue immediately there after and we have made sufficient changes to prevent such an issue from occurring. We are very particular about the security and privacy of user data.

6) Problems with embedding links and having them correctly parsed.
Can you elaborate on the above issue?

Regarding the issues you noticed, can we have a desktop sharing session using Zoho Assist to help us understand the issues better? We are based in India (+0530 hrs). Let us know a time which would work for both of us. Also let us know your phone number so that we can talk while we look at your desktop.

Regards
Ramesh

++++++++++++
My original email to Zoho Support

I am writing at the request of by
hyther(Moderator) on 07-Oct

Can you let us know what kind of instability you faced in Zoho Sheet? You can email the details to support at zohosheet dot com.

For your information, recently we did an upgrade to support large spreadsheets and our performance benchmarking says that our performance is far better than our online counterparts. We have more features coming for serious business users. Stay tuned..

https://blogs.zoho.com/general/zoho-sheet-2-0-supports-million-cell-spreadsheets-additional-browsers-more

Hyther

+++++++++++++

Dear Hyther:

Thanks so much for your prompt response in the forum!

THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO EXPERIMENT AN RECREATE THE ERROR/INSTABILITY IS TO SIMPLY ATTEMPT TO COPY AND PASTE LARGE NUMBERS OF ROWS TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SHEET
AS AN EASY WAY TO INCREASE TEST FILE SIZE BUT THEN SEE IF THERE IS ANY CORRUPTION OF FORMULAE OR LOSS OF INFORMATION.

THE SECOND PROBLEM WAS THAT WHEN I DOWNLOADED TO DESKTOP THE LAST ROW OR TWO WAS MISSING.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I created a sheet of over 50 meg in size and over 10,000 rows as a test.

These names are all fictitious so anyone may have access to this sheet for test purposes.

The first cell is simply an sequential ID number generated by adding +1 to the previous ID

The next columns are Last Name, First Name, Middle Name, Date of Birth, AGE (which is a forumla dividing NOW() – DOB by 365.) Next comes a zip code.

The SECOND sheet of the book is a Zip Code Lookup for
New York which lookups up 3 pieces of information including State (which is all NY) and Borough.

I created this random meaningless test data for the sake of a small not-for-profit organization which may hire me to deal with the school records of children. I am fairly certain that they will want me to sort through thousands of archival manual folders and compare to what is in their desktop spreadsheet and perhaps design a better spreadsheet.

I began this test in Google Documents spreadsheets and found that 2000 rows reached their size limit of 1 meg. I did find that I could share the document with edit privilege on line with others. I have several computers in my home so I could test the collaboration ability.

I next found a free application called EditGrid which seemed to handle much larger than 1 gig files but it is impossible to contact anyone at their Company and their future is quite uncertain based upon rumors in the search engines. Next I began to experiment with Zoho which looks very promising.

REGARDING INSTABILITIES NOTICED:

My technique for INCREASING the file/row size was simply to keep cutting and pasting large sections so as to add rows to the bottom. Whenever I did such copy/paste in MS Excel on the desktoP (an old 2003 version) there was never any problem and I could then upload to Zoho until I reached the 50 meg limit. Once I reached the upload limit I became curious to see if I could GROW a sheet from within ZOHO beyonD the 10000-15000 row 50 meg limit.

WHENEVER I attempted to copy and paste large numbers of rows to the bottom of the spreadsheet (which of course included the age formula and the zip vlookup) I noticed that often I would loose formulas or they would be corrupted. Sometimes it was not every row that was corrupt but only certain rows.

I DECIDED that perhaps since there was a problem with PASTING in the Zoho sheet that perhaps I should simply try to manually data enter additional rows SINCE the pasting activity is really an artificial short-cut to quickly increase file size but in daily production use the normal scenario would be to manually type each address one by one. When I added a few rows like this and then DOWNLOADED the sheet back to my desktop, I often noticed that the last row or two was missing or unstable. I even made certain to SAVE the document in ZOHO FIRST and close it and then reopen it so that the download would be sure to take action upon the most recent saved version of the sheet.

