Bugzilla Install Was Torture

Saying that installing Bugzilla was painful would be the understatement of the year. From what I’ve been able to piece together through this nightmare, it probably took me 9 hours to get the whole thing done – 3 hours on 3 separate days. And if it wasn’t for @mkanat suggesting that I give it another try, I probably would’ve walked away a LONG TIME ago.

I mean, I believe that everyone who works on large computer projects like myself should have some kind of issue tracker setup and while I’ve been using Mantis very happily – It doesn’t look very attractive (which is important when opening this up to clients and associates). So I began searching for something that it looked a bit better which is when I found Bugzilla. *shaking head*

First Things First
If you’re thinking about installing this on your server, know that it’s not for the feint of heart. There are A LOT of “moving parts” with this thing (Perl, CGI, db stuff) and many of them are things that I don’t have intimate experience with. Aside from that, the install guide that comes up Bugzilla is very vanilla in that seemingly ALL the issues that came up for me were not addressed in the guide either in notes next to the instructions or in the troubleshooting section. Even Google searches weren’t yielding me the help I really needed. @mkanat suggested that I use the Bugzilla newsgroup which I tried, but look – I’ve never used a newsgroup before and at 11:30pm at night well into hour 7 or something… I just wanted to get this done, not learn yet another thing.

So hey, I finally got things going last night so I wanted to put something out there that might help others who are going through the same pain. This isn’t an install guide but just the problems that I had that I didn’t see answered anywhere else. Oh and keep in mind that I don’t fancy myself a Unix Administrator either so if I get things wrong or sound stupid – It IS what it IS.

Getting Started
First you’ll need to probably shell into your server using the username for the website you’re installing it into. That’s to say, even if you think you can only or SHOULD shell in as “root”, you should instead shell in as the group/owner of the website where you’re installing Bugzilla… This will probably fix problems for you later. After you download the Bugzailla tar file and untar it, you have to run this script called checksetup.pl. (You run it by typing “./checksetup.pl” at the command line. When you first run it, you’ll be told about all the Perl modules you need to have installed to get things going. It will also say that to install all the modules, do “./install_modules.pl –all”. When I did that, everything went fine until it prompted me for “pg_config” which is when the first big headache started.

Installing the Modules – Oh and “pg_config” or “pg_path” is the Devil
I found out later that the “pg_config” prompt was for a PostgreSQL module. Here’s the thing, I have MySQL. You can think that you can just skip this by pressing [enter] but when you do, the script quits out and then I was getting an error when re-running it saying “Can’t locate Constant.pm in @INC” blah blah blah. At this point, I couldn’t go forward in my installation. The only way I found to deal with this was re-installing Perl (if you use CPanel, you can follow the instructions to do so here: >http://docs.cpanel.net/twiki/bin/view/11_24/AllFAQ/PerlFAQ#How_do_I_upgrade_Perl After doing this 2 or three times, I think I stumbled onto something through Google searches saying that you may NOT want to install ALL the modules. This was a big turning point. Instead, (after I was able to run checksetup.pl again), I ONLY installed the modules that were required (I think there was about 3). After that, I got past this HUGE hiccup. And again – Why this information isn’t included as a note in the install guide is beyond me.



And Then There Was the Group Owner Permission Problems
After all this, I finally got to the point where I could try and run things again (./checksetup.pl and the like) and I was still getting problems. Turns out now that I had group/owner permission problems… Remember before when I said you should make sure to shell in using the group/owner account of the website where you’re installing this? Well see, I’m using something that I found out is called SuExec… From what I understand, it makes individual websites on your server run scripts by that website’s group name… If you let them run as “nobody” or “root”, it’s a big security thang. So anyway, when I installed all of this Bugzilla stuff as “root”, my owner and group permissions for all these files were all over the place (which is obviously bad). Using the commands “chown” and “chgrp”, I ended up fixed things and I made sure to update the “localconfig” file with the right group name.

