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This category is our site blog. Much of the content in here is hopelessly out of date. It would perhaps be more accurate to describe it as a "change log". Those seeking Mr Goose's blog should click here.


Merry Christmas 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Mr Goose objects to his fellow geese beingeaten for Christmas

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 19:17
 
Merry Christmas 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   


The Gose that Nevr Voted for Christmas

The Goose that Never Voted for Christmas, lovingly drawn by Susannah Dora Majlati

Well, it's been a funny old year. Lots of hard work going on behind the scenes, but not a great deal to show publicly for all the effort. The new Joomla site is still in progress - struggling to use our existing template on the new CMS, whilst working round Joomla's bloody awful new "Twitter" templating system. Several other new items are also still under way, but sadly not ready in time for Christmas, as we had hoped. It's all rather frustrating really So this year for our annual Christmas Card we went back to the tried-and-tested hardy perennial of Mr Goose stamping his foot and having a jolly good moan.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 04:14
 
Server updates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Regular visitors will notice that quite a few Garfnet features are looking a bit tired. And you have probably encountered quite a few 404's too. The reason for this is that Garfnet is undergoing a fairly major overhaul at the moment.

  • Moving to a new, better designed and much faster server
  • Dumping dead or unsupported projects
  • Incorporating experimental projects - and some nifty toys from deoss.org.

The .org part  of DEOSS is being parked-up for a while. Meantime the .com tales care of the business side, whilst the .net manages the network, server, vhosts etc. etc. Garfnet itself will continue to host the experimental and unashamedly geeky stuff.

More, when we know more. :-)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2016 00:41
 
Merry Christmas 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Christmas card 2013

Photograph: "St Faith's Church Havant - in the Snow" by Susannah Dora Majlati

In 935AD, Havant was known as "Hamafunta" - the spring of Hama - referring to the water spring to the south-west of St Faith's Churchyard. The settlement was located at the crossing point of the track from the Downs to the coast and another track running east to west along the coast. By the time of Domesday Book, 1086, Havant was a village with a population of around 100. In 1200, the monks of Winchester Cathedral were granted permission to hold a market in the town, known at this time as "Haveunte".

Much of Havant was destroyed by fire in 1760, leaving only the church and the adjacent 16th century cottages. Some locals argue that today's town centre would be greatly improved if the same fate befell the ghastly-looking Meridian Shopping Centre. The cottages are now a pub called "The Old House at Home". It is said that the two main beams in the lounge bar were salvaged from the Spanish Armada, and that the "Bear Post" had the last dancing bear in England tethered to it. Others say the post is there to help the regulars stay upright after they have drunk a few too many - or if there is an earthquake. That is not as far-fetched as it sounds because Havant did suffer minor earthquakes in 1784-10-25 and 1811-11-30.

Water played an important part in Havant's local commerce - including breweries, water mills and parchment manufacturers. Local tradition says that Havant parchment was used for the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. However, parchment production ceased in 1936. Today, the borough of Havant has a population approaching 120,000 and is part of the Portsmouth conurbation. It is bypassed by the A27 dual carriageway to the south and the A3(M) motorway to the west. Its properties have "PO" post codes and it shares its "(023)" dialling code and 8-digit telephone number system with Portsmouth and Southampton. The city of Portsmouth lies about 9 km to the south-west, Southampton is 30 km north-west and London is 90 km north-east.

The popular holiday resort of Hayling Island and its scenic beaches are a just short southerly cycle-ride from Havant town centre. Hayling hit the national news recently because a holiday caravan was blown over by a very small tornado. Havant's local community radio station, Angel Radio (101.1 MHz VHF/FM) primarily aimed at those of pensionable age has proven more popular with other demographic groups than its station controllers anticipated and currently enjoys a cult following online. Meanwhile, rumour has it that the local football team, Havant & Waterlooville FC, aka "The Hawks" very nearly almost won a match, once...