I am certain that you are making regular progress with all your ZOHO apps so I imagine that in a year or two some of these minor bugs will be ironed out. Based upon the minor problems I have scene so far I have come to the conclusion that I would only be able to utilize online shared spreadsheets (either in GOOGLE or ZOHO) as places to UPLOAD from a local drive so that people in the field could look up and access information. And perhaps people in the field could ADD data in SMALL sheets which would then be uploaded into a desktop database.

I have attached one of the test sheets.

Do feel free to use the test data in any way you like since they are not real people. I pasted lists of common last names and first names found on Google to create the names. I made most of the dates of birth for people over age 50 so that no one would confuse the data with that of children since in America the laws are sensitive regarding the privacy of children’s data information.

REGARDING privacy and security of ZOHO, I am curious to know if there have been any substantiated reports of hacking or files being compromised. I realize that privacy and security will become a central issue for anything involving the school records of minors. BUT I also realize that in America there are many public and charter schools which really need a CLOUD computing ability so that all schools would use the same standardized software and function under the same security and privacy protections. That is to say it is not wise or practical for each and every school to farm out their application needs to some amateur employee who knows some Excel or Access nor to farm it out to some 3rd party consulting group.

PERHAPS this need in American Schools might provide an advantageous project for the ZOHO Company to undertake. I am certain that the technology at the disposal of ZOHO engineers would make it easy for ZOHO to develop a pilot project for this application.

Here is the link to my blog post where I have gathered some information about the student record problems in American schools.

https://williambuell.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/electronic-storage-of-student-records/

Click here for the above link. I am new to ZOHO docs and I did notice some problems with embedding links and having them correctly parsed.

I am also beginning to blog about my ZOHO experiences at my WordPress.

Poetry and Open Source

October 7, 2010

@Barbara: Thanks – Light breaks where no sun shines! Where no sea runs the waters of the heart push in their tide.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/light-breaks-where-no-sun-shines/

Poor Dylan Thomas was drinking TWO quarts of whiskey per day at the end. Most end-stage alcoholics such as O. Henry and Alan Watts max out at one quart.

When I was in high school I assumed that “do not go gentle into that good night” was about his aging father but NO it was about himself as the doctors told him if he did not stop drinking he would die. He did die at age 36.

Regarding Zoho, I think that all programs and data should be available on “the cloud” (Internet) in open source (not proprietary) and at a reasonable price. People should be able to easily share and collaborate on documents/spreadsheets. There should be a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) database generator similar to Microsoft Access or Visual Foxpro (now discontinued.) One should not have to be a rocket scientist in Apache, MySQL, PhP (known as WAMP in Windows and Lamp in Gnu-Linux Ubuntu). Oh, and Gnu stands for “Gnu is not Unix” which is oddly recursive. Unix started out as open source but then became proprietary so Linux was the resulting revolutionary protest.

Zoho Cloud Computing

October 5, 2010

I went to http://zoho.com
and signed up for a free personal account which gives me a gig of space and Zoho desktop applications for spreadsheets, documents, presentations, etc.

My particular interest is spreadsheets and the ability to share them on-line with other collaborators.

Zoho offers a great deal of compatibility with Microsoft’s VBA (Visual Basic for Applications)

I decided that I would like some VBA code which will automatically date-time stamp each row as it is modified.

I searched in Google until I found the following tutorial link:

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Excel-1059/Automated-Time-Stamp.htm

Here is the code and explanation that I needed:

If you want to get fancy, you can totally automate the process by attaching a macro to the worksheet. Right click on the sheet tab and select “View Code”. Then paste the following macro in the window:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
If Target.Column 1 Then Exit Sub
Target.Offset(, 6) = Time
End Sub

What is does is monitor for any changes you make to the worksheet. With every change, the macro is run. It checks to see if the change was made in column A (Target.Column 1) and ends if if it wasn’t. Otherwise, it places the time stamp in column F of that row (Target.Offset(, 6)). You could also have it automatically enter the date in column E for you too by adding this line:
Target.Offset(, 5) = Date

or putting a date/time stamp in column E:
Target.Offset(, 5) = Now
+++++

So, all I had to do on my Zoho spreadsheet was to right-click on the tab of sheet1 and then click on VIEW CODE.

I choose the event CHANGE from the drop down box and find that some code is already present.

