Forum stopped working

I’m running a Vanilla Forum, called Chaotic Talk, which seems to have just stopped working. The main site actually appears to work but, once you try to open a specific topic (like this one), the response is empty. I have no idea why.

Sorry for the vague question but I don’t really have any details. Running webservers in the past, I supposed I’d just restart Apache and see what happens. I’m not sure how that works in this shared environment, though.

Hey Mark,

An HTTP 500 error will typically involve a PHP error that gets written to a file called “error_log” within the folder of the install that is throwing the error. In this case it appears the error is:

[10-Feb-2018 02:37:04 UTC] PHP Fatal error: Cannot use 'Null' as class name as it is reserved in /home/marksmat/public_html/forum/plugins/oembed/library/vendors/fg/essence/lib/Essence/Log/Logger/Null.php on line 20

It looks like the oembed plugin is not functioning. I do know we recently have started rolling out PHP 7 on our servers so as a test I switched your account back to PHP 5.6 and that seems to have worked. If there are updates to Vanilla Forums or that specific plugin it would be a good idea to run them since as time goes on PHP 5.6 is not going to be supported for long (it is end of life and has been for awhile, this year it will stop receiving security updates and may lose support within cPanel at some point in the future).

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Thanks a lot. It’s nice to have the forum working again.

Vanilla Forums appears to be in active development. The most recent, stable version 2.5 was released in December 2017 and they recommend PHP 7.2. They say the next version will not support PHP 5.6.

I have three Vanilla Forums running right now, all version 2.3.1, which appears to be the only version that Installatron offers via Reclaim’s cPanel. Is there a way to get Vanilla Forums updated there?

You’d need to reach out directly to Installatron since that third-party manages that installer. I’ve had situations where I had to nudge them because they had missed a version release before. It is possible to manually update but I’m quite sure many don’t want to do that given how easy Installatron makes it.

Thanks - I’ve opened a ticket at Installatron.

I, though, would love to know how to update or even install applications via the command line. That’s the manner I’m accustomed to installing things on my Digital Ocean account. I’ve tried to install a couple of things that I was easily able to install on Digital Ocean on my Reclaim Account (WebWork and IMathAS, in particular) but without success. I assumed it’s just a cPanel incompatibility.

I’m not familiar with those applications so I don’t know if they are compatible or not. In general anything that needs root access to be installed won’t work in shared hosting but sometimes program authors will list instructions that can be skipped (like installing PHP or MySQL). Your access by command line is going to be limited to things that can be done from within only your account and you may need to do some work from within cPanel.

Thanks. I did open a ticket and they indicate that they’ll look into opening up a ticket. So, hopefully, you’ll be able to re-update my PHP in the not too distant future. In the meantime, though, I am using Vanilla Forums on my site and I’m hoping that it will continue to run.

Thanks again!!

Intallatron has updated the Vanilla Forums version. I’m actively using Vanilla Forums a lot right now so, perhaps this weekend, you could re-update my PHP version?

The PHP version is a user-accessible change in cPanel under Software > MultiPHP Manager

The “inherit” option will just follow whatever the server default is whereas you can set a specific version. The ones beginning with ea-* are cPanel builds, the alt-* versions are additional versions provided through a third party PHP selector script Cloudlinux (I usually recommend sticking to the cPanel builds).

Glad to hear Installatron updated Vanilla Forums!