More goosy nonsense courtesy of Mr.Goose's infamous Webfooted Weblog:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/mrgoose

Take a trip down memory lane and browse all our earlier Christmas cards in our special on-line Christmas Card Anthology:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=634

Image was created/edited using GIMP, a free, open source graphics package bundled with many Linux distributions. Free download for Windows & Linux...
http://www.gimp.org

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 December 2013 01:34
Read more...
 
Merry Christmas 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Christmas card 2011

More goosy nonsense courtesy of Mr.Goose's infamous Webfooted Weblog:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/mrgoose

Take a trip down memory lane and browse all our earlier Christmas cards in our special on-line Christmas Card Anthology:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=634

Image was created/edited using GIMP, a free, open source graphics package bundled with many Linux distributions. Free download for Windows & Linux...
http://www.gimp.org

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:16
Read more...
 
Merry Christmas 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Christmas card 2010

Photo: “The Old Cemetery in the Snow”.

Snapped shortly after an unusually heavy, pre-Christmas snowfall, 2010-12-02.
The Old Cemetery runs alongside Southampton Common, about 800 metres
from where I live and work. It is a beautiful and peaceful place at any time
of year. However, it seems particularly photogenic after a heavy snowfall.

Earlier Christmas cards:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=634

Mr.Goose's infamous Webfooted Weblog:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/mrgoose

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 03:40
 
Merry Christmas 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

Christmas card 2009

Earlier Goosy Christmas cards:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=634

Mr.Goose's infamous Webfooted Weblog:-
http://www.garfnet.org.uk/mrgoose

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:21
 
Hot Spots PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   

ImageGarfnet has become a huge site with many component parts. Here are some of the more useful bits, complete with nice, short URL's you can bookmark, scribble down on a stick-it note or (heaven forbid) memorise!


Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 14:03
Read more...
 
It works! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Garfield Lucas   


GarfNet's upgrade to Joomla 1.5.x is now complete. Even better, the rather nasty "$live_site" bug reported in our last site blog item is now fixed. Many thanks to Joomla developer, Ian MacLennan for providing us with a timely patch:-

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 17:34
Read more...
 
An apology PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2009 02:00

Joomla logoMore astute observers may have noticed that GarfNet has changed a bit lately. You may also have observed that some features are missing and some don't work at all. We're really sorry about this. Trouble is that Garfnet is currently upgrading its main CMS (content management system) from Joomla 1.0.x to Joomla 1.5.x. This task has proven to be an absolute nightmare. Whilst Joomla 1.5 is potentially a very good product, its documentation leaves a lot to be desired and despite being released over a year ago, it still suffers from an alarming number of bugs and omissions. Despite these issues, the Joomla development team has decided to discontinue support for the old and reliable Joomla version 1.0.x in July 2009. This means no more security patches for the old version. Therefore, we had little choice but to upgrade.

The site is now running Joomla 1.5 and after a heck of a fight we've got most things working reasonably well. However you may still find broken links or strange anomalies. The main things still missing or under construction are:-

  1. Google Maps - the old plugin written by David Pollack won't work under Joomla 1.5. We have replaced it with an alternative, written by Jan Sangill, Implementation is almost completed. Click Google Maps in the main menu to see it.
  2. FAQ - the SimpleFAQ extension we used with Joomla 1.0.x doesn't work with Joomla 1.5.x. However, we have created an alternative using Joomla's own content management system. This just needs some tidying up. It is available from FAQ on the main menu.
  3. Google search. We have created a new module called GoogleBox for this. It also includes Moonclock - a moon phase indicator and the NOAA solar activity indicator. This is located at the top of the screen in the where many sites place advertising banners. We felt this was much more useful than silly adverts!
  4. Joomla Radio. This was never very popular and was always a bit flaky. It probably will not be replaced. However, we may install a much better radio system in the future.
  5. URL translator. Many of the old supposedly "search engine friendly" URLs we used with Joomla 1.0.x will not work with version 1.5.x. This means that many other pages that link to us are reporting error 404's (page not found). There is no easy fix to this - though we are making changes to our site's htaccess to redrect the more popular pages.