So I simply INSERT the above code in the proper place so that I have:

REM Sheet Module

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
Application.EnableEvents = false
On Error Goto ENEV
REM add your code below

If Target.Column 1 Then Exit Sub
Target.Offset(, 6) = Now

ENEV:
Application.EnableEvents = true
End Sub

[end of code]

Of course, I need to format the cells for DATE TIME

I wanted to test the SHARE WITH COLLABORATOR feature

I created a group called WBuell
Then I sent an invite to a different email address that I sometimes use.
When I logged into my other email account, I saw the Zoho invite which requires me to JOIN Zoho with a login ID and password.

I am able to share the same spreadsheet between my two accounts.

One interesting thing I noticed is that the DATETIME STAMP code above was giving me a different time when logged into my other account. It is necessary to go into the ACCOUNT SETTINGS and specify the correct TIME ZONE (in my case, GMT -5 New York.)

++++
I notice that an UPLOAD to Zoho of any Excel spreadsheet from my local hard drive is limited to 50 megs, which is a size that allow me to create 10,000 address records in my test spreadsheet. It MAY be possible from within Zoho to create spreadsheets much larger than 50 meg. I know that Google Documents Spreadsheets can NOT be larger than 1 meg which allows me room for about 2000 address records in my test application.

I did notice some instability in Zoho when I attempted to use copy and paste to increase my spreadsheet from 4000 records to 10,000 records in the sense that some cell formulas in some rows were corrupted. Hopefully there would be no corruption if the rows were added one at a time in a normal data-entry fashion from day to day but I shall only know that if I use Zoho daily for some period of months.

Electronic Storage of Student Records

September 30, 2010

One suggestion is to write about all this to:

Communication Services
BOCES of NYS
355 Harlem Rd.
West Seneca, NY 14224

http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/records/mr_data_storage.shtml

Further, according to 8NYCRR: Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (section 188.11c), local governments are legally required to store backup copies of archival electronic records in offsite facilities. These facilities may or may not be owned by the government, but they should ideally be far enough from the government’s primary facility to ensure the accessibility of the records in the event of a regional disaster.

To be legally compliant, local governments must submit a formal letter concerning the storage of their electronic records in a facility that is not owned or maintained by the government to the State Archives’ Director of Government Records Services (9A47 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230), who will review the request to ensure the records will be safe and secure.

BIG QUESTION – DOES NYS-GRS HAVE an approved secure facility for the storage of student records AND IF NOT, WHY NOT?

Cloud computing, virtualization, hosting,… local governments … should be aware of the issues involved in handing over custody and control of data to a vendor or to some other government or agency (as a school district would to a BOCES – Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.)

http://www.boces.org/wps/portal/BOCESofNYS

++++++

New England Journal of Medicine

… electronic health data are poised for an online transformation that is being catalyzed by Dossia (a nonprofit consortium of major employers), Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, and other Web services that are seeking expanded roles in the $2.1 trillion U.S. health care system.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp0801736

++++

On September 15, State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced a $100,000 settlement with EchoMetrix, a developer of parental control software that monitors children’s online activity. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) alleged in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission that EcoMetrix was deceptive…

http://www.huntonprivacyblog.com/

+++

‎… there is a growing concern that automated personal data systems present a serious potential for harmful consequences, including infringement of basic liberties. This has led to the belief that special safeguards should be developed to protect against potentially harmful consequences for privacy and due process.

The Committee was asked to analyze and make recommendations about:

• Harmful consequences that may result from using automated personal data systems;

• Safeguards that might protect against potentially harmful consequences;

• Measures that might afford redress for any harmful consequences;

• Policy and practice relating to the issuance and use of Social Security numbers.

http://aspe.hhs.gov/DATACNCL/1973privacy/tocprefacemembers.htm

+++++

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establish the minimum requirements school systems must meet in maintaining, protecting, and providing access to students’ school records. Individualized Education Program (IEP); and, often, correspondence between you and school personnel.

www.greatschools.org

FERPA and IDEA prohibit schools from disclosing your child’s records to anyone without your written consent. The only exceptions are:

• School officials, including teachers, in your child’s district with a legitimate educational interest as defined in the school procedures

• School officials in the school district to which your child intends to transfer (Before the records are sent, however, you will want to review them and challenge their content, if necessary.)

