Subscribe to Comments Issue Fixed – Sort of
Sep 1 2007

We have been struggling with some WordPress and WordPress Plugin issues for some time now (see here, here, here, and here) and we think we have finally come to some sort of manageable work around for the one that has taken the most time to figure out: Subscribe to Comments.  Since Randa at Randa Clay Design first told me where to get the plugin when I asked the question on an eMoms at Home post, we have been trying to figure out how to make it work.  The first step was to move to a self hosted blog, which we did.  Then all of a sudden I wasn’t getting email notifications when someone was posting on the blog.  We just figured that out recently.  I was desperate for answers and we scoured the web and put a question on the Support Forums that never got answered and we later discovered was deleted.

whurley prepares for SMC Austin

I happened to attend an Austin Socia Media Club meeting where the infamous William Hurley spoke on open source software.  Honestly, I didn’t know who he was or if he was famous or infamous before I attended…but apparently he’s quite famous.  I liked his presentation style.  He asked us if we knew what he was there to talk about and only about 3 people raised their hands.  I did not raise my hand because I don’t know much about OSS.  Instead of being offended, he seemed relieved because it made his create on-the-fly Powerpoint presentation even easier to give. 

He asked us to raise our hands and throw out our questions which he then put on separate slides in order to address them one by one…which was refreshing.  I, of course, asked him about WordPress and he affirmed our observation that generally you never get a satisfactory answer from the forums.  He said one time at band camp he left what he thought was a reasonable question on a forum and got a response that said something like ‘you moron, you suck, you don’t know anything, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a computer.’  He replied trying to clarify his question and he was promptly denied access to the forum from there on out.  This story makes me feel better about my often probably dumb questions.  Another person asked him ‘why are OSS developers such Haters’ and he basically said that many of them a) don’t have any social skills or b) believe everyone should have the same god-like knowledge they do.

William (who goes by whurley) works at BMC and blogs at opensville was nice enough to offer to send our issue on to the WordPress guys he knows.  Fortunately I think we figured it out before he had a chance to forward the email on to them because otherwise we would have had a lot of HATE coming our way!

OK, so enough with the background, here’s how we got the Subscribe to Comments Plugin to work.  My genius husband, Erin, poked around the code in the subscribe-to-comments.php file.   He commented out a piece of the code and replaced it with new code as he noticed that the errors were coming from our email server.  Note that we are running WordPress 2.2.2 on a Windows Server 2003R2 computer with IIS 6.0 and PHP5. The code now reads as follows. 


For the non-technical folks: when you put “//” in front of a line it becomes a ‘comment’ and not active code.  This way if you ever come back to the code you have some idea of what changes were made or what functionality you were trying to achieve.  Erin probably documents better than 90% of the coders out there mostly because he doesn’t code that often. 🙂

So now you’d think our blogging prayers were answered.  But wait, the next day I go to Edit and/or Create a post and I am only able to see the Code view.  Since I’m not a coder, it’s imperative I have a working Visual view to create or edit my posts.  After asking me several times if I did something or someone else did something, Erin stated a few times that maybe someone hacked our site.  Of course, I then get anxious and wonder who would want to hack our site and how could they do that (i.e., pelted him with questions).  He then gets annoyed with me when I say maybe it has something to do with the Subscribe To Comments fix we did.  He loudly tells me there’s no way what we did could affect posting and I said ‘why not?’  He said because it’s two different sets of code and starts his ‘don’t you know anything’ tone of voice.  I then quietly deactivate the Plugin and all of a sudden I am able to see the Visual view.  Oh it was a very sweet feeling when I told him I could now do my posts like I usually do.  It most likely did not have anything to do with his code changes but with the Plugin itself, but nonetheless I had to smirk a little.

So I hope our pain will result in someone else’s gain if they happen to be experiencing the same issue.  So now, I have to deactivate the plugin when I work on a post and reactivate it when I’m done!  So that’s why I said in the title that it’s fixed – sort of. 🙂

Happy Labor Day everyone.  If you are wondering why I’m blogging so late on a Saturday night it’s because Erin went to the first UT Longhorn football game of the season.  The kids went down by 8:30 p.m. (after much negotiation with my son) so I said to myself now is a great time to blog.  He just emailed me from his Crackberry to tell me they won but not by the number of points they were supposed to.  So now he’s worried how they will perform in their next game against a team that is supposedly better than the team they played today.  Hook ‘Em!

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One Comment on “Subscribe to Comments Issue Fixed – Sort of”

  1. 1 Erin Defosse said at 10:01 PM on September 1st, 2007:

    “Genius husband” says: it was I that actually suggested that you turn off the plugin to see if that would restore the Visual editing view! That said, I must admit that I didn’t think that would work and was quite surprised when Aruni did it and in fact it did! 🙂

    Oh and talk about the UT longhorn game. It was probably the most bizarre football game I’ve ever been to…and not bizarre in any good way whatsoever. We almost met the same fate that Michigan did at the hands of Appalachian State. I was at a Texas tailgate before the game and told everyone not to talk about the Michigan loss because it was a very bad omen. In fact it really was a bad omen. UT survived but just barely. If UT plays like this against Texas Christian University (TCU) next week then UT will lose, and lose big. I’m hopeful that UT will wake up for the next game though. The team is truly loaded with (very young) talent and should improve significantly game to game. Hook ’em Horns!