Apr 17

Has IBM lost control of its CCSID’s?

Having just spent a whole day trying to get to the bottom of a problem with the PHP/HTTP servers on my system I decided to look at just how certain activities action the CCSID of a file. I was surprised at just how many CCSID’s used in the file generation on the IBM ‘i’…

The tests were carried out on the i515 which is running V6R1, I have just finished installing PHP and setting up the ZendFramework after many hours of debug trying to find out why even after managing to get the PHP pages to work, I had more problems when I started to build the Framwork pages. I now have a fully function PHP installation with the Framework in play but not sure why it started working really! So I decided to do a few tests to understand why the pages would not work out of the box, after all they worked before I was just re implementing them.

First test I did was to create a brand new WebServer using the IBM HTTPAdmin process. It creates the directory structure and an initial index.html which is where all of the problems I have seen before originated from. This resulted in a CCSID of 13488 for the index.html, changing the extension to .php and adding a few lines of code to display the php info resulted in no php information being displayed but when looking at the source generated I found that Mozilla would show the text with no problems displayed but IE showed a space between every character (actually it was a hex code which was not interpreted until I copied it to an editor which allowed me to see them). I changed the CCSID to 1252 but it still had the same result? Eventually I deleted the entire content and rewrote it back which resulted in the page being displayed with all of the PHP info. This told me that the CCSID of the text in the file was different to the CCSID of the file object?

Next I decided to try the IBM WDS RSE IDE which should should have been consistent with the HTTPAdmin process, or so I thought? This resulted in a page being created with a CCSID of 850? Again the same rules about changing it existed as previously.

Navigator for i (IBM Systems Navigator) resulted in a CCSID of 1252, I simply dragged the file from my desktop to the IFS. The file had been created on the desktop using Notepad previously. The page displayed correctly in PHP and normal HTTP html form.

As I expect to use Zend Studio I created the next file directly through the file manager in Studio. It resulted in a CCSID of 819 for the file. After some investigation I found out that because I was using SSHD it was going through the PASE environment, checking the PASE Environment shows a CCSID of 819 so at least that ties up. Well not really but it made the most sense so far.

I wanted to see what would happen if I copied source files from the QIBM libraries to the IFS, they result in a CCSID of 37, checking the QCCSID value which is set to 37 this also seemed to make some kind of sense?

Finally I thought I would try to use the i Access send file to host! That was a bad mistake! Below is the resulting screen which shows the command APVAFILE PUT WWW TESTSERVER/HTDOCS/DSKUTIL.C TEXT ASCII CRLF SRC LRECL 80 (thats part of it) being entered in the 5250 session! I think this is a bug which I will pass into IBM to see why it would do this? It did not stop me from entering the information to send it to the IFS?

Strange behaviour?

Strange behaviour?

So as you can see IBM or its vendors have no consistency when it comes to the CCSID they generate the files at in the IFS! If anyone has any insight as to why this is happening and how I can add the consistency back it would be appreciated.

Chris…

Apr 16

Memory issues resolved

The problem has been fixed! Apparently due to the fact that the system can run different instances of iOS and AIX etc you have to define the memory in the service tools for the partition! IBM walked me through the process and I entered the new memory config, rebooted the server and I can now see the memory (well almost, somehow it hides part if it from you)

Here is the WRKSHRPOOL output

Work with Shared Pools
System: SHIELD2
Main storage size (M) . : 1887.87

Type changes (if allowed), press Enter.

Defined Max Allocated Pool -Paging Option–
Pool Size (M) Active Size (M) ID Defined Current
*MACHINE 489.20 +++++ 489.20 1 *FIXED *FIXED
*BASE 633.10 57 633.10 2 *FIXED *FIXED
*INTERACT 765.32 79 765.32 3 *FIXED *FIXED
*SPOOL .25 5 .25 4 *FIXED *FIXED
*SHRPOOL1 .00 0 *FIXED
*SHRPOOL2 .00 0 *FIXED
*SHRPOOL3 .00 0 *FIXED
*SHRPOOL4 .00 0 *FIXED
*SHRPOOL5 .00 0 *FIXED
*SHRPOOL6 .00 0 *FIXED
More…
Command
===>
F3=Exit F4=Prompt F5=Refresh F9=Retrieve F11=Display tuning data
F12=Cancel

1887.87 is closer to 2048 than 1016!
To change the memory figures you have to change the partition information under SST
Here is my set up, notice how you have to subtract the minimum from the maximum to get the partition size and it has to be divisible by 16!

Change Partition Configuration
System: SHIELD
Type changes, press Enter.

Partition identifier and name . . . . . . . . 1 10-0B3AA

Number of available system processors . . . : 0
Number of partition processors . . . . . . . . 1
Minimum / maximum number of processors . . . . 1 / 1
Use shared processor pool . . . . . . . . . . 2 1=Yes, 2=No
Size of available memory (MB) . . . . . . . : 0
Size of partition memory (MB) . . . . . . . . 1904
Minimum / maximum size of memory (MB) . . . . 128 / 2048
Enable workload management . . . . . . . . . . 2 1=Yes, 2=No
Virtual Ethernet Identifiers (1=Yes, 2=No)
1 2 3 4
2 2 2 2

F3=Exit F12=Cancel

Now to see just how much faster the system performs! The IPL was certainly faster. Infact everything is much faster… except the IBM HTTPAdmin pages etc!

Chris…

Apr 16

WebCalendar stops working all of a sudden?

A charity we do a lot of work for recently had us install a server to allow them to better manage all of their distribution lists and internal processes. Its early days for them and we have only installed a few basics such as Sugar CRM and Web Calendar as well as the underlying programs for the HTTP server etc.

Everything was going well until yesterday when they called to say the Web Calendar had gone down and they could not see anything. I dialed in to the VPN and sure enough the requests to webcal all ended up with a dialogue box asking what I wanted to do with the PHP file? Checking the logs I found that a segmentation fault was being logged every time I tried to get to the calendar pages. Several restarts of the servers did nothing yet all of the other PHP based applications were running fine!

I tracked down a couple of posts on the web which seemed to say it was due to a recent upgrade, as we had not upgraded the system I was a bit skeptical about the authors report as he was commenting out large chunks of code. Further searching produced what in the end turned out to be the fix, here is the link to the post which resolved it for me.

Chris…

Apr 16

Zend Studio issues and IBM RSE

No one ever said this would be easy, but the problems I am having getting something this simple to work seem to be very unusual (considering other platforms I have worked with).

The CCSID issue was corrected when I used notepad and the iNavigator to copy the file to the IFS. However as I don’t intend to use notepad for development I decided to try out the Zend Studio, unfortunately it doesn’t have the capability to define a link to the ‘i’ so I had to map a drive in windows explorer and use it to see the files on the IFS. This seemed to be OK until I tried to create a new file, it simply refused to let me create a new file despite giving *PUBLIC all rights from the www directory down? I have no idea why it refused to create the file? Previous copies of Studio (Not the eclipse version) did allow me to work with the IFS directories much easier, but they have long since gone in favor of the Eclipse IDE’s. You do have the option to define an FTP link but I could not get that working either…

Next I tried to use the IBM RSE IDE. Everything looked good until I tried to display the file in a browser! The CCSID for the newly generated file has been set to 850? The following is a screenshot of what it displays in the browser! (Click to see enlarged image)

Simple PHP file with CCSID 850 as shown in browser

Simple PHP file with CCSID 850 as shown in browser

As you can see it is totally unreadable! This means that IBM RSE is not suitable either unless I go in and change the CCSID for the files somehow?

So I need to somehow link up Dreamweaver and see if that will allow me to do what I need?

Chris…

Apr 16

Virtual Hosts and PHP now working

The installation of the test beds for PHP development are now in place and tested. I did have some issues with the pages again but reading back through the Blog entries has helped me get it all going again.

Here are the Blog entries which helped.

http://www.shieldadvanced.ca/Blog/?p=158 and http://www.shieldadvanced.ca/Blog/?p=161. The second link was the most helpful as I had the same problems as before with the page generated by the IBM HTTPAdmin process. The CCSID was causing the PHP to be ignored, I looked at the source code in Mozilla and everything looked good but IE showed the characters all being spaced?? I remembered the issue had been seen before so I created a test page in notepad copied it to the directory and everything showed up exactly as it should.

Now I am going to look at the Studio, I notice it does not have iSeries connections defined so the request to add the same capabilities from IBM RSE to the Studio have gone unanswered as of yet. I have to map drives for the Studio to work with the system.

I will be working on a couple of technology tests using the Framework and the database generated by RAP and JobQGenie. Then expand that to provide PHP based interfaces to the products. I am hoping the Zendframework DB2 connectivity issues have been resolved and the PDO object will work???

Chris…

Apr 14

Director up and running but still slow initially

FINALLY!

The pages do now load although the initial page was a bit slow! Once in I can move between pages with relative ease although initially it did throw a wobbly and the session was ended for some reason?

To get over the problem I just ended the IPV6 interface and restart TCP (“just” being the operative word)

Still it is running and I can access the pages…

Chris…

Apr 14

IBM Navigator for i5/OS (IBM Systems Director on V6R1) runs slowly! (actually snails move faster)

After days and days of trying to get the above working just so I could eventually get round to configuring Virtual Hosting for my PHP installations I finally found a way to get round the problems with the Director pages taking days to load. Last wekk in desperation I bit the bullet and ordered a further 1GB of memory for the system. I also placed a call (sev1) with IBM who called after a few hours and said I needed to get the PTF’s up to date before we try uninstalling DG1 and re-installing it.

I installed of of the latest PTF’s which resulted in a 1.5GB (3 hours) download from fixcentral, after some problems I finally managed to get the PTF’s to install and all of the groups show as installed as well! So I tried to load the IBM Systems Director pages again with no luck yet again. After reading through a few web links I decided that I should install a couple of extra LICPGMS to see if that helped the situation, After the install the PTF Groups were all messaed up again so I downloaded another 60Mb of fixes for fixcentral and installed them. Same results the pages just dont seem to load at all…

Today the memory finally turned up and installed it, correctly registers with the system so I thought I should now be able to see the pages! Alas I was wrong yet again! Just as bad as before, so I removed 5761DG1 and re-installed it, checked the PTF Groups and another 500MB of downloads later and many hours of swearing at IBM I had the system back online with everything registered and running. BUT STILL NO PAGES WOULD LOAD!

So I thought I would look on how to uninstall the Director and go back to the good old HTTPAdmin pages (entering 2001 as the port simply redirected me to the Director pages, yes I do hate the name and the product by now!) Not a easy as it seems, IBM has bundled everything in so you cannot have one without the other!

I did however find a work around, if you enter http://yourserverip:2001/HTTPAdmin/ it takes you straight to the HTTP admin server! YES!!!

I am still trying to find out what is happening with the other interface, but IBM hasn’t got back to me since last Thursday!

If I do find out what I need to get this thing running I will post the results……

Chris…

Oh and the link above didn’t ask for a sign in!!! Could be a security exposure or maybe the sign in attempts for the director pages masked it?

Apr 13

IBM Systems Director does not work on my systems config!

IBM pushed the new IBM Systems director as the new GUI for systems management on the IBM ‘i’. Unfortunately it wont work with the config I have which means I also loose all of the HTTP server management as well!

I have spent days bringing the systems up to date with PTF’s just in case it was this that was stopping the pages from loading. The system now has all of the latest PTF’s on but the same problem exists, the login page will load but the other pages all give up after the base frame is built. The manuals were not so clear as to what the requirements are for IBM Systems Manager but I did manage to page on the IBM website which states the recommended memory should be 2.5GB. As I only have 1GB this could be where my problems lie. I have another 1GB of memory on order which should hopefully arrive tomorrow, when I have it installed I hope that I can at least get to the HTTP server configurations! Java seems to really soak up the memory, the PHP pages all run fast and efficiently so it not a problem with the HTTP service even with the proxy PHP server being called as well….

Chris…

Apr 09

PHP Installed and running Now to add Virtual Hosts and PhpMyAdmin

The server is up and running and a quick test of MySQL and the PHP Console shows everything as running OK. As I will be running the Zend Studio and require the debug support I added the local LAN to the approved debug users.

Virtual Hosts set up is very common in the ISP community, it allows a single IP address to host many websites. The set up has been discussed in previous posts so I will not bore everyone with the set up again. If you need to see how we did it before here is a link to the relevant post.

Running IBM Systems director was really slow! Not sure but I think its a memory issue because the CPU is only showing 1.6% (includes refresh requests) but the page is taking ages to load.. I know the old GUI interface was slow but this is much worse? I did try to load the old GUI interface but a redirect pushed the Director page back at me.. Perhaps there is a way to override this, I will look later and see if I can find out how to do it. The new memory addition may help this when it arrives?

OK at a stop yet again! Cannot access the server configs using director at all, 15 minutes and the pages are still not displayed. I will post the fix when I find out whats going on!

Chris…

Apr 08

MySQL installed correctly.

The PHP install finished and MySQL installed OK. Setting the root password and starting the daemon was a cinche!

Everything is up and running so now to developing a few test utilities to make sure everything is in place. I have to do some configuring of the apache server to allow virtual hosting as we should have a fully working environment.

I just ordered and extra 1GB of memory so I hope it helps sped things up a bit? Perhaps even that wont be enough?

Will post the results eitherway…

Chris…