• Certain state and national education agencies, if necessary, for enforcing federal laws

• Anyone to whom a state statute requires the school to report information

• Accrediting and research organizations helping the school, provided they guarantee confidentiality

• Student financial aid officials

• People who have court orders, provided the school makes reasonable efforts to notify the parent or student before releasing the records

• Appropriate people in health and safety emergencies such as doctors, nurses, and fire marshals

• Law enforcement and judicial authorities in certain cases

+++++++

The plot thickens regarding storage of student information. This is with regard to the children of illegal immigrants who cannot be denied a free public educations.

Local schools, including Queensbury and Glens Falls, told to follow law on immigration queries

(click link above to read article)

+++++

Here is the second link I have found regarding security, privacy and school records. What would make the MOST sense to me is a state or federal on-line system for student records which guarantees state-of-the-art security and privacy safeguards.

http://www.advocatesforchildren.org/privacy.php

+++++

I am curious to learn what New York state laws and Federal laws say about children’s school records, safety, privacy and security. I would appreciate any info or links. Below is the first link that I found regarding security problems with RFID chips

+++++

Study Finds that Children’s Privacy has been Compromised: A Fordham Law School study found that state educational databases across the country ignore key privacy protections for the nation’s school children. The study reports that at least 32% of states warehouse children’s social security numbers; at least 22% of states record student pregnancies; and at least 46% of the states track mental health, illness, and jail sentences as part of the children’s educational records.

http://epic.org/privacy/kids/default.html

Firefox Browser Hijacked

April 19, 2010

Suddenly this morning, I find that whenever I try to visit my http://www.delicious.com/billbuell bookmarks link and am prompted to sign in, my browser is hijacked to a Yahoo sign-in page. I do not have this problem in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Browser.

I decided to install the Google Chrome browser just to be safe and have several browsers available. Chrome installed quickly and smoothly and has no hijack problem when I visit delicious.com.

I am running malwarebytes.org malware scanner and Avira antivir.

I have Google searched and found a few message board posts on similar problems.

I updated http://malwarebytes.org and Avira Antivir.

Next I rebooted, holding down F8, to enter SAFE MODE.

I ran malwarebytes and avira scanners simultaneously. No malware was detected. While the scanners were running I launched Firefox and did various things like clear out history and cookies and change the HOME page to http://google.com.

When I rebooted, the Firefox browser acted normally.

I did search on FIREFOX HIJACK DELICIOUS and various other search arguments and saved a few links at
http://delicious.com/billbuell

It is always a good idea to have several different browsers installed on your computer. Sometimes when you have a problem with Mozilla Firefox you can switch to Internet Explorer or Chrome and avoid the problem while searching for a FIX.

The Open Source Movement

January 13, 2010

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

Giri writes:

We both know that we can call ourself as free software advocate because we both know the role of F/OSS in today’s world and we also understand clearly the importance of F/OSS and Linux for everyone.

I believe F/OSS and Linux will help to change the world to a better place and I imagine where everybody with different circumstances or people with difficulties can share the same knowledge as we do.
Richard Stallman the president of GNU has write a definition about Free Software

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

from the link above i understand that Free is not always about Money but Free in Free software is like free as in Freedom.
Open Source offering flexibility in design. Eric S Raymond in his essay

http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar/cathedral-bazaar.ps

said that Open Source development is A’la Bazaar which means that every software has to be like a cathedral, built together with care.

But there’s something bothering me about this F/OSS movement.

In my opinion F/OSS can never fulfill it’s aim if there’s no cooperation between software developers, GNU and international organization. we can look at the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project or the cooperation between UNESCO and GNU to promote F/OSS usage.

From my opinion above, I want to know what you’re thinking. please add some points that I missed. And I want to know if U.S government ever promote the usage of F/OSS and Linux in educational institutions in America? Is there any Linux Adoption

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_adoption

in America? If yes, what’s the result.

Creating and storing passwords

January 4, 2010

Here is my trick for creating long, strong, memorable passwords. Lets say you like history. You pick 1066 for the Battle of Hastings and you pick Caesar’s “veni vidi viki” (this would also work with the Gettysburg Address or Lords Prayer and
the prime numbers) now veni1vidi0viki66 and to make it even stronger veNi1viDi0viKi66, capitalizing each third letter. If you need to change passwords monthly, you can rotate through the Lord’s Prayer, taking three words at a time and merging with the year you were born.