At about this time in the process, you can run “testserver.pl” to try and see what’s wrong and even though things were a little broken, it was saying that the group name on the “localconfig” file was different than the name being used by the webserver. Even though it says “this MAY not be a problem”, when nothing is working you tend to second guess yourself so obviously I spent hours changing my Apache httpd.conf file, restarting Apache and then changing Bugzilla’s “localconfig” file and hoping it all worked. Bleh. Let me sum up things for you if you’re a bit confused:


I’ve been looking at this screen a lot lately.

Let’s say that I’m on my Linux box running Apache with Cpanel installed. I’m going to install Bugzilla onto hockeyrules.com – A domain that I own (for conversation’s sake anyway). When I FTP or or login to the CPanel for this domain, I know my username is “hockey”. Chances are, this is what SuExec is using for your group name when running scripts. So this is what you’re going to use in your “localconfig” file’s $webservergroup variable. Got it?

403 Forbidden My A$$
At this point, “checksetup.pl” was lookin’ good but I still was having problems with “testserver.pl” saying that it couldn’t retrieve some PNG file or something. When I checked out the site through my browser, I saw that I was getting a 403 Forbidden error. I mean seriously, could this thing just work!?!? After a little while searching and a little while investigating, I found out that my Bugzilla directory that was supposed to be serving files didn’t have the right permissions. What tripped a flag was when I saw that “Other” didn’t have read permissions which is when I think I chmodded it to 755 to get it to serve…

And that my friends is when it FINALLY worked.

So now I have a working version of Mantis AND a working version of Bugzilla. Oh, and I tried to get into Bugzilla a little while earlier today, but I found myself bamboozled. There’s a lot in there and it’s going to take a while to suss out I think. And don’t worry – I still plan on comparing the two so check back in a little while and you may see a FANtastic (or mediocre) review!

Introducing The Dude Registry!

For the longest time I’ve been talking about some “super secret project” I’ve been working on. It was so “super” in fact that it helped knock me off of blogging for a good couple of months! And while the last thing I wanted to do was let this blog slide in any way – I had to do just that as working the 9-5, my web design business and managing this blog was a bit too much for me to do all at the same time.

But now that I’ve managed to cut out the whole job thing, the important stuff really seems to be coming together nicely including my pride and joy, my newest creation – The Dude Registry!

So What is a “Dude Registry”?
It’s no new revelation that women have a million registries that they get to use throughout their lives. Now maybe it’s a result of a “Hallmark” effect but the fact remains that guys basically have one which is their wedding registry. And if we’re being honest, we know that women by and large control that one too. I mean seriously, what guy (when given a choice) would elect to get linen and plates when he could conceivably ask for anything he wanted? And it’s for these reasons that The Dude Registry was created.


The Dude Registry

But creating a registry for men is one thing, creating one that really serves men is another. (And not like that…) But to accomplish that goal, the registry provides two unique features not seen in other commercial registries…

  • Inventory – Whereas other registries force you to pick items from specific stores limiting your choices to whatever that place specializes in, The Dude Registry allows users to pick any item from Amazon to add to their registry. Outside of the Amazon wedding registry, this kind of inventory selection has never been seen before.
  • Prices – And because we’re using Amazon for our inventory, you can be assured that you’re getting it at those fantastic Amazon prices too!
  • Collaboration – Truly an industry first when purchasing actual product, users are encouraged to go in on items together and with the technology on the site, it couldn’t be easier! I mean, if you were to put a PS3 on your wedding registry, who do you think would buy it for you at its $300 price tag? The obvious answer is no one. But put that same item on your Dude Registry and it’s a different story. Which of your friends would really mind putting in $30 towards something YOU ACTUALLY WANTED?! It couldn’t be easier!


The Dude Registry

The Start of Something New
Everyone who I’ve shared this men’s wedding registry with really seems to think it’s a good idea. And my wife who generally is a Debbie Downer really likes it too! So I’m hoping with a little work on the promotion side that things will take off for it. Lord knows I deserve it with the amount of work I’ve pumped into it! And over the next couple of weeks you can be assured that I’ll have a couple little contests to promote the site so keep your eyes peels as you never know when you’ll have a chance to get some kicka$$ stuff for free…

Free from The Dude Registry!

