Topics produce blank pages

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EA117
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by EA117 »

scooterbird wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:29 pm
(Right now, they're the same...I've combined .htaccess from Bluehost's utility and the default .htaccess with the phpBB distro, and put it in both locations.)
There isn't any serious issue with that which I can foresee. But there would definitely be things in the root-level .htaccess now which aren't appropriate. e.g. The phpBB .htaccess provides a rule so that "any non-existent path" (such as /help/faq) will be re-written as a URL to be sent through APP.PHP (such as /app.php/help/faq). That's needed for phpBB, but will simply be "redirecting from one path which doesn't exist to an app.php path which doesn't exist either" when invoked at the root of the site.

Overall, I would say you're fine just putting the phpBB-based .htaccess in the phpBB folder only. It's not that "those things needed to inherit out to the root folder, too." But rather the other way, where we expected that things defined at the root folder (such as the HTTPS redirect) should have "inherited" or been processed first before the phpBB folder's .htaccess was processed (yet that didn't seem to be happening with the HTTPS redirect rule).

So you may indeed need to merge "things we have in the root" like the PHP handler and the HTTPS redirect into the phpBB folder's .htaccess. But not "the reverse direction", where you merge the phpBB-supplied rules and directives out to the root folder's .htaccess.


I don't know if the <IfModule php7_module> and <IfModule lsapi_module> blocks are still part of the .htaccess content you've retained. But the "php_flag display_errors Off" directive that was in there could possibly be changed to "On", at least temporarily, to see if in absence of an error_log this lets PHP emit the errors directly in the output (the HTML document) instead. Its usually better to have that turned off, since it can directly or indirectly disclose information about paths and configuration of the server in the details of the error.

But something you could do temporarily, as an attempt to make up for not having found an error_log for the phpBB folder yet. After purging the cache in phpBB ACP, see whether the "blank pages" change into something that reveals any more information.

It may not make a difference, because I think your old .htaccess files showed this parameter actually was "On" before, yet you didn't seem to be describing having seen any verbose PHP errors on the blank pages. But just something that comes to mind since the error_log hunt has not been fruitful yet.
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thecoalman
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by thecoalman »

scooterbird wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:29 pm
PHP error log is not available in any of the places described above. The one in cPanel is for Apache server; it does not accrue PHP errors. The only one I have seen with PHP errors is in the domain root and has no errors in it since 2019.
Check the log directory above html_docs, if it's there it will be named yourdomain_com.php.error.log There should also be access logs there.

You haven't tried running this from local server to see if issues persist there?
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

Now I'm getting the following from Bluehost - now the fifth tech to respond to this:

Hello Steve,

Thank you for contacting support! We apologize for any delay in our response, your patience is greatly appreciated. I have looked further into your ticket.

I am sorry that the PHP version in the server is not compatible with your website. Since you are on a shared hosting platform the server space and resources will be shared with other users. To update the PHP 7.3.19 to PHP 7.3.6 on the server, it requires root/su access to the server. As it is a shared platform it is not possible to give root access to the server as the root changes on the server will affect other users.

We would recommend contacting your developer to make the necessary changes to make your website compatible with the PHP version in the server. If the PHP version 7.3.6 is mandatory for your website to work, please consider signing up for a VPS server. VPS server is private server and it will give root access to the customers to install required PHP version in the server. For more details about the VPS plan, please refer: https://www.bluehost.com/hosting/vps

Please feel free to reply to this email, if there are any further queries, as we will be more than happy to answer any questions or help you with whatever we can.


Regards,
Naija V
Escalated Support


Could anyone please recommend another hosting company?
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scooterbird
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

thecoalman wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:32 pm
scooterbird wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:29 pm
PHP error log is not available in any of the places described above. The one in cPanel is for Apache server; it does not accrue PHP errors. The only one I have seen with PHP errors is in the domain root and has no errors in it since 2019.
Check the log directory above html_docs, if it's there it will be named yourdomain_com.php.error.log There should also be access logs there.

You haven't tried running this from local server to see if issues persist there?
The root log directory has gzipped logs. None reads "php". None has been modified after September 2019.

I do not have a spare local server built right now.
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janus_zonstraal
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by janus_zonstraal »

Why are you not moving to a other host?
Changing the php version on a shared host is perfectly normal.
Sorry! My English is bat ;) !!!
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by thecoalman »

janus_zonstraal wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:36 pm
Changing the php version on a shared host is perfectly normal.
Changing the versions between 7.2.X and 7.3.X (or whatever php versions they have available) is pretty normal but you are usually stuck with X because you can't install it. In any event to the best of my knowledge either should work.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

thecoalman wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:19 pm

Changing the versions between 7.2.X and 7.3.X (or whatever php versions they have available) is pretty normal but you are usually stuck with X because you can't install it. In any event to the best of my knowledge either should work.
I've changed to 7.3. The point is, there is no change in the behavior of phpBB.

I had asked them to change the system default PHP version for the server, which is 7.2. They refused, as you saw.

Admittedly, I'm shooting in the dark, here. Clearly, PHP is broken on the server, which is causing the blank pages. They are refusing to consider any issues with their server and there appear to be no relevant PHP error logs available.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by thecoalman »

scooterbird wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:40 pm
They are refusing to consider any issues with their server and there appear to be no relevant PHP error logs available.
On Cpanel there is three spots they could be available I'm aware of and you looked in two of them. There is also link might be available in the Cpanel panel that will give you last 300 lines or whatever it is, not sure iy you looked there but if it's there it should produce something. One thing to note there are error logs not available to you.

As I noted previously i looked for SoftException in Application.cpp:630 and there is very little information on it. Mostly related to Wordpress, dated and no solutions which is pretty strange. There is even another post here on phpbb.com also with no solution. You might want to ask the host to check the MySQL log because some of the information suggested this might be the database server refusing connection.

