Last night I converted Airbag from SHTML to PHP. While the transition and page renaming was simple enough, getting it to work took no less than four people: myself, Resonance, Waferbaby, and Atlantian.
After converting all the Moveabletype templates and hand coded pages like About or Contact, I rebuilt the entire website. The process went very quickly but resulted in every page coming up completely blank, not a drop of code could be seen when choosing View Source from a browser. Server logs were requested, Bush was blamed, and I was starting to think that blank isn’t so bad — blank is just the new white.
Still the troupe was determined to find the solution as the symptom had never been seen, let alone diagnosed before. Time passed, Waferbaby told a joke while Atlantian disappeared seemingly never to be heard from again.
Then with a spark triumphant the problem was found. Horns sounded and the heavens opened.
This site is constructed with the finest tool ever created for building websites. When I start building a new page BBEdit spits out a fresh new sheet with the proper DOCTYPE all ready to go. Along with the DOCTYPE is this line at the very top: <?xml version=”1.0″>.
The use of ‘<? ?>’ indicates to PHP that something must be processed between the question marks. So when the middleware tried to process “version=’1.0′” nothing came of it, resulting in blank pages as white and pure as virgin snow.
It might seem obvious now but late last night it was a mystery of the likes you have never seen.
Thank you again to the chaps (see above) who spent 20 minutes in a dark and smokey iChat window trying to help figure this out.
Ladies and gentlemen, Airbag’s regular service between cynicism and hyperbole will resume shortly.