The main problem we have encountered with Joomla 1.5.x is that at time of writing, it does not work properly behind a reverse proxy server, such as the one used by our ISP. Whereas the old version 1.0.x worked fine. You will notice that some features here on GarfNet just hang and that an IP address will appear in your browser's status bar. When it does, just hit your browser's "Back" button and play with something else instead. This IP address is assigned by our ISP's reverse proxy server and is not an internet IP address. Hence the page will never load.

The Joomla development team has made several attempts at fixing this problem. We are trying to persuade its developers to investigate our concerns so that the issue can be fixed, patched or even kludged with an untidy hack! We are Joomla fans & we really hope we don't have to abandon Joomla. But we might have if this issue cannot be resolved pretty soon. Consequently all other developments on GarfNet will be mothballed until this issue is resolved. More details about this bug can be found at:-

And some of the many other Joomla users affected by this issue can be found with a simple Google search for site:forum.joomla.org "$live_site" joomla behind reverse proxy:-

We'll keep you posted. Best wishes, G.



Last Updated on Sunday, 30 August 2009 17:29
 
Joomla 1.5 Bugs PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2009 18:41

Upgrading from Joomla 1.0 to version 1.5 must be one of the most depressing and frustrating tasks a web developer can undertake. And believe me, it's up against some stiff competition in this context.  Have already spent almost a week converting just one Joomla 1.0 instance to version 1.5. I'm a big Joomla fan but I'm sorry to say that wading through the multitude of Joomla 1.5 bugs, omissions and poor documentation has proven a very depressing and frustrating exercise - especially considering we have several more Joomla instances to convert.

TBH, we are starting to wonder whether we should spend the time moving to another CMS instead. You see,
I'm even more concerned by the large number of bugs in Joomla 1.5, especially considering that users are effectively being forced to upgrade now 1.0 is reached its end of life. But I have been able to deal with or work around (or simply do without) most of these issues.

  1. Smilies generated in old version not working
  2. PDF generator crashes when processing articles with PNG's
  3. Old SEF urls broken (this is a real nuisance - and the live_site variable issue means I cannot even deploy any of the proposed workarounds)
  4. Layout broken in Category Table view due to an error in the code.
  5. Unable to hide the "#" column in Category table view.
...to name but a few!

Basically we have several Joomla instances behind reverse proxies. I have spent almost a week converting GarfNet's Joomla 1.0 instance to version 1.5. I was amazed how many things didn't work following upgrade and how little authoritative documentation there is to assist in the process. However Joomla's failure to observe "live_site variable" issue is a real dealbreaker as far as we are concerned because so many features are broken because of it.

  1. Users are unable to create, edit or save articles (although admin can still do so from the administration area).By "unable to edit" I mean that clicking the "edit" icon opens the edit dialog. One can attempt to make changes in the editing dialog (TinyMCE rich text editor or plain text). But when one presses "save", the changes are ot recorded.
  2. Column Sorting and and Title Filters in "category table" view don't work. Please see:-
    http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=19&Itemid=58
  3. RSS feeds from our site show wrong link URL's:-
    http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?format=feed&type=rss


When the user tries to use any of the above mentioned functions, the browser hangs around for several minutes, with the ISP's internal IP address displayed the browser's status bar. Eventually the browser returns a "page not found" "Network timed out" error and the ISP's internal IP address (rather than our domain name) appears at the beginning of the the url in the address bar.

Sadly7, Joomla 1.5 is a trainwreck, made worse by the fact that happy v1.0.x users are being forced to upgrade whether they want to or not. This is because support for 1.0.x is discontinued 2009-07-22. I was a big Joomla fan and have the greatest respect for its developers and I understand the pressures they are under. However, I don't understand why version 1.0.x is being discontinued and support for it withdrawn, when its replacement still has so many unresolved bugs?

 
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