Various Articles

This is what happens when you don’t RTFM

Merely moments ago, I banged my head against the nearest wall.  While my head still slightly hurts, I decided to share with you what happens mere moments ago.

I was just working on a website of mine, when I started to make a series of mistakes.  Well, two according to my twitter stream, but it seemed to be much worse.

I was creating a new Super Administrator account when I noticed I got a 403 error after saving. While I recognized the error screen from Admin Tools, I went to look for the solution elsewhere. Until kind Tweeps pointed out that I was “probably using Akeeba Admin Tools” and had an option enabled.

But it got worse.  After I tinkered with Admin Tools without reading the Fine Manual; I noticed something strange in my website. What ?! My URLS’ were broken! Certainly that had to be the fault of the SEO component I was using. I changed things. Nothing. Aaaaargh!

Then I noticed something else. Why was “Joomla” removed from all my menu items? At that point I had already stopped using my brain and came up with a brilliant conspiracy theory: it had to be because of Joomla! 1.5.24!

Once again, people who had read the manual told me to “think, you non-manual reading n00b.” Well, that’s what I would have told myself.  Had I perhaps enabled an option in Admin Tools, which removes “Joomla” everywhere in my site.

“Ehm, no, why would I do that?” (I did, and quickly went to check this, and made the necessary change. Suddenly, my links and menu items were “fixed” again.)

What have we learned today?

  • If you’re using Admin Tools (or any extension of which you don’t know what it does), RTFM
  • Breath! Think! Track back, what did you just do / screw up?

I plead guilty on the charge of “Not reading the Fine Manual” and “Tinkering with stuff of which I didn’t know what it’d do. May the judges be mild. 😉

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Categories: Various Articles

4 replies »

    • I kind of disagree with Brian – but only slightly.

      I often learn what settings do by flipping the switch and looking for what’s different. The ‘trick’ is to only make one change at a time. It’s usually when you’ve done three or four changes at once and then run into issues that you can’t separate out the possible causes of the issue.

      Pro-tip: Keep a change log so you can more easily backtrack – the number of times I fail to remember making a change and struggle to roll back. Detailed records are your friend.

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