I’m starting a new day looking at a damaged multisite install. Not sure how I got here, but I’m darned sure I don’t want to be here again. The crashed site is one problem, but it illustrates bigger issues:
- Why can’t I fix it?
- Why did it break in the first place?
- What should I do on the future to prevent this kind mess?
- I believed that if the database was okay the install was okay. Silly me!
- I overlooked that the software backup must be snapshot-consistent with the DB
- I overestimated the stability of wordpress subject to plugin changes
- I assumed that wordpress diagnostic facilities would enable me to isolate and resolve problems.
So… I’m either missing something basic, or I need to go back to the drawing board. I probably need to solve both problems.
- Some way to diagnose & fix issues by isolating code paths, variables & such
- A sandbox utility to quickly and easily clone a production environment to test upgrades before going live
- Ideally two server instances with the ability to flip from one to the other
- define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true); was worse than useless. It spewed thousands of depricated function warnings on a home page refresh (still running) into the log (not good for my confidence);
- AND… It didn’t present any information that seemed relevant to the dead console issue;
- The utter absence the abiltiy to get or create a stack trace, or install diagnostic messaging, leaves me stranded;
- My attempts to create a trace with a previously installed logger failed – Wouldn’t chirp to browser console most of the time. I’m guessing the utility depends on reaching a “page-footer”, which never happens because the do_action hits a null hook, and wipes out.
- Repeated code in themes, plugins & such confounds my sadly meager ability to predict which code path may happen.
So the problem set is full circle: “don’t know”, “can’t guess” and “can’t discover”.
- Is there some debug/diagnostic facility that I’ve missed?
- Is there an easy way to clone an instance for testing?
- How should I go about diagnosing my dead console?