Or, you can get a free account at clipperz.com
pick some sign-in name like cinderella or superwoman and a long strong memorable password (using technique described above). Now you can store hundreds of passwords, links, email addresses, notes. It is encrypted on your client side BEFORE it is sent to their server. Clipperz people dont know WHO you are or what you store. You can invoke its random password generator.
You can access it from anywhere on the Internet. You can also download a read-only version to a memory stick or hard drive for when you are off line. And there are 2 methods to back up and restore.

Ubuntu blows me away

December 21, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 simply blows me away with its speed and elegance (and so reasonably priced). It took me a total of 50 or 60 hours experimenting, first with Wubi installs on top of Windows, and then with a pure Ubuntu install on a 280 gig
Gateway. I took detailed notes at my WordPress blog. Anyone with those notes should be able to install it in 5 hours or less. Firefox is amazing on Ubuntu. There is a multi platform Instant Message program (Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, MSN, etc), an email client, an IRC client (Konverse) which lands you in a Kubuntu channel with dozens of specialty rooms and hundreds of people on line around the world. The only think it cant do yet, which I like, is Paltalk. Ubuntu updates are far smoother, more automated, less in your face, less annoying than Windows updates. I tried out Ubuntu because I finally had a spare machine I could afford to ruin. I felt if I did succeed in installing Ubuntu, that it would be very primitive and user unfriendly. It is very user friendly with lots of GUI interfaces.
You do not have to be some C++ wizard or know shell and bash commands. You CAN do all that if you know how, but you don’t NEED to to use it. And you get Open Office for spreadsheet, word processor and presentation manager. If more apps become CLOUD based, then you will do everything in your browser, and all apps and data will be on some remote server.

Popular Fiction

December 17, 2009

I have not read current fiction since I was in grade school. But I opened Dean Koontz’ “Tick Tock” in the middle, started to read, and it was a real page turner. Now, I have found a copy of Danielle Steel’s “Miracle.” I am wondering if many males read Danielle Steel and that genre, or if it is a mostly women audience. I am wondering what would happen if you could take all the Koontz novels Steel novels, and process them sentence by sentence through a computer program and tally word frequency counts. Next, for each page, encode from one to three numbers representing something abstract like, fear, envy, rage, jealousy, lust, sadness, death, etc. Would any sort of pattern emerge? How close might someone come to developing a programmatic novel generator?

2nd Attempt Ubuntu Multiple Local Sites Apache2

December 2, 2009

Note, my user name is always bryan, because he gave me his old machine, with a password on it, so I just keep everything the same, for convenience.

Step 1:
Terminal
sudo chown bryan /var/www

Step 2: having given myself rights with that above chown command
I should be able to create folders withing /var/www
e.g. /var/www/proj1

and then invoke the 1st pg of the application by typing into the browser

localhost/proj1/report.html

I shall test this, and place the exercises from Head First PHP MySQL into a folder /var/www/proj1 and see if the exercise works

The only question that remains in my mind is whether the exercise pages will work unchanges, honoring /var/www/proj1 as the root, or whether I need to issue some other command to MAKE proj1 the default directory, or whether I have to hard code paths into all the exercise pages, which, if I do, would kind of defeat the purpose of developing a project in a folder, and then transparently moving it to some other location.

What follows is the raw text from the IRC channel where I asked my questions. I sorted through it to come up with the above, step-by-step procedure to achieve my goals.

+++ the steps WORK AND here is my email feedback to the person that gave me the valuable guidance:

You saved me HOURS of grief, and made it possible for me to now make rapid progress with my HEAD FIRST book. And Yes, I want to pay $60 for the paperback, because I want to be able to take it in the bathroom or on the subway. I want to really let all this PHP MySQL stuff sink in, and become second nature, for the simple reason that I am sick and tired of years of bondage to Micr0$oft and products like Access (or worse VISUAL FOXPRO which they finally dropped as a supported product). I figure that php mysql apache is the best choice for me, because I can kind of understand whats going on, and there is tons of documentation to make it work, but forum and IRC support (like YOUR excellent patient help).