I'd test on local server, if there is no troubles I'm note sure what else to suggest other than move to another host. If you want a suggestion shoot me PM and I'll give you one.
“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I have found several thousand things that won’t work.”

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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

We now have the forums downloaded and working without incident on a local server.
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warmweer
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by warmweer »

scooterbird wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:33 pm
We now have the forums downloaded and working without incident on a local server.
With the symptoms you had/have, once it couldn't be solved simply on the host, that's one of the first things I would have tested. (viewtopic.php?p=15542421#p15542421) (and I'm not saying this in the sense of "I told ya so") but from experience I know hosts will almost always blame the software first, even when their own host install was used.

I would PM thecoalman and have a look at his suggestion.
Spelling is freeware, which means you can use it for free.
On the other hand, it is not open source, which means you cannot change it or publish it in a modified form.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

warmweer wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:30 pm
scooterbird wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:33 pm
We now have the forums downloaded and working without incident on a local server.
With the symptoms you had/have, once it couldn't be solved simply on the host, that's one of the first things I would have tested. (viewtopic.php?p=15542421#p15542421) (and I'm not saying this in the sense of "I told ya so") but from experience I know hosts will almost always blame the software first, even when their own host install was used.

I would PM thecoalman and have a look at his suggestion.
You're absolutely correct; however, I wasn't able to do so at that time. Now that we have, it confirms what we suspected.

And yes, I have been in touch with thecoalman on PM and will be following up on that.

I'll reiterate: everyone here has been extremely helpful, and I'm very thankful for your expertise and understanding.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

Update: at this point, they simply don't have any clue. I had already mentioned using MultiPHP Manager and backing up the forums to a local server, where they proceeded to work. The error log described is for the overall Apache server.

Hello Steve,

Thank you for contacting technical support! My name is Naija and I have looked further into your ticket.

I understand how important is your website to work as expected. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.

I have reviewed the details in your server and I could find that there was no change in the PHP version installed in your server after the box migration on 09/19/19. Following are the supported PHP versions in your server:

1) 7.2.31 - /usr/local/bin/php (Default)
2) 5.4.45 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php54/root/usr/bin/php
3) 5.5.38 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php55/root/usr/bin/php
4) 5.6.40 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php56/root/usr/bin/php
5) 7.0.33 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php70/root/usr/bin/php
6) 7.1.33 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php71/root/usr/bin/php
7) 7.2.31 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php72/root/usr/bin/php (Default)
8) 7.3.19 - /opt/cpanel/ea-php73/root/usr/bin/php

You can use the above mentioned PHP version by updating it from MultiPHP Manager or using add-handler code. From the previous emails, I could see that some of your website pages started working without loading blank page after switching the PHP version to 7.2 on July 8. We would recommend checking with your developer and reupload the contents using a working copy of your website. So that it will resolve if the issue is with broken or corrupted scripts.

Regarding the error log, please check the cPanel tool 'Error' under the Metrics section. It will list the recent website error logs.

Please feel free to reply to this email, if there are any further queries, as we will be more than happy to answer any questions or help you with whatever we can.


Regards,
Naija V
Escalated Support
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EA117
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by EA117 »

In the phpBB ACP General tab's "PHP Information", what does the "error_log" configuration show as being set to. Based on the other BlueHost users who responded here, it sounded like you should see that "error_log" (the configuration setting) is set to "error_log" (a literal file name), with the expectation that these error_log files will be written in the current folder of the executing application. But just wanting to double-check that you're not seeing set to some other value or file name and/or a more literal and non-relative path.

That said, although in the cases where we produced an HTTP 500 status for some of the pages I would have definitely expected a PHP error entry, it's been less clear that the "empty document" results being seen here due to an actual PHP execution failure or perhaps something "less PHP error-like."

Meaning if "blank pages with an HTTP 200 success status" are the only issues you're seeing now, it's not guaranteed that there should be new PHP error log entries, versus whether a blank document is being generated for some other reason. But that shouldn't prevent us from finding the PHP error log, and seeing older entries from previous errors, if a PHP error log is being successfully written.

Your test of a local server was using a literal copy of your current production site files, as recommended by thecoalman I believe, correct? Meaning it's not even a question of whether some of the files on your production site are incomplete or corrupt, because those are literally the files you copied down and used on the local test server, too. As opposed to having downloaded a new phpBB 3.3.0 Full Package to create your test server, such that the files may differ from the production site's actual files.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by Brf »

If I go to your website and try to create a simple error, such as loading viewforum without a forum number, I would expect to see a simple error message page, but I am not. I am seeing a blank page. That would indicate the error is being produced very early-on.
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Re: Topics produce blank pages

Post by scooterbird »

EA117 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:56 pm
In the phpBB ACP General tab's "PHP Information", what does the "error_log" configuration show as being set to. Based on the other BlueHost users who responded here, it sounded like you should see that "error_log" (the configuration setting) is set to "error_log" (a literal file name), with the expectation that these error_log files will be written in the current folder of the executing application. But just wanting to double-check that you're not seeing set to some other value or file name and/or a more literal and non-relative path.
The error_log is in fact set to error_log.
EA117 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:56 pm
Your test of a local server was using a literal copy of your current production site files, as recommended by thecoalman I believe, correct? Meaning it's not even a question of whether some of the files on your production site are incomplete or corrupt, because those are literally the files you copied down and used on the local test server, too. As opposed to having downloaded a new phpBB 3.3.0 Full Package to create your test server, such that the files may differ from the production site's actual files.
Correct. These were downloaded and are working on a server running PHP 7.4 (which again they have been told, even as they insist that phpBB 3.3.0 is not compatible with PHP >7.2).
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