An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveA Patchy Day
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A Patchy Day
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 3:23 PM MDT
This is a work-related post, so consider this fair warning, all non-geek visitors!
A customer has been using InfoWest's web email interface to read email for quite some time, but today discovered that logging in presented only a blank page.
So I logged on to the FreeBSD server in question and started perusing web server access and error logs, but nothing unusual was showing. In fact, the access attempts by the user weren't being logged at all by the Apache web server. Fortunately there was something useful in the system logs:
A quick googling of that error message pointed me to PHP Bug #42862 where another user (sborrill) provided a patch. I copied the patch over to the appropriate place in the server's FreeBSD ports directory at
Now I just need to submit this patch to the FreeBSD port maintainer, at least until the PHP maintainers integrate a fix into the next release.
This is why I love open source software! Were we using some proprietary system and we encountered a bug like this, we'd have to wait days, weeks, or months for the vendor to issue a fix. With the source code available, one can dive into the code, find the flaw, and fix it. Then share the fix with others.