Daily Archives: November 24, 2008

Smarty blank white page 1

A common reason for the blank white page is an error in the smarty template syntax.  Check for unclosed brackets or comment out blocks of code and refresh the page and see if it works.

Another possibility is permissions.  I recently created a branch in our code repository so I could work on a new feature for our application.  After I performed a checkout of the code and altered my config file to work with the new directory I created on my local server, only a blank white page would display.  I tried setting the $debugging variable in smarty to true so I could view the debug output in a popup window, but that didn’t work either.  Long story short and six hours later, I was again messing with permissions on smarty’s templates_c directory on windows.  I unchecked the “read only” checkbox on windows a dozen times (it comes back as checked automagically everytime) and that didn’t work.  In the past, as long as the “everyone” user had full control of the directory, then all was good.  Not this time.  I was pretty fed up with this not working and was trying anything to get something on the screen other than a blank white page.  In the directory security, I gave full control to every user available and walla… It works!!!  Hope this will help somebody else.

If you do not pay, you do not receive

November must be angry customer month.   Does anybody else notice an increase in upset people and general negativity in the air each November?

Recently a lady ordered a $20 item from one of my supplement sites and began emailing the following day in a panic asking about her order.  I usually don’t check my email at 11pm at night, so I didn’t get back to her until the next day where I had a total of three emails from her waiting in my inbox.  The email’s content started aggressive and progressively got angrier (capital letters and threats) with each one.  Apparently this customer did not receive the order receipt that is emailed instantly upon purchase and did not have enough patience to wait a day for a tracking number.  On two occasions, I said “No problem, refuse the package when it arrives and we’ll issue a refund upon the product’s return.”  Her response was “I’ve already notified my credit card company that this order was cancelled yesterday due to your non-response”.  No problem, I’ll just intercept your order through the delivery company since you performed a chargeback and did not pay.  Sure, I’ll lose about $20 and some time into this, but it’s better than losing $20 and allowing somebody to learn that throwing a fit will get them something for nothing.  Of course, now the customer was really irate and is supposedly making negative posts about our store everