Thursday, August 7, 2008

Emergent Properties

I remember first learning about emergent properties from Elliott Sober at the University of Wisconsin. Of course back then the focus was on emergent properties in biological systems.

Like any great concept, however, it easily applies itself to other areas, like education. I've pretty much made a career out of harnessing the emergent properties of a classroom--those seemingly unpredictable results of 25+ students interacting as a group--let's call it the "personality of the class at hand."

Well, I'm learning a lot about emergent properties in web hosting. Taken apart, I feel like I can grasp PHP, MySQL, and an application like Moodle. Host all of them on a Debian Linux server and you'd think it was all black and white.

Enter emergent properties. Suddenly the web host's PHP configuration and Moodle decide that I can't upload files. Or rather, I can, but then I can't access them--which is not a good thing on a Moodle class page. :-( I'm trying to find the problem, but spending five hours on this has only made me want to just delete the whole mess and start over. At lease I've got Wordpress working correctly for the new migrant/ELL blog I'll be hosting.....


aschmitz said...

Off the top of my head, I'd recommend looking into the users the files are created as and the mode they're created with. Especially if, by "can't access them," you mean you can't access them via a non-web interface, as the server often runs as a different user than, say, your FTP user. I've often had to throw in a chmod() command somewhere in scripts to get things to work properly.

Good luck with it!

RichSkyline said...
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RichSkyline said...

Thanks! I am working on it. My problem was I tried to learn too many things at once: Moodle, Drupal, Joomla, PhpBB, and so on.

I think the main problem right now is that my host is running PHP as a CGI :-(.

I am working on permissions right now, though. Think I'll just change them all to 777 -r --- Just kidding!!!