Fun with Ecto

I imagine lots of folks out there in the Blogtopia (Blogverse? Blogvomit?) are geeks like me. I run my own web server here in my house, so when something doesn’t work…I get to fix it.

Two hours ago, I installed WordPress, this blogging application you see before you in all its currently bland glory. One big thing I wanted to try out was the concept of “offline” preparation of my little news items. There is this application for that purpose that I thought sounded nifty- Ecto. I’m using it now…two hours after I started.

When I ran Ecto, the first thing it did was tell me it needed the .Net framework. Cool, says I- I like .Net…the only reason I don’t have the framework installed is that I recently upgraded to Windows XP x64, and the .Net framework V1.1 isn’t “officially” supported for the 64 bit OS. But I’ve installed it anyway, and the installer only gave me one little bland warning about IIS (who cares?).

So Ecto runs… and when I fed it all my blog info, it burped up a “Badly formated XML error” message. I figured out how to look at the Ecto “console”, and saw the raw error it was receiving. Basically, to connect Ecto to WordPress, Ecto runs a program is part of WordPress that acts as an API. That program was producing its own error: Call to undefined function: xml_parser_create() . Some googling revealed that this was due to some missing PHP library- php-xml. Goody. And of course all my urpmi sources (I run Mandrake) were out of date. But finally, with a “urpmi php-xml”, I got the missing library installed. And then to make it work I had to restart the httpd service.

And now its past one in the morning on a work night. I suppose I could say this was educational- certainly it was thrilling to me when Ecto finally worked. By the way, that’s a sure sign of being a true techno-geek: when you get a big rush from making something work that any sane person would have given up on hours ago 😉

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