CakePHP paginator sorting problem solved!

I’ll keep this brief, because I need to get back to writing code, but I wanted to share the solution I found to a CakePHP problem that has been nagging me for a while and for which I had never found a simple resolution.

I’m using the $paginator->sort() method to create links in the column headers for tables of paginated search results in my CMS. The method works great, except for one small problem: I could never get it to reverse the order. Intuitively, with links like these, you should be able to click them once to sort in ascending order, and then click again to reverse into descending order. But the reverse was never working for me.

Some research showed that you can pass in all sorts of options to the method, but I wanted to avoid having to make a change like that to about a dozen views; plus, it just didn’t seem right — the method is supposed to do the reverse by default.

At last I have discovered the source of my trouble: you need to explicitly name the model in the parameter that defines the sort field. I’ve been getting more diligent about always naming my models explicitly, but back when I set up these paginated tables (which was about the first thing I did in writing the application), I wasn’t doing it yet. Adding in the model, the reverse order on a second click works perfectly. Here’s a before-and-after example to illustrate the problem and its resolution.

Before:

<?php echo $paginator->sort('Title', 'title'); ?>

After:

<?php echo $paginator->sort('Title', 'Article.title'); ?>

On upgrading WordPress (and WordPress plugins) automatically over SSH/SFTP

For the most part, I love managing my own server. Even though it requires digging into the muck of Linux configuration files with my bare hands (so to speak), and if it goes down, I have no one to blame (or call on for help) but myself, it’s great to have full control and flexibility.

One downside I discovered as a WordPress user, however, is that the super-slick automatic upgrade feature of WordPress was broken on my server. WordPress only supports FTP and the (as I see it) somewhat pointless FTPS. Insecure as it is, my old host supported regular ol’ FTP, and that made WordPress upgrades painless.

There’s no way I’m going to implement FTP on my own server. It’s easy enough to install the package at the command line (really, it is), but I just see no reason to open myself up to the security risks. Granted, there aren’t really that many security risks (beyond one very big one — intercepted passwords) with a well-configured FTP server. But I don’t care to investigate the steps necessary to ensure an FTP server is well-configured.

The obvious choice is to use SFTP/SSH, but at first it looked to me as if WordPress simply didn’t support it. But as I’ve learned (and since proven with my own server), WordPress does support it if your PHP installation has the proper extensions installed. And here’s a guide to get you started.

Once your PHP install is upgraded to support SSH connections, the option will automatically become available in the WordPress upgrade tools, and it works perfectly!

RegisTrap 0.4 released

Luckily the bug in RegisTrap I discovered yesterday after upgrading to WordPress 2.7 turned out to be a very minor one. I just had to move the return $errors; line outside of a conditional in my function to ensure that it’s always returned, even if no error value was set. In the previous version of WordPress, it didn’t matter that if there were no errors the function was returning… well, nothing… but in the new version it seems you can’t apply an error handling filter without returning a WP_Error object.

Anyway… it works now, and you can download version 0.4 right now from my site. I’ve also checked it into the main WordPress Subversion repository, so it should be showing up on the official site sometime fairly soon. Enjoy!

Special thanks to Jenny for happening to try registering for the site within about 8 hours after I had upgraded, and bringing the problem to my attention. Otherwise I might have gone days or weeks without knowing the plugin was broken!

It’s definitely still necessary though, because in about a day of running my site without the plugin I had already received over a half dozen spam registrations.