MySQL mysql_connect new_link

I want to share a database connection access problem I had last week, while working with a custom PHP script inside WordPress. I had created this WordPress Page Template containing some PHP code that needs access to the database. The problem was that the database connection for my custom script overwrote the WordPress database connection that was previously establish, causing certain parts of WordPress to not display properly.

It took me a while to figure out that it was the newer database connection of my custom PHP script that was causing the previously established WordPress database connection to disappear. Hence, certain parts of the WordPress page were not displayed. Little did I know, that the fix was quite simple. So, here’s a sample of my mysql_connect code. Prior to this line, I’ve already set the variables.

Mysql_connect

$db=mysql_connect($host,$username,$password);

The Fix

Simply add a fourth parameter called new_link and set it to TRUE.

$db=mysql_connect($host,$username,$password,TRUE);

What this does is basically telling mysql_connect to establish a new connection, while keeping the older mysql_connect connection around, in case we need to access it at a later time. It’s amazing how one little switch in a command can make a huge difference to this seemingly simple code. Anyways, adding a fourth parameter and setting it to TRUE was the solution.

Set Your Timezone Correctly In WordPress

It’s a new year, and it’s a good time to make a new start. I did a little bit of housekeeping work within WordPress, to make sure that my blog is off to a good start. I just changed theme today. That’s going very well. While browsing around my blog, I noticed that the time on my posts are off by one hour.

It doesn’t make any sense, since my webhost is Hostgator, which is based in Houston, which is in the Central timezone. I’m in California which is Pacific timezone. My blog, for some reason, seems to be in the middle, in the Mountain timezone. I did some little investigative work and found that my WordPress timezone settings has changed.

This post is about making sure that your WordPress timezone is set correctly. So, login to your Admin Dashboard. Access Settings > General look for the Timezone settings. See snapshot below.

Select your timezone correctly. I set mine to UTC-8 for the West Coast of the United States. If you don’t know where you are, you can check several websites that offer timezone information. Once you made the change, go ahead and save. You can validate your WordPress timezone setting by looking at the internal clock next to the form. It should display the correct time in your timezone.

You should only get to do this once, but my time setting, for some reason has changed, and I just recently noticed it. So, make sure to check that your timezone is setup correctly.

A New Theme

A new year, a new theme, a new framework, a somewhat familiar layout, and the same old background. The new theme is based on the Genesis framework by StudioPress. I’m using a child theme called News.

The new theme should be more flexible when it comes to layout and functionality. The Genesis framework is quite robust. The framework has a plugin called Simple Hooks that makes it easier to make theme customizations.

A piece of code can be inserted using Simple Hooks. It will accept any HTML, Javascript and PHP code. The hooks can do wonders when inserted in key sections of the framework. Plugins shortcodes can be inserted as well.

Overall, I’m still learning how to work with this framework works. The concept is a little foreign to what I am used to, but I like what I have done to the theme so far.

I hope you like the new theme.

2011 In Review

According to WordPress, I wrote a total of 190 posts in 2011. To see all the articles written in 2011, simply access:

http://ulyssesonline.com/2011/

This feature is possible using one of the nicest features in WordPress called permalinks, which is short for permanent links. With permalinks, you can customize your own URL structure the way you want it. I happen to use this format:

http://ulyssesonline.com/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/

which makes it easier for me to display articles by year, month and day. To access all articles written in 2011, I just provide the year and all articles written in 2011 will be displayed. Most WordPress users already use permalinks.

If you are not, do it early. Over the years, you’ll see the benefit of using such a structure.

The Reasons Why I Dont Use Internet Explorer

Every now and then, I use Internet Explorer just to see how an application behaves with the dreaded browser from Microsoft. The results at times are surprising, to say the least. Using IE usually involves using Windows, which I don’t use that often. But, I have my old, trusty Windows XP, running in Virtualbox.

Inside Windows XP, I have a slightly older Internet Exporer 7. I want to upgrade to IE9, but there is a slight problem. When I headed over to Microsoft’s website, I learned that I can’t run IE9 on Windows XP. Microsoft suggests that I upgrade to Windows 7. No thanks. So, the best I can do with this Windows XP, is go with IE8. I guess I can do that, but I need another computer to test IE9.

In the meantime, I decided to blog just a little. I logged in to WordPress using IE7. Guess what? WordPress complained that I’m using an insecure browser the moment I logged in to the WordPress Dashboard. The message is right up there on top of the page, inside a bright red background. You can’t miss it.

So, I decided to write a quick blog, and then the unimaginable happened. The IE7 browser disappeared. It’s gone in a puff of smoke, right before my eyes. Where did it go? It crashed! It’s a good thing, I pressed ‘Save Draft’ just moments before its disappearance. So, now I’m using Google Chrome to complete this post.

Oh, what fun. And I still have to test that dreaded application with IE7, IE8 and IE9. I can’t wait what’s in store for me.