Drupal 6 – strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system’s timezone settings

Recently we came across this red/pink error message on an old(ish) Drupal 6 site that is running on shared hosting:

strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on
the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use
the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set()
... blah blah blah ...

It seems that this PHP warning is new to PHP 5.3 so we reckoned that the shared hosting must have upgraded their PHP to 5.3, anyway it turned out that adding the following line to the site’s php.ini file got rid of the red error message:

date.timezone = 'Europe/Dublin'

This explicitly sets the time zone to ‘Europe/Dublin’


Google App Engine error 500 on Upload to Cloud

Q: I keep getting ‘Error 500’ when I try to upload / deploy to my code to the google app engine via ‘ update’ or similar, what’s going on?


A: Most often this error is caused by problems with the Google cloud infrastructure and as such there is nothing you can do to fix the problem except wait and keep retrying every now and again, the problem normally goes away in an hour or 2. Do however check that your various quotas havent run out.


Don’t be suprised if when you view the System Status table, you see that it is all green – in our experience this status grid rarely represents the status of the cloud as experienced by developers and users. You could report the problem to Google here as suggested in the error message however if you were to report every service interruption you wouldn’t be left with very much time to do much else… ;-)


Foxycart FoxEE – XML Datafeed Failed

Yesterday I was doing some web and eCommerce development for a client in Kildare, I was working to link Expression Engine and FoxEE up to foxycart. When testing transactions everything seemed to work ok, except that after very transaction I received the following error:


DataFeed Failed: (2134029) 2010-09-30 05:50:28 No data returned for [500]


Every time the error occurred foxycart would send me an email.


The XML datafeed sends transaction data back to the expression engine website and FoxEE so that FoxEE can display the transaction details in the admin interface. Despite the error the transactions were being properly displayed by FoxEE and everything else seemed to work well!


Any script that consumes the foxycart XML datafeed must return the text ‘foxy’, if not this error will occur. It turns out that if your expression engine site is offline (Admin / System preferences / General Preferences / Is system on? == No), FoxEE will return some testing text instead of ‘foxee’ and so the error will occur. The funny thing was that my website was not ‘offline’ it was completely live and so FoxEE should not have been in test mode at all…… strange…. Then I remembered that I did have the site offline a few days ago but not now….


Well I cleared all of the Expression Engine caches and the error went away!!


Hope this helps somebody with a similar quandary – If you get this error, try:

(a) Check that your site us ‘On’
(b) Clear the Expression Engine Cache (Admin / Utilities / Clear Cached Data)