Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Strangest Darn Thing (PHP, Apache and a Firefox bug)

I've been running Postgres, and was told of a nifty web-based tool called phpPgAdmin that makes administering PG databases easier, so I tried to install it.

Somewhere early on in my attempts to verify my install, I started seeing this problem when I would try to access the app (i.e. http://localhost/phpPgAdmin/index.php). It would try to make me download the index.php page, and if I clicked okay on the dialog (that said "you have chosen to open ..."), it would save the page to my homedir. Not what I wanted.

So I fiddled, and I futzed, and I tried just about every config combo I could think of. Nothing worked. I reinstalled PHP. Nope. I copied index.php to dave.php, and that worked fine, but the original index.php didn't. (Permissions were identical between dave.php and index.php.)

I Googled several times, and finally decided to put in "you have chosen to open" as part of my search term. This took me to a page that gave me the idea to try replacing the current index.php with a very simple one, (basically just a Hello, World page). Nope, still asked me to download, and when I saved it, it gave me ... the old page?! Now wait a minute! Okay, let's restart Apache. Try again ... still the old page! Now come on...

Okay, let's shut down Apache. Same thing: "you have chosen to open ..."! So Firefox wasn't even going to the server for this. Restart Firefox, try again. Same thing. Yup, somebody's wedged.

I finally, rather than save the file, tried to get Firefox to open it. It sat there, paused; I clicked Cancel and Retry, and it finally said something about not being able to contact the server.

Now, then. Let's start Apache, and try again. Now it works.

Best I can tell, Firefox must've gotten wedged caching this file way early on. Not sure if Apache was complicitous or not, (and PHP and phpPgAdmin seem innocent enough). Grrr.


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