Author: Tom

  • Deploying MediaWiki via Chef

    After deploying a few custom servers to support both Ruby and php applications, setting up a server to run MediaWiki seemed like a breeze.  And it is, sort of, so long as you know where to draw the line. It seemed plausible to create a Chef cookbook to deploy a ready-to-run MediaWiki installation.  And I […]

  • What’s Wrong with Chef and Other Rants

    My apologies, this is a placeholder for a number of things I have meant to write about using Chef to deploy our cloud servers.  It turns out the task took longer and was a lot more convoluted than imagined, even after considering Hofstadter’s Law, so the writing has all been pushed back.  But here’s the proposed list […]

  • New theme :-(

    Today I upgraded a raft of things on this WordPress site, one of them my base theme.  And the site looked like crap-o-la. Apparently, creating a child theme to avoid losing custom styling when upgrading the base theme… is virtually no help at all. So it goes.  Spending the afternoon fiddling with CSS seemed like […]

  • Announcing encoding-inspector

    First there was the encoding_sampler Gem Last November, I created the encoding_sampler Gem (RubyGems, github) to help find the desired encoding for a particular text file. From the Gem description: EncodingSampler helps solve the problem of what to do when the character encoding is unknown, for example when a user is uploading a file but has […]

  • Fear and loathing with Chef and nginx

    I always hate having to explain why I spent 4 hours on one line of code: override[‘nginx’][‘pid’] = ‘/run/nginx.pid’ It’s not really even code, it’s just a configuration setting.  I ran into the problem using Chef, the opscode nginx cookbook, and the very-new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.  Not sure if this applies to other configurations but debugging this sort […]