Category Archives: Software Development

So many languages – A jack of all trades and a master of none

Java, PHP, HTML, Javascript, C, ESQL, PLSQL… the list could go on forever. Those former seven programming languages are ones that I have encountered in my university and working life over the last eight and a half years (just to name a small few).

However I find both in my degree that it seems to be becoming more modern place to throw language after language at a student expecting them to gain proficiency in upwards of six languages. Obviously the benefit of knowing more than one language is clear, in that you can diversify and integrate between systems more effectively however the question that I pose to you all is the following:

Is it actually possible to be completely proficient in more than three to five core languages and to be able to program effectively in them? Don’t get met wrong there are obviously different languages you will always need to know, things like SQL, HTML and probably even Javascript the issue I have faced however is more core languages such as Java, PHP, ESQL (IBM WebSphere) and other proprietary languages also.

Personally I think one of the major problems I have experienced is the tendency in my university degree to bunnyhop from one to the other without enough time to gain proficiency. Personally I would think it would have been better to have several subjects building on the last to gain a strong proficiency in one or two core languages, however I am curious to hear others thoughts. How many languages you know and how do you effectively manage the bunnyhopping between them all?

#Curious –> Stuart 😀

Install Subversion on cPanel Servers Easily – cPanelSVNManager

Today marks a wonderful day, back in 2009 I put together a script which I called cPanelSVNManager, as there was not much interest around at the time I decided not to update it however recently I felt that it was certainly something that needed to be updated.

Therefore I have brought cPanelSVNManager right back into 2012 with a complete update and overhaul. It can now build the 1.7 branch and 1.6 branch of Subversion on cPanel servers. It also now correctly checks for the latest recommended version and if you are game enough can support automagical updates of the Subversion installation on your cPanel Server.

The benefits include a very simple way to install and update Subversion as well as mechanisms to stop Easyapache recompiles breaking after mod_dav_svn has been installed.

You can see all the details on the Technical Notebook Wiki including the outstanding feature requests, bugs and tasks (of which at time of writing there are none). If you would like to request a new feature or encounter a bug you can do so on the cPanelSVNManager project on TechnicalNotebook JIRA to get support.

I have to say, all around with the last few days development 😀 not a bad effort.

I look forward to doing more as this semester progresses.


Fix an incorrect blog URL on your WordPress Blog

Recently I ran into a problem I have seen all too many times, someone had entered the wrong URL in the admin panel of a WordPress blog and they could no longer log into the application to fix the issue. Normally this would break wordpress so that you couldn’t use the admin panel and require a manual update to the database however I came up with the idea to use WordPress’ own functions to enable an update of the URL without using the admin panel.

So there was born the idea of WP-Recover. A simple script to do one very simple task, allow you to change the wordpress blog URL when it is not working or you have entered it incorrectly.

I have decided to use the new power of my Open Source Battlefield Wiki to document the script so you can access WP-Recover on the OSBattlefield site.

A brief how-to:

1. Upload recover.php to your root wordpress folder (the same folder that wp-config.php exists in).
2. Open your wp-config.php file however you would like and get the first five charaters of the AUTH_KEY string (excluding the ‘ )
3. In a web browser access
4. Enter the new URL for your site (ensuring it is in the format ‘’ without the ”)
5. Click Submit
6. Once you receive a confirmation message DELETE recover.php from your wordpress folder. Leaving it there is a DRASTIC security risk.


WP-Recover v1.0 Stable

Getting Help

Ideally if you need assistance please pop over and log a bug/support request on the JIRA Bug Tracking Site, although if you have any issues using that you can also use the Open Source Battlefield Contact Page or leave a comment here.

Bid Request Documentation on Rent A Coder

As I have recently been through a good handful of projects using Rent A Coder I have had the opportunity to fine  tune the way I do bid requests within the system. For my latest bid request I had two somewhat complex coding problems that needed resolving and using the simple description  boxes would not allow me to define the problem completely. Therefore I found myself with a need to better define and document small projects/bid requests so that I could ensure the Workers bidding on my project would have a detailed understanding of what is required.

The result of this is a new document I have put together to help new users to Rent A Coder gather all the details they need to ensure when a bid request is put in they will eliminate a lot of the potential for confusion in putting forward a bid request. The aim of the document is to enable an easy and standard means of documenting a bid request when there is a greater level of complexity required than the standard descriptions boxes but simple enough to be used for a project in the sub $100USD or sub $500USD range.

Most of my bid requests have focused around getting CSS fixes for my WordPress or Joomla sites and sometimes resolving layout issues or making small design changes. While the document has been written with my specific bid requests in mind I have made every effort ensure it is generic enough that it could be used for other small projects such as logo design and so on.

I am making this template freely available, all I ask is that the template copyright notice at the bottom is kept in tact if you use the document template.

The document is available in Microsoft Word 2003 .doc format from my documentation subversion repository or by clicking the image below.

Click Here to Download Rent A Coder Project Initiation Document

I welcome any feedback on the template as I would like to continue to try to perfect it and tweak it with suggestions from the community.


Disclaimer: In this post I have used affiliate links to Rent A Coder, these links in no way affect the content of my post but in the interest of complete disclosure I like to mention that they are there.

WordPress: Getting SplashScreen to work with WP-SuperCache

If you have ever attempted to use the SplashScreen plugin for WordPress with WP-SuperCache, you may have run into issues with WP-SuperCache caching the splash screen and not letting users past it.

There is a quick and simple fix for this, in your template file for what to display on the splash page, put the following code just before the </body> tag:

<?php define ("DONOTCACHEPAGE",1); ?>

This will tell WP-SuperCache not to cache the page and will let the site operate as normal.