February 10, 2006

Not a total idiot anyway

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

I’m not a total idiot, really! At least I don’t think so.I’m upgrading the Wiki at the Georgia Baha’i School website from OddMuse to PmWiki. The PHP wiki version just looks nicer, is easier to configure the cascading style sheets and it’s got features that writers (read other people on the committee) will use (instead of my doing all the writing!). I’m not an idiot!

So I found a recipe which is supposed to permit me to automigrate the existing pages from OddMuse (actually UseMod – on which OddMuse is based – wasn’t that clear from the name?) directly into the PmWiki page repository. Well, it doesn’t work. So naturally, being the kind of fixit guy I am, I tried to make it work. Three days later, I decided to join in the mailing list and ask for help (hey! I’m not an idiot!).

I joined up, but I haven’t gotten any mails. So I sent one to the list. It bounced back saying I wasn’t allowed to post messages. So I joined again. And sent another email. And got another bounce. Hey! This isn’t fair! I am not an idiot!!

So I went back to my test install on my old trusty Solaris system runing Gentoo Linux. After two more hours of putting echo code in the PHP scripts to figure out where it fails, I find out that it never ever ever sees the OddMuse data files. See? I told you I wasn’t an idiot. But since it is written in PHP rather than PERL, I can’t for the life of me figure out why.

Well, there’s just more than one way to skin this cat. I checked on CPAN where they store lots of PERL scripts. OK! I found a PERL script that says it will convert from HTML to PmWiki markup. There ya go! I downloaded it. I tried to install it. Well, it needs the generic Wiki Markup PERL library. And that file needs a generic HTML parser library. And that file needs a generic recursive parser library. Sigh… I’m beginning to feel like an idiot.

Then I got this brainstorm! How many pages do I really need to convert? So I logged into the OddMuse wiki. And clicked on each link and counted. 31 in all. And get this, four are totally empty and one is not needed on PmWiki. So that’s really only 26 and besides that most of them aren’t very complex there’s only about ten or 20 lines. So there! See!?! I’m not an idiot. I’ll do it by hand! Ha! That’ll show ’em.

Of course, I could have done this a week ago. But that wouldn’t prove that I’m not an idiot!


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