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PHP notices/errors

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Evening. I've just paid $49 for the pleasure of asking this question, so I hope something useful will come from it.

Myself and a colleague are trying to maintain and troubleshoot a site at https://www.mahavirmedicalcentre.nhs.uk/ which was created by a previous colleague who's left our organisation. The site uses:

Joomla 3.3.6
Vina Medical template which includes the Helix framework
Helix framework
K2 extension

It's suddenly started exhibiting two major problems:

1. The site home page is blank (although there's well-formed HTML and JS in the source)
2. The Preset Settings page is displaying a sack of PHP notices (see screenshot below which shows just the first two)

We suspect that the problems are related as they appeared at the same time. I did contact Vinagecko but they said that (2) was definitely a Helix problem as it references \helix\layout\generated.php, hence this support call.

We can login to the administrator interface (I can supply temp credentials on request). The site was working recently, then a colleague tried to change the image on the menu banner and suddenly the above errors occurred. Could you please advise as to their cause?

I'm a PHP coder and understand what, in general, causes the "non-object" errors, but it's not clear to me what in the template/framework is causing them. I can suppress the errors by putting error_reporting(0); at the top of the offending file, but if I do that nothing appears under Preset Settings at all, other than the action icons.

I'm new to Joomla, and know nothing at all about the Helix framework. I don't even know how to get the version number. So, I request that any answers be in fairly simple terms.

Fred

Attachments (1)

  • mahavir_php_errors.jpg
    mahavir_php_errors.jpg 23.1 KB

17 Answers

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Further to this, after much forensic investigation, the cause of both problems - the blank home page and the PHP notices, which were related - was that the version of Helix bundled with Vina Medical didn't work with the latest version of Joomla. When we updated Helix in the Joomla Admin interface the problems disappeared. I'm a bit surprised that neither yourselves nor Vinagecko thought of this, but then perhaps I should have thought of it. However, whilst the solution was simple, the investigation leading up to it was complex, and needed me to consult with an expert Joomla contractor.

Thanks for your efforts on this, which are appreciated.

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

1) Do you have a backup of the last well working copy of this web-site?

2) Could you please take your site off line and turn error reporting on for us?

2) Please PM my your web-site Joomla super user credentials to have a look at it's back end.

Regards,

Alex

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Did you disable JavaScript for your site, as I just found "<noscript><strong>JavaScript is currently disabled.</strong>Please enable it for a better experience of <a href="http://2glux.com/projects/jumi">Jumi</a>.</noscript>?

Ta

Alex

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
"Did you disable JavaScript for your site, as I just found "<noscript><strong>JavaScript is currently disabled.</strong>Please enable it for a better experience of <a href="/http://2glux.com/projects/jumi">Jumi</a>.</noscript>;?"

As far as I know, JS is not disabled. Indeed, I wasn't aware that this could be done for a site, being a Joomla newbie. When I access it in any browser I just get the blank page; if I disable JS in Firefox, using the Web Developer extension, I get the "currently disabled" message, as expected. How can JS be disabled at a site config level? I've looked at the zillions of options in System | Configuration but can't see anything JS-related.

Fred

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Thanks for the reply, Alex.

1) Do you have a backup of the last well working copy of this web-site?
Nope. I have a backup of the current site. The site predates my taking up this job.

2) Could you please take your site off line and turn error reporting on for us?
Ok, done. I've turned on error reporting in System | Global Config | Server and set the error reporting level to Maximum.

2) Please PM my your web-site Joomla super user credentials to have a look at it's back end.
Done.

Fred

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

I've managed to install an Akeeba Backup created copy of your site on my local Linux box. Do you have "Vina Medical II" template installation packs, either for a standalone template, or as a quick start pack or both?

You currently installed template seems to be damaged and I do need its install pack to see if I can recover it for you.

Cheers,

Alex

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Alex Smirnov wrote:

Hi Fred,

I've managed to install an Akeeba Backup created copy of your site on my local Linux box. Do you have "Vina Medical II" template installation packs, either for a standalone template, or as a quick start pack or both?

You currently installed template seems to be damaged and I do need its install pack to see if I can recover it for you.

Cheers,

Alex


Thanks again. I'll PM you with access details for the pack, as at 88Mb it's a bit chunky to attach to a post. I'll also try to install it to a local XAMPP-based Joomla installation and play around with it.

Cheers

Fred

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

Please create a Google Mail account with which I will need to share the Vina Medical Quick Start installation archive Quickstart_for_Joomla_v3.2.jpa and kickstart.php in order for you to download them, and PM this email address to me.

Once you downloaded the Quickstart_for_Joomla_v3.2.jpa and kickstart.php files from my Google Drive, please play with following:

1) Create on your local or remote server a test sub-folder called, for example, /newsite/

2) Create a new database called "newsite" as well

3) Upload/move the attached "Quickstart_for_Joomla_v3.2.jpa and kickstart.php files into the /newsite/ sub-folder

4) Point your web-browser to that sub-folder on your web-server

--- a) in case of remote server, the URL to this sub-folder would be "your-site-url/newsite", for example https://www.mahavirmedicalcentre.nhs.uk/newsite

--- b) in case of a local server, the URL most likely will be "localhost/newsite"

5) Add /kickstart.php at the end of the URL address your entered in step 4a or 4b, so in case of the remote server, for example, your full URL will now look https://www.mahavirmedicalcentre.nhs.uk/newsite/kickstart.php

6) Press on the Enter key

7) Follow the onscreen instructions.

