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Category: Web Software

Simple Checkout of phpMyAdmin with git

When setting up webservers for clients, I’ll usually configure and secure an installation of phpMyAdmin to allow them easy access to the MySQL database server.

I would also want to make sure it was easy to update that installation to the latest stable version. In the past this was easily done by initially checking out the STABLE tag from their Subversion repository using the following style command:

svn co

and then when I wanted to update, it was a simple matter of running:

svn update

Well, the phpMyAdmin folks switched over to using git as their SCM system and unfortunately, they didn’t post any instructions on how a web server administrator who was never going to be changing/committing code back into the system would perform the same action using git. It took me about an hour of searching, reading, digesting how git works, cursing, but I finally came up with the following set of git commands necessary to checkout the STABLE branch of phpMyAdmin:

git clone --depth=1 git://
cd phpmyadmin
git remote update
git fetch
git checkout --track -b PMASTABLE  origin/STABLE

…what that means is: clone the main repository from the specified path, drop into the newly created repository directory and thirdly create a new branch in the local repository called PMASTABLE that will track the remote repository’s branch called “origin/STABLE”.

The “depth=1” parameter tells git not to copy a huge set of changes, but only the most recent set.

So, from here on, I should be able to merely run: “git pull” on that repository and it should update it to the latest STABLE.

Hopefully, others will find this useful.

UPDATE – Mar 13, 2014
I updated the above commands to show the correct GitHub URL and two more commands to make sure the local repo sees the STABLE branch before trying to create a local branch.

WordPress Post mangling – quick change to keep 2 past revs of a post

I had been working really hard on my post on our super duper mail server and at some point I started having some really weird interactions with the tinymce editor. I was switching back and forth between the raw HTML editor and all of a sudden I only had the middle 60% of my post. Stupidly I hit Save and lost a good chunk of my valuable words of wisdom. I was able to recover most of the text from the original email, but I was a bit perturbed there wasn’t a revert feature.

So, I added one:

ALTER TABLE `posts` ADD `post_content_bkp1` LONGTEXT AFTER `post_content` ,
ADD `post_content_bkp2` LONGTEXT AFTER `post_content_bkp1` ;

or actually two revisions.

I then altered the sql for updating posts like so:

post_content_bkp2 = post_content_bkp1,
post_content_bkp1 =

so, there may not be any interface for this, but at least if I or the software mangles a post while I’m editing, I should be able to go to the db and recover something.

Picking a WordPress Theme

It seems it took me 2 to 3 times as long to pick and customize a theme for this new blog than it did to install.

I guess that’s a testament to the WP folks.

And a big thank you for the maintainer of for allowing me to search the available items by whether it was a fixed vs fluid-width theme.