Sorry, this Module is not active!

Sigh…try to do one little thing to fix a configuration problem, and a dozen bugs show up.

If you are a website admin and use PHPNuke, this might interest you. Many (?) Linux distributions are now shipping with a PHP configuration setting called “register_globals” set to “Off”. This is a good thing for security as described by the PHP documentation. Unfortunately, it seems that PHPNuke has a ton of places where globals are used “incorrectly”.

In the case of my Linux version, Mandrake 10, register_globals is set to “On” with several warnings in /etc/php.ini explaining why this is a bad thing to do, but for compatability they did it anyway. I switched this to “Off” and many things blew up…starting with a couple of my own utilities. I fixed my own utilities, and upgraded to the newest version of Gallery (which, by the way, warns about the “register_globals” setting when it finds it set to “On”), and everything initially seemed to be working.

Then I checked out several links on my PHPNuke sites. Semi-randomly, I would get a “Sorry, this Module is not active!” error. I’d re-click the link that generated the error or hit refresh in my browser, and then the module would work. This was happening all over the place, in login, in the PHPBB forums…many places. I changed register_globals back to “On”, and the problem went away.

From some poking around I’ve done using Google, I’ve found this problem mentioned in many places with several versions of PHPNuke, including 7.1. What it suggests, based on the problem disappearing when I set register_globals to on, is that PHPNuke is using POST or GET values “poorly” (see the link above). I’m hoping there’s a “fixed” version of PHPNuke out there somewhere, or that maybe the newer version 7.1 really does eliminate the diffculty.

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