SSH Bad Owner Or Permissions Error

After a recent update on Ubuntu I found that I was unable to use ssh due to a strange permissions error to do with the ssh config file. This was quite a problem as I wasn't able to push changes to my git server. The error was as follows:

philipnorton42 Mon, 01/21/2013 - 22:29

Xdebug Debugging On A Remote Server

20th January 2013

I have started to use virtual machines to develop sites rather than installing a local web server. This allows me to replicate the exact setup of the server I will be deploying to with ease. For each virtual machine I set up a shared folder which allows me to store the files locally whilst being able to run the code on the virtual machine. One thing I missed was the ability to use xdebug to debug the sites through Netbeans, so I set about trying to set up the virtual hosts to allow me to use xdebug remotely.

Grep For Text In All Files In A Directory

16th January 2013

Searching all files in a directory and sub-directories for a particular term is really useful and comes in handy in all sorts of situations. It is available on all Linux systems and the basic syntax is as follows.

grep -r -i pattern directory

The -r flag is used to recursively search underneath the given directory and the -i flag is used to ignore case. The pattern is a normal regular expression, which can be changed to an extended set by using the -E flag.

Automating Headless Selenium PHPUnit Tests

15th January 2013

I have talked before about running Selenium tests in PHPUnit but I have only recently come to properly automate things. Getting a Selenium server to start and stop in a script is relatively easy and can be done in a simple script. My original script for running a directory of PHPUnit tests was as follows.

Getting Started With PhoneGap And Android

PhoneGap is a free and opensource framework for developing mobile applications. It is a great way of creating applications that work across multiple devices including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows and others. It works by rendering HTML pages using a browser, which means that you can create applications using just HTML and JavaScript. It also allows you to interact with elements of the phone like the camera and accelerometer through JavaScript using a simple API.

philipnorton42 Fri, 01/04/2013 - 11:52

Drupal Homepage Takeover

7th December 2012

I had a recent requirement where I needed to temporarily replace the homepage of a website running Drupal with a simple HTML page. I wanted to do this without doing lots of changes to the site templates so I needed a solution that was easy to turn on and off and would still retain the Drupal site as it was. I found the simplest solution was to add a rule to the DirectoryIndex rule in the sites .htaccess file. Here is the rule I used.

Storing Automated YSlow Tests With Show Slow

3rd December 2012

I was at a meeting of the Manchester Web Performance Group the other day where Tom Taylor gave a talk about some of the performance testing tool he uses at He used a ruby script to set up some preferences in Firefox which then ran Selenium to open some web pages and test them with YSlow. The results of the YSlow inspection are then sent to a Show Slow server where the results can be graphed over time.

DrupalCampNW 2012: A Review

2nd December 2012

When Mike Bell approached me several months ago and said we should do a Drupal camp in the north west I was completely on board with the idea. So for the past few months I have been working with Mike and a group of people from the North West Drupal User Group (NWDUG) to create such an event. The result was DrupalCampNW2012, which was held from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th November. The venue was the new University of Salford campus buildings in MediaCityUK.

Playing With ReactPHP

19th November 2012

I recently saw an implementation of a Twitter wall that used node.js to run searches on Twitter and post the results on a webpage. I had been wanting to create something using ReactPHP so I thought this was a good opportunity to have a go. ReactPHP, if you haven't heard of it, is an event-driven, non-blocking I/O that is essentially the PHP equivalent of node.js. The major difference is that ReactPHP is written in pure PHP with no extra components, whereas node.js is a collection of different programs, interfaces and languages.

Changing Submit Input Elements Into Buttons In Drupal 7

I spent what seemed like an eternity today trying to figure out something in a form I was creating on a Drupal site. I was building a multi step form with previous and next buttons, both of which were submit elements like this.

philipnorton42 Fri, 11/16/2012 - 11:09