[thelist] Unix and NT? Confusion? What? Help!!!

Ben Henick persist1_pdx at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 31 15:06:51 CST 2000

> This just got me thinking Ben, do you mean that you need information
> about such things as file paths, server names, PHP setup etc? If so,
> you can probably get all of that yourself by running a simple script
> to enumerate through all the server variables.
> Just a thought.
> .steve

I'm no stranger to phpinfo() but it's like:

1.  Where is sendmail?
2.  What are required chmods and filename extensions for CGI scripts?
3.  Where is the system tmp directory that I can use without violating
the AUP?
4.  Do salt or the C compiler suffer from peculiarities we ought to
know about in advance?
5.  What are SQL's nonstandard features/non-features on a given

I could go on, but this is good enough for now...

In the meantime keep in mind that I'm just recently started dipping my
toes into server-side programming (and only PHP at that).

The reason I bring this up is because yesterday, when making changes to
a site (www.winthropresearch.com) to make the homepage searchable, I
decided to use the site mail interface to notify the client of the

Guess what?  The ISP had changed the environment without notifying me. 
So now I've got a broken mail script.  In the meantime the client
hasn't gotten the necessary information to help me set up his mail (in
order that I can put up something for a mailto link besides @aol.com -
this client has been an AOL customer since its primordial stage).

I'm spinning my wheels, while in the meantime a very important part of
the site is broken and I can't do a damned thing about it because I'm
not the account owner of record.

Grrrr... this client is the only one I'm going to refer to this ISP
(the oldest and biggest in Portland btw) because of the crappy customer
service and byzantine security.  From now on I'm sending all of my
customers who want virtuals to *my* hosting provider, who give you what
you pay for.

I posted a gratuitous link to Canadiana in my last message, so:

<tip>I have learned this the hard way (by virtue of nailbiting):  make
sure that an expectations list is drawn up at the beginning of a
project, making it clear that you are not liable in situations where
the client is sitting on 'is arse.  That doesn't solve any problems
(especially for control freaks like me who aren't happy until something
genuinely works) but will at least take the edge off of the guilt.  If
the client doesn't read it (thus coming to understand that the site
doesn't just appear overnight), it's Their Problem.</tip>

Ben Henick              |  "In the long run, men hit only
Web Author At-Large     |  what they aim at.  Therefore,
www.io.com/persist1/    |  though they should fail
persist1 at io.com         |  immediately, they had better aim
persist1_pdx at yahoo.com  |  high."  --Henry David Thoreau

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