Monthly Archives: January 2013

UUPC dramatis personae

One of the (many) fun things we do on the Ubuntu UK Podcast (@uupc) is the Christmas show. Whether it’s a Christmas poem, a panto, a Victorian classic, or something a little bit trippy, the shows usually involve taking the mickey out of various luminaries of the Ubuntu and Open Source world. This year’s show was more about taking the mickey out of our own show personas.

I came across this old email thread that made me giggle quite a lot. They said I could share it.

Some background: The podcast website runs on Podpress (a plugin to WordPress). Since Mark wrote a custom theme for the site (based on a design by one of our listeners), whenever we do Podpress updates, the CSS inevitably breaks and only Mark knows how to fix it. The email thread takes place over about 6 hours one Saturday afternoon and the Subject line is “I broke the site :)”.


I upgraded podpress. I guess there is some CSS which needs pulling out of git or something? I dunno what to do at this point.



Wasn’t there a whole “don’t upgrade podpress without Mark being ready to reapply the CSS?” discussion at one point?



Yeah, but that also turned into “go ahead and break the site, just make sure we have a backup of the CSS first”. IIRC


Did you commit any uncommitted changes to git before the upgrade? If so you should be able to look through the git history to see the changes as previously applied after a podpress upgrade. (Not sure of the commands, but I’m not a git user.) Or diff between the current CSS and the pre-upgrade backup? My recollection of when I fixed it in the past was that there are three or four changes of two or three lines each.


> If so you should be able to look through the git history to see the
> changes as previously applied after a podpress upgrade. (Not sure
> of the commands, but I’m not a git user.)

Yeah, that’s the bit I don’t know how to do either (not a git user either) 🙂

I found some differences between the CSS files in the previous backup and the current version. What I don’t know is what bits were changed by Mark, and what bits would have been new in the upgrade.


If you’re lucky, I might have left the .diff from when I fixed it before hanging around on the server somewhere.


Couldn’t see it. I tried manually applying various bits because it looks like podpress has changed quite a bit. Almost there.. if you look at the site now I think I’m missing some html <tr>  element, but can’t quite see where.



git is jolly good fun. Discovered how to see previous changes with git, and find the change that had previously been applied.

I found out that you can do ‘git cherry-pick ‘ to pick a change done previously and re-do it. But that failed.

However I have now managed to break it in such a way that the whole site fails to load.

Sorry chaps.


Bah! Every php page is giving a 500 error now

I didn’t touch it! I certainly didn’t change anything between it working and it not working other than git committing.

Have shutdown apache to have a look at it later. I dunno what to do at this point.


Can you roll the commits back to before you upgraded podpress?


All reverted back to yesterday’s backup. I’ll leave it alone. Sorry.


I’m at a thing today, I’ll be home at about 4.30. I’ll ping you on IRC and we can sort it out.



By the time I saw this thread, Mark had indeed returned from his thing and sorted everything out.

So there we have three of the UUPC dramatis personae:

Alan: Spontaneous, full of ideas, and ready to give it a go. Regardless.

Tony: Not spontaneous; likes to plan things properly but reluctantly accepts that others don’t always do that.

Mark: Does other things with his life but, when needed, turns up and calmly fixes any technical messes his co-presenters have created.

As for me? I was out that day so I can’t help you there.

If you’d like to get to know the UUPC dramatis personae, you can listen to the last 5 years’ podcasts at We’re on our season break at the moment but that should keep you going for a while. If you want to let us know what you think, get in touch!