Little Update of May Goings On

I’ve once again hit a patch of pretty busy things for myself, and thankfully this time around it looks like those things are definitely of the positive sort.

And I’m beginning to come out of them now so I think it’s time to throw some updates up on here. Well actually… Now that I write that, I don’t know if I’m really coming out of them as much as I’m starting to see the proverbial light at the end of tunnel.

The big things on the hit list are of course the impending house purchase, finally finishing up that pesky website I’ve mentioned on here, Little Mac’s 1st birthday party, getting more business for my design company, and learning ColdFusion *bleh* at work. Why don’t we go in order of stress shall we?

Getting More Business for BWD 0 stress
Right now, my business Bethesda Web Design is doing just the right amount of business for me right now which isn’t too much. (#):) As I’ll point out in a hot minute, I’m putting the finishing touches of the company’s first real client site and I’ve had another person inquire about a new website too which I have a good feeling on. But probably the biggest thumbs up for the company in the past month was getting an old client back on board which means my hosting costs are no longer dragging me down to nearly the extent as they were before.

Finishing Up That Pesky Website 2 stress
This used to rank much higher on the stressful scale but I’ve recently put a lot of work into it addressing the harder parts of the service, and finishing up some nagging issues that I personally had a problem with. NOW the only thing I’m really waiting on is the “client” to get back to me with the rest of the text so I can put the seal of completeness on this one. And don’t worry, I’ll be talking a lot more about this project next week in a Postmordem of sorts.

Little Mac’s 1st Birthday Party 3 stress
I’ll admit it that from jump, I didn’t want to have a birthday party for the little guy. He’s not going to remember it and it’s just going to mean a lot of time commitment from me along with the whole catering thing *rolling eyes*. BUT the wife really wanted to have it so here I am, having to fire up the BarBQ (which NEVER goes smoothly) and having to figure out what food I’m going to make to feed all these people that are allegedly coming. bleh

Learning ColdFusion 4 stress
It should come as a surprise to no one that I’m more familiar with PHP for database manipulation than anything else. (See wordpress). But when I was originally propositioned at work to learn this technology I of course agreed and now I really wish I was doing something else. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m basically learning as I’m going through the joy that is the Internet Tutorial, but it really feels like ColdFusion is forcing me to learn a new scripting language that is just different enough from most standards that I have to stop and look everything up every 5 seconds. And as there’s basically only one other guy in the office with CF experience, I bet I’m gonna have to start doing this a lot more in the future.

Impending House Purchase ? stress
And finally on the pain train is the impending house purchase for which I have settlement on Monday. For some reason, it’s really not stressing me out as much as it should be. Maybe it’s the fact that I probably won’t be moving in ’till Sept or that I’m ok paying copious amounts in the way of bills. One thing is for certain though and that’s that I have very limited time to renew my real estate license if I’m going to be able to get a referral fee off the purchase. Busy weekend for sure coming up. (#):)

Anyone out there doing anything of interest?

State of the Union II – My Projects

A week ago today, I told you about a relaunch of sorts for me and my projects…

The short of it is, they’re not where I need them to be and so today will be the first day of the rest of their lives.

And because you guys are coming along for the journey, you’ll first need to become aware of all the projects I currently have on the slate so we’re all on the same page Some projects I’ve told you about, and some may be quite new to you.

Bush Mackel

This is of course, this site. I’ve given a LOT of thought lately about the direction I want it to go in… Both revenue wise and more importantly content wise. Later on, we’ll look at this site more in depth and see where it’s both succeeding and failing.

Learn Stuff Online

As far as my online endeavors go, this was my first and remains the one nearest and dearest to my heart. It was originally slated to be a replacement to about.com, which I felt (and still believe) is a horrible site with bad content. In any event, while I learned a lot with my first go at it – Up ’till now it has been a big disappointment in a variety of places and I hope to turn it around.

Bethesda Web Design

Amongst all my projects, this one (imo) has the greatest potential to generate the most money in the shortest period of time. Unfortunately, around the time I started this, I also fell in love with blogging. And I’m sure you know how that ended.