You are CORRECT, THAT YOU did tell me what I need to know, but you did not realize that as a beginner, I cannot recognize the right answer UNTIL certain concepts sink in. Once I did the CHOWN trick you showed me, then I could navigate with the GUI, to /var/www and create a folder, proj1. Then I could navigate to my Desktop to a folder where I put two of the Head First exercises, but with the word TEST inserted in each field, so I would KNOW that it was these executing, and that I was not somehow executing the same original pages in /var/www . Now, I could NOT get Desktop/testwww/report.html to run and then correctly post with report.php and see the added record in the MySQL database with phpmyadmin.

BUT, as soon as it dawned upon me the simple steps you were saying, I copied to cloned files to /var/www/proj1 went to my folder and entered localhost/report.html, actually SAW the cloned version come up with TEST prefixed to each field, I entered data prefixed by TEST so I would see it in the mysql table,… pressed submit, and BINGO, when I did localhost/phpmyadmin and signed in, there was the new record in the sql table.

SO, you see, for a beginner, the Head First book leaves out a VERY IMPORTANT CONCEPT, about creating folders for projects in /var/www and doing the CHOWN trick once, up front, to allow access.

THANKS! And, as you will notice from my blog, when I asked the same question in IRC last week, someone thought that I wanted to do that
http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/412 complex business (which was CORRECT, if I wanted to access separate projects from some remote client, BUT unnecessary for my simple desktop purposes).

And here is the RAW irc chat to illustrate what a beginner may have to do to sort out the proper answers from a technically savvy person trying to help.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am trying to set up several websites on my desktop ubuntu under Apache 2, and I have a detailed tutorial, but it says I need my IP address, but

sudo ipconfig gives me an internal, and

whatismyip.com gives me an external, any clues as to which is required, thanks

[04:08] WilliamBuell: what IP address? where do you want to reach them from?

(the answer, as it turns out, which I did not make clear to the IRC channel, is that I only want to make this stuff work from my DESKTOP, not from some remote client on the internet, which might require some ip address)

[04:08] thanks I am following this excellent tutorial on apache2 multiple sites

http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/412

[04:09] I have Ubuntu desktop with LAMP installed, but can only get php pages to work in /var/www

[04:09] I want to be able to have several projects i.e /home/proj1

[04:09] WilliamBuell: that’s where they should go

[04:09] why not put them in /var/www?

(this turns out to be an EXCELLENT QUESTION!)

[04:10] the tutorial mentions IP address but does not indicate whether it is EXTERNAL from whatismyip.com or local from

sudo ifconfig

[04:10] BECAUSE I would need a different name for each html and php page

[04:10] WilliamBuell: where are you trying to access them from? you shouldn’t need an ip address at all most likely

[04:11] suppose I am following several tutorials, with several pages with same name, they cannot BOTH be in /var/www

[04:11] why not /var/www/proj1, /var/www/proj2?

[04:11] and i dont know how to access some search path that would support /var/www/proj1

[04:12] or does apache2 lamp automatically honor any folder within www

[04:12] yes, automatically http://localhost/folder

(above is the KEY CONCEPT that I needed)

[04:12] and, if so (i am total beginner) ….

aha…. localhost/folder seems to make sense to me

[04:13] next question in TERMINAL does it matter HOW i create those folders, i mean do i have to be sudo or root

[04:13] do permissions matter?

[04:13] what would the proper command be to create the folder in /var/www would it be mkdir /home/www/www.example.com
[04:14] with sudo mkdir /home/www/www.example.com

[04:14] except it would be sudo mkdir /var/www/www.example.com

[04:14] if i follow along with this one tutorial

[04:15] but that tutorial is talking about MULTIPLENAMEHOST

[04:15] WilliamBuell: you can cheat and do sudo chown USER /var/www

( the above is the OTHER KEY CONCEPT that I require.. and if it works, then I can navigate in a GUI file folder system and create project folders at will, without fussing with sudo permissions)

[04:15] it sounds like you are saying if I simply create a folder in /var/www/proj1 that it will work from localhost/proj1

[04:15] WilliamBuell: only on a desktop though
[04:16] WilliamBuell: correct

[04:16] i am a 60 year old total beginner, so i dont need hints like “you can cheat” I am truly lost