At the end of this exercise your will have installed a working copy of "Vina Medical" Quick Start template with demo data.

Please let me know once you are done with this and we will go from there.

Regards,

Alex

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Please create a Google Mail account with which I will need to share the Vina Medical Quick Start installation archive Quickstart_for_Joomla_v3.2.jpa and kickstart.php in order for you to download them, and PM this email address to me.


The .jpa files are in the Vina Medical package so I already have those. I've used kickstart to extract and install Quickstart_for_Joomla_v3.2.jpa into a working Joomla site. What would you like me to do now?

Fred

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

Out of the box Vina Medical Quick Start works fine but it breaks when when I import into it your database. In contains 105 tables in it, so please allow me till Monday to test them one by one to find the culprit for you.

Regards,

Alex

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

In your web hosting control panel, in your main web-site root folder please go to /templates/ and change /vinamedical/ to /vina_medical/. See how it goes.

Ta

Alex

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Out of the box Vina Medical Quick Start works fine but it breaks when when I import into it your database. In contains 105 tables in it, so please allow me till Monday to test them one by one to find the culprit for you.


Alex, this is getting rather involved, and it's not your job to troubleshoot a product, Vina Medical, which just happens to have Helix bundled with it. Can you at least diagnose the cause of the PHP notices:

Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in D:\Websites\Joomla\SharedCodeBase\plugins\system\helix\layout\generated.php on line 207
Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in D:\Websites\Joomla\SharedCodeBase\plugins\system\helix\layout\generated.php on line 235 Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in D:\Websites\Joomla\SharedCodeBase\plugins\system\helix\layout\generated.php on line 235


These are clearly generated by Helix, hence my coming here for support. As a PHP coder I recognise this type of notice very well, and usually it's caused by null data when an object is expected. Plainly the calling PHP script is not generating the data that should be passed to helix\layout\generated.php - which script is calling generated.php, and from what table(s) is it getting its data?

In your web hosting control panel, in your main web-site root folder please go to /templates/ and change /vinamedical/ to /vina_medical/. See how it goes.


Done, on localhost and live site. It makes no difference.

With my correspondence with VM and Helix, I've spent some five days on this already. I'll assume that it's an insoluble problem and will try to rebuild the site from scratch. I certainly will advise my colleagues against third-party templates in the future, and in particular from vinagecko.com

Fred

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

Apology for malfunctioning email notification system in our forum. It should be up shortly.

To your situation with the white front page, based on my testing I don't think it has anything to do with Helix-2 system plug-in. The out-of-the-box Vina Medical Quick Start works on the same plug-in just fine but replicates the same white front page right away once I replace its database to the one from your main web-site.

Hence my logical conclusion that the culprit resides somewhere in one of those additional tables, that have been created in your database.
Besides, purely theoretically, unlike fatal errors, PHP notes and warnings never cause PHP scripts to abort.

I fully support your strategy to start a new web-site from clean slate. Out of the box Vina Medical seems like a nice template and I am sure if you have a second go at it, you actually won't be starting from clean slate per se. Just make sure you always have a tested working Akeeba created backup of last known working copy of your web-site and test your web-site with cache cleared as you/your team carry on working on it.

I can see that your web-site is hosted on Windows/IIS. Do you have to stick to this hosting or can you move to Linix/Apache?

Regards,

Alex

Fred Riley

More than a month ago #Permalink
Thanks again, Alex.

Alex Smirnov wrote:

To your situation with the white front page, based on my testing I don't think it has anything to do with Helix-2 system plug-in. The out-of-the-box Vina Medical Quick Start works on the same plug-in just fine but replicates the same white front page right away once I replace its database to the one from your main web-site.


Ok, I'll get back to Vina Medical about it. They've been pretty unhelpful so far so I'm not optimistic about getting a usable response from them.

Hence my logical conclusion that the culprit resides somewhere in one of those additional tables, that have been created in your database.
Besides, purely theoretically, unlike fatal errors, PHP notes and warnings never cause PHP scripts to abort.


Sure, but the PHP notices that are displaying, from the Helix file generated.php, plainly show that data that should be being passed to the Settings page aren't. Can you diagnose what is causing the PHP notices? As mentioned before, I can suppress them with error_reporting(0); at the top of the file, but if I do this no Settings appear at all.

What does the Helix framework actually do in the Vina Medical template? I've read the fine manual on Helix but am little the wiser. If I were to remove Helix from the site would that damage the VM template?

Just make sure you always have a tested working Akeeba created backup of last known working copy of your web-site and test your web-site with cache cleared as you/your team carry on working on it.


If I'd been in post when the site was developed, I'd have had a regular backup put in place, but I wasn't so there wasn't :(

I can see that your web-site is hosted on Windows/IIS. Do you have to stick to this hosting or can you move to Linix/Apache?

Nope. Not a hope. Our organisation runs everything on MS servers.

Cheers

Fred

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

Fred Riley wrote:

...I'll also try to install it to a local XAMPP-based Joomla installation and play around with it...



Please try on your local XAMPP sandbox to play with following strategy:

1) Install a copy of your malfunctioning web-site into one sub-folder and database

2) Install vanilla Vina Medical Quick Start web-site into another sub-folder and database

3) Then under the Vina Quick Start install "SP Transfer" and see if does the job.

Regards,

Alex

Alex Smirnov

More than a month ago #Permalink
Hi Fred,

I am glad to hear your site is back on even keel.

All the best.

Alex


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