Conclusion
So there you have it. Those are the big projects that I “currently have in the works” and the ones that I need to revamp and get rolling. I undoubtedly have more projects that I want to get going, but these are the big ones I want to focus on now. In the next week or so I’ll go into more detail with these projects so we can really start the fun. (#):)

State of the Union

I don’t remember exactly when, but sometime recently I said that one of things I wanted to do was get myself from point A to point B with my online endeavors.

Obviously, most of us want to do the same in that we all start with projects at point A, and we want them to succeed (get them to point B).

Up until now I’ve been talking a good game on here, but I think it’s high time to take things to the next level.

“What in the Devil Are You Talking About?”
Like most of us out there, I have my hands in a couple different pots. And also like most of us, I’m not doing enough to get myself and these projects to where I want them and need them to be so that I can declare them successful. So what I’m proposing here and now is a magical mystery tour of sorts… You, me and my projects. From point A to point B.

I want to share with you everything that I’m thinking with all of them, set some concrete goals, and work hard as sin to get my sites/projects to “that point” as quickly and intelligently as I can.

Coming Up
In the next couple of days, I’m hoping to share with you all the projects that I have and furthermore discuss them all in detail in terms of :

  • What they are : Currently and My Original Vision
  • Where they are now : Stats/Income
  • Where I want them to be : Income
  • How I see them getting there : Plans

And of course since I’m hoping you’ll all come along for the ride, I hope you will also take this whole thing as an opportunity to discuss in detail all the things that go into these kinds of online businesses… Web development, marketing, seo, link building, affiliate marketing, and anything else that comes up. I’ve never claimed that I was an expert on any of this, but hopefully at the “end” we’ll all be much more knowledgeable in these kinds of things.

So will you join me?

New Design

Even though a lot of you said that you really wanted me to bring back the previous theme I had up, I’ve decided to start crafting out something new using this current theme as a template. I know for some of you that leaves you screaming, “Why Bush why?!” So I’ll tell you.

My Design Issues
Even though I occasionally design sites for myself and others, I really don’t fancy myself a designer and especially not an artist. I do however try to notice good design when it presents itself and I also try and take the time to look at my own design techniques. What I know about myself is the following:

  • I like red and black. If I let myself just do what I wanted to do, they’d probably find their way into everything I made. While that’s good for me (well it might be good for me) it’s not good to design client’s sites in nothing but red and black.
  • I like boxes. That means I like elements to be placed in very defined spaces which design wise really limits what solutions I come up with.

That said, I don’t care too much about my overuse of red and black. They’re good colors and can often be used effectively. However, the whole box thing is something that I’ve become aware of recently (in the last two years) and know that I need to change if I want to grow as a designer. Now I know that most site themes are box like because it makes content presentation easier, but it really seems like everything on my old site had its own box that it lived in. So while admittedly you’ll see some boxes in my new design, I don’t think they’ll be freakin’ everywhere as in the past.

Ads
*sigh* I wasted so much time yesterday starting to design my new theme because of ad incorporation. I wasn’t really having a problem trying to find places to put ads on the site, but moreso I was having a problem justifying the whole thing to myself. Here were my issues:

  • CPM Ad – I didn’t have an alotted space for CPM ads before, so I wanted to include them on this one. After much hemming and hawing I was able to toss this ad out because I don’t think I’m getting enough pageviews to justify mucking up my design.
  • 125×125 Ads – These are the little guys that are sweeping the blogosphere. The problem with this is, I’m pretty confident I could fill the spots every month, but then I think that spot would look like everyone else’s… Ay yi yi yi. I think I’ll end up incorporating them in the end, but I still can’t shake that Blogsolid article.

Computer Programmer vs Graphic Designer
See? It’s for reasons like this that I got into the field that I did. We only have to ask, “Does it work or not?” Designers on the other hand usually start with one thing, (and if money is involved), end up getting it perverted into something else entirely. Well stay tuned true believers. I’m really hoping to have the new design up by Monday.

