Lance Cleveland

High Volume Tuning PHP FPM on nginx

As the My Store Locator Plus® service continues to grow we are finding it more important than ever to fine tune our web server and PHP processes to better serve the larger data and network demands. A recent review of performance showed process timeouts happening during large data imports and side-loading; especially when the read and write endpoints hit the same server node. Here are some things we did to improve performance.

Get off faux sockets

PHP FPM is typically installed with file-based sockets. While this lessens traffic on the network hardware, most modern servers are equipped with fiber-ready network connections. These network ports and the TCP stack that interfaces with them can often handle a higher peak load of I/O requests than the file system can manage via the “pretend” sockets run through the operating system file I/O requests.

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Selenium IDE3 Using If and Variables

Selenium IDE3 is continually evolving and has become my new tool-of-choice for testing web apps from the user experience perspective. Some of the features of the older Selenium IDE, such as rollups, are not supported. This has required some time to learn how to recreate test scripts in the new IDE. Along the way I’ve learned some tricks which are not documented on the main Selenium IDE site.

Creating Selenium IDE3 Variables

Using variables in Selenium IDE3 is similar to the older releases. Use the Store command to save common text or other values to a variable. Target is the value to be stored and Value is the name of the variable. Yes, confusing — but that may change as the IDE continues to be refined over time.

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nginx Installing WordPress In A Subdirectory

We have recently run into a number of customers using Store Locator Plus® that are having issues with the new REST based geocoding system. It turns out that an overwhelming percentage of people that are having issues have WordPress installed in a subdirectory. Apparently not all subdirectory installs are created equal — if it is not done properly things break.

What is a subdirectory install?

A subdirectory install is one in which WordPress is installed in a directory within the document root of a website. Sometimes this is done when WordPress is only managing one part of a website such as the newsfeed or blog. Other users use this install to separate WordPress core code from the add-on and upload code (plugins, themes, uploads) and the site configuration.

For the sake of this explanation we’ll reference the document root as being in the public_html directory and WordPress inside of a /wordpress directory within.

Our example install structure
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Toshiba FireTV Can’t Connect To Amazon

The Toshiba 49LF421U19, aka Toshiba Fire TV 49″ Best Buy edition, seems like a great deal. On sale it can be had for well under $300 delivered. For an Alexa-enabled Smart TV with 1080p that is not a bad deal. It should be perfect for the PS4 in the game room and double as the “kids TV” — especially during the upcoming Super Bowl party.

However things aren’t all great with this techno-TV.

After getting the TV booted the first time, listening to the annoying “bing” every few minutes until batteries are put in the remote, waiting or an update to download for 5 minutes, then having to sit through a 3-minute infomercial it was time to use the TV. First step — connect to Amazon.

Except You Cannot Connect To Amazon

Despite retyping my password and email address at least 8 different times using the on-screen keyboard … or about 3,978 remote clicks later — I realized there was a problem talking to Amazon. Despite the video having been downloaded and the software update; meaning the network was fine.

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Microsoft Teams – Link to Tabs Not Content

Using the Microsoft Teams native app on your desktop? It it CONSTANTLY opening BROWSER WINDOWS to get to content within Teams? Yeah, happens to me too.

Turns out there is a way to copy the link to a TAB in a teams project that includes a specially encoded hint to the browser. That hint tells the browser “open this in the Microsoft Teams window”.

Why in the HELL Microsoft has to redirect links to its own content out through an external browser and back in again is beyond me — but at least this trick puts you immediately back into Teams …. until the next click.

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