[04:17] so i should say from TERMINAL sudo chown bryan /var/www but… HOW DO I MAKE THE FOLDER PROJ1
[04:17] i mean the chown command is changing rights or something

[04:17] chown changes the ownership of the file
[04:17] nothing else

[04:17] WilliamBuell: oh, one you own the folder, you can go into /var/www and make whatever you want 🙂

[04:18] in other words, from terminal, what is the command to correctly creat /var/www/proj1 with all the proper user rights for apache2 to work

[04:18] BUT, whenever i go into /var/www it doesnt let me do stuff i dont think unless i am root admin

[04:18] WilliamBuell: the support here is not too great… might want to try a support channel

[04:18] WilliamBuell: yeah, that’s why I suggested owning the folder

[04:18] yeah, but you guys know this like the back of your hand

[04:19] once you do that, you can mkdir in /var/www all you wnat

[04:19] and you just cant give a beginner the command to create the folder

[04:19] WilliamBuell: if we did we would have told you straight away

[04:19] so, you say , create the folder, and then use chown to change ownership?
[04:19] and then everything will be honkey dory ok

[04:19] WilliamBuell: no, chown /var/www, then you can create all the folders you want without sudo

[04:21] ok so sudo chown bryan /var/www gives me the rights, then i should be able to navigate with the gui and create proj1

[04:21] WilliamBuell: yep 🙂

[04:21] aha… now that is making sense to this beginner brain
[04:22] and i WONT need to mess with that other tutorial
[04:22] since i only want stuff to work locally…

[04:22] WilliamBuell: right no apache configs 🙂

[04:23] BUT, second question,…. if i make a bunch of php html pages in /var/www/proj1 do I need explicit paths to the other pages, or will they default to that local directory

[04:23] and is there some command i need to issue to make /var/www/proj1 a local directory for that session

[04:23] WilliamBuell: not sure I’m following

[04:23] WilliamBuell: not sure you’re sure what you’re asking
[04:24] http://localhost basically loads what’s in /var/www

[04:24] ok… you are telling me if i do all this then from browser .. i type localhost/proj1/report.html and it comes up

[04:24] yep

[04:24] but INSIDE report.html it is going to POST to report.php

[04:24] if you have /var/www/proj1/report.html

[04:24] yeah, default is current folder

[04:24] but, it will know enough to look in var/www/proj1 without
[04:25] well, it looks in http://localhost/proj1/report.php
[04:25] or rather posts to

[04:25] aha, and the very act of launching the project as localhost/proj1 is sufficient to make that the local directory for the entier project session

[04:25] which should correspond to /var/www/proj1/report.php
[04:25] if so, that makes sense

[04:25] WilliamBuell: not sure you quite get URL vs local path
[04:25] it’s not for the session

[04:25] in other words, i dont have to HARD CODE specific addresses in each html and php…

[04:26] that’s just how it it

[04:26] WilliamBuell: that you have to do
[04:26] i want to develop something in /var/www/proj1 test it , but have it work if i move it somewhere else

[04:26] WilliamBuell: why not just have a .php file?
[04:26] why have anything .html?

[04:26] well, i dont know enough to understand your hint

[04:26] WilliamBuell: a PHP file can have HTML and PHP in it

[04:27] because, the tutorial book i am following starts with report.html posting with report.php… but now i see what you are saying

[04:27] WilliamBuell: what book?

[04:27] but, php or html, is not germain to my path question at hand

[04:27] it is a great book called HEAD FIRST php mysql, which leads you step by step, including cookie sessions

[04:28] i have in my blog links to the book

[04:28] i am buying the book for $60 tomorrow, and i already downloaded a zip file of all the source code exercises from the publisher

[04:29] WilliamBuell: do you have any programming background and are you interested in mysql>??

[04:29] i started programming in 1979, through the 1980s, with stuff like cobol, rpg, then basic, then pick

[04:29] WilliamBuell: BTW, you know you can get it as an ebook for $36

[04:29] i am not a moron

[04:30] i just have some simple questions which in reality have very simple answers, but getting straight answers from techie types is like pulling teeth
[04:31] WilliamBuell: do you like head first series?