Feedback and Site Plans!

Hey everyone! I really appreciate all the feedback I received yesterday on my How Am I Doing post!

It’s really interesting for me to hear from all of you what brings you to my site and obviously what brings you back.

So thanks again! It’s always nice to receive such lofty compliments, and I’m going to continue to do what I do in order to bring a bigger and better site to your doorstep.

What Does All This Mean?
As far as content, I hope it means that I’ll start delivering some really good posts and series again that will help us all out in our web and blogging endeavors. As far as everything else, I really think I need to get more proactive with this site…

Gettin’ it Done
As it relates to blogging, I always keep the following notion in the back of my mind, “What’s the point of writing super content for your site, if there’s no one around to read it?” Now relative to when I first started this thing, I’ve come along way. But if I’m going to get the “next level”, I really need to push the envelope.

And I’m not talking about any black hat seo, but I’m talking about

  • increasing readership
  • increasing revenue
  • increasing traffic

Now a lot of things go into upping the preceding and I’m not going to go into that now, but in the next month or so I really want to start doing the things that I need to to elevate this site to the position it ought to be. And if you hadn’t already figured out, I want to take you along for the ride!

Other Projects
Recently, I’ve been doing a ton of thought into my Learn Stuff Online site. It’s a project I started a while back but never quite got my footing with. But I think through things I’ve learned here with my blog, I’m ready to dive back into it and finally knock it out of the park.

Stay Tuned!
I think up ’till now with my site we’ve all said “this is how you do this, and this is how you do that”, but now it’s time to put my money where I mouth is and really step up to the bat. I’m going to post a lot of details on this site about those projects and hopefully in the process get them to where they need to be plus share with you all how we go about doing it.

Sound good? As we go forward, I hope you’ll all chime in with any questions about things going forward. We’re all on different pages which means we can all give and take a lot from each other. Are you as excited as I am?

How Am I Doing?

No matter what I’m doing, be it personal or professional, I’ve always thought that occassionally asking “How Am I Doing” can’t be a bad thing.

And so I’m thinking that this is a pretty good time to do the same.

“Recently” with my blog, I have really been trying to provide blogging posts in the “morning” and video games in the “evening” with a sponsored post or review in the middle.

Now I’m wondering how it’s working out.

So Let Me Know!
Believe it or not, I actually care what you guys have to think! I mean, just as long as I’m talking about technology and blogging, I’m fine whatever the particulars are. And I hope this conversation of ours doesn’t just stop with topics necessarily. It could be talk about my design, sponsored posts, my replies to comments… It doesn’t matter. I just want to know!

If you need some help to get you thinking on the subject, here’s a little list…

  • Beginner’s – If you’re a beginner, what do you wish I talked about more? What could help you out the most?
  • Blogging Ethics – Should I talk about this more?
  • Contests – Do I have enough? Do I have too many? Do I have too few? Prizes you’d be interested in…
  • Design – Do you like my design? Do I have too much crap in my sidebar? Too many categories?
  • Money – Do I write too many sponsored posts? Could I write more? Would you like me to explore other ways to make money?
  • Content – Is my content something that actually interests you or do you come by because my personality invites you in? What do you want me to talk about more? What do you want me to talk about less? Any posts that I should add like “Wordless Wednesday’s”?
  • Personal – Do you want me to be more personal on here? Am I too personal for you already?

Thanks everyone and I hope you’ll help me make this place the best that I can!

Busy Busy Monday!

I was up pretty late last night having fun with the new server. Well, having fun may not really be accurate. I mean, it’s basically the same thing as what I have now except a lot more responsive.

Which I guess is more fun. At least to me. (#):)

Now this blog isn’t on the new server yet, but I’ve begun to transfer other sites and blogs over. As I write this, I’m transferring 3 sites over

…And it’s going a lot better than I thought it would.

What I’m Learning
I have three blogs now, and when I started them, I uploaded the latest version of WordPress. Outside of that, I never really updated them and I’ve obviously never moved my blogs to new servers before. Gotta say, the moving process isn’t that bad and if I had thought about things for 3 seconds before I started, I would’ve been able to save a ton of time.

Learn From My Mistakes:

  • Domain propagation takes time, so don’t tell yourself you can have your site up and running in an hour when it’ll take X times that hour for your domain to find your new server.
  • Once your domain is pointed at your new server, you may find it difficult to get files you left behind. So make sure you take your images, themes and posts with you BEFORE propagation!
  • Copy your databases and take note of your e-mail addresses and how they’re setup before you go.
  • Check out dnsstuff.com after you get your new server up so you can a heads up on anything that might be amiss with your new server/setup.

More to come soon after I start transferring my Galleries over. That will be great fun I’m sure.

Page Rank Update 2007 – The Legend Continues

I don’t have the exact dates in front of me, but I know that many a webmaster has been waiting for this most recent Page Rank update, myself included.

Now, after the dust has started to settle, the whole thing seems to be a bit anticlimactic… But that’s probably due to most of us not getting the PR we expected or wanted…

And some of us losing the Page Rank that we already had…

The Crazy October 2007 Page Rank Update
Admittedly, this is coming from a guy who eagerly anticipated the update, but this last one was wild!

  • Page Rank updates usually are spaced about 3 months apart…This one was about 6 (if it is truly done).
  • Webmasters expected their sites to largely go up in PR, but a ton saw them go down as they were seemingly penalized for selling text links and otherwise manipulating the big G.

Google and Text Link Penalties
Now if you haven’t heard, the whole penalization for selling text links has gotten a lot of people in web development up in arms. Google has basically asserted that if you sell a text link ad on your site w/o the nofollow tag, you are essentially manipulating their search engine algorithm by unnaturally inflating the “importance” of sites making them appear higher in Google’s search engine results page. Google of course prides itself on being the biggest and best search engine on the web, so they can’t condone behavior like this.

Do You Care About Page Rank?
I do. I wish that I could say I didn’t, especially being a young entrepreneur… One of the basic tenants of entrepreneurship and business in general is that you should limit how many people and things you’re dependent on.As far as my websites go, I do all the work on my sites myself and I own the domain names and I (to a large extent) control the servers they run on.

But as a blogger trying to earn revenue for my blogs, the easiest source of income I have to draw on is sponsored posts who largely decide how much to pay their bloggers based on Page Rank (amongst other factors). And on the surface of things, it IS as simple as a better Page Rank means more money. This is why I care about Page Rank.

But on the flip side of the ball, consider if I had a Page Rank of 5, I’d be certainly making a decent chunk of change from this site. Probably so much that I would rely on it as part of my income. And what would then become of me when I lost some of my Page Rank and dropped to a 3? My income would drop… A lot. And I’d be in trouble.

Making Money Without Page Rank
It can be done! And in fact many people are doing it everyday. Us bloggers just need to get out of our box for a second. As I said, sponsored posts are the easiest way for us to make money… We don’t have to search for advertisers ourselves, and we can signup for a program when our site is just starting out. But when we do this, we loose control of our income by depending on our site’s rankings which are largely given to us by other companies like Google and Alexa.So what can we do?

There are many ways to make money online without Page Rank! Look at Casey for example over at News Notion. Before SHE had any noticeable PR she was hard at work selling ad space on her blog and she got all of her spots sold out in a manner of days. DAYS! And however much she sold her spots for, she got to keep 100% of the profits instead of splitting down the middle (if she was so lucky) with companies like Pay Per Post and Sponsored Reviews.

Another way to make money is through affiliate marketing! If you have a blog that provides great information on products and that people are finding through search engines, why not drop some affiliate links (esp if you feel strongly about the product). Opal T regularly says how much she loves affiliate marketing and how she loves not having to be married to page rank and page rank updates.

Conclusion
While Page Rank is something that can immediately help your site’s revenue, depending on it to fuel your revenue can cause some massive damage to you if it suddenly taken away from you. Do yourself a favor and plan for long time success by gaining control of your site again!(Parts of this post inspired by Opal T and all the lovely comments she drops on here!)