Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2002 > Late June 2002 Edition

Late June 2002 Edition

I was wrong in the last edition when I said, that I would move into my sister's house next month. In fact it will be sometime in early August. My sister needs to make improvements to the house before I can move in.

Site report

I've been reading my web reports. I've had over 10,000 visits over the past two months, and the vast majority of those were for the Caitlin Clarke Page. I want to thank you so much for those visits. I am sure Ms. Clarke would thank you, too, if she knew this site existed. (And yes, I have tried to reach her, at least via e-mail.)

The failure report for this site tells me, that eight out of ten failures were unsuccessful cracking attempts. All attempt to discover if this site runs off Windows NT. Well, I am very happy to inform you all that it does not! Linux rules!

It's this sort of thing, that's why you must never connect to the Internet on a Windows PC without a firewall and an antivirus program. It's not like either is expensive; and if a virus or rogue script should crash your PC you will pay even more to a techie to get it working again.

Now that I'm properly vented, I'll now address some of the remaining two out of ten failures:

Apache/PHP on WinXP

It was a long poke-and-prod session, but in the process of setting up a decent web service on my XP box:

I set up Apache 2.0.x as a local service. I downloaded the Windows Install file from the Apache site. Then I ran the Windows Install file, using 'localhost' as a site name and choosing the public (port 80) setting. After the install is done, I opened the configuration file and changed that 80 to some much higher number to make it private. This lets me use the Apache Service Monitor, which would not be available if I chose manual settings.

I set up PHP 4.2.x on Apache. Another download, but this time from the PHP site as a ZIP file. WinZip is needed to extract the files to C:\Program Files\PHP. (PHP recommends C:\PHP, but as this is a Windows app, I believe it should go where all other Windows apps go.) Then I dropped PHP4TS.DLL into my system folder, and PHP.INI into my Windows folder. I do another Apache configuration file edit to make Apache use PHP, and restart the web server.

I copy my web page to my XP box. I put this in the folder which Apache uses as its DocumentRoot (the folder where the home page resides). Then, when I call http://localhost:Late June 2002 Edition#/, the page appears.

I iron out problems with PHP. My Esperanto pages are PHP-generated with a script called motoro (more on it shortly). But on my local site only the home page would appear, not the side pages.

I found out that as a security enhancement PHP 2.4.x turns off by default the ability to transfer values from page to page like this:


Turning this feature back on lets this work again. This feature can be dangerous unless you restrict PHP to the DocumentRoot and its subfolders.

The Motoro Script

The lack of a way to display the six capped letters of Esperanto with common character sets and on all browsers compelled me to write a script to adapt raw Esperanto text to a browser. This script I call motoro, the Esperanto word for "engine".

Motoro reads a file of Esperanto text, whose path is passed in the variable nomo ("name"), like in the example above. The script takes the contents of the file; detects what kind of browser you are using; and turns the contents into a web page based on your browser.

The script lets the content pass for raw-text and crude browsers (Lynx, WebTV, Mosaic, early Netscape); or turns it into Unicode for the latest browsers (MSIE 5+, Net 6+, Mozilla) which can display capped letters; or turns it into Latin-3 (whose character set has the capped letters) for most other browsers, which could display them under certain fonts.

The widespread use of Unicode-readable web browsers—especially Mozilla—is making it possible at long last to post web pages in Esperanto without the need for special fonts or double-letter workarounds. It is my hope that one day the motoro script will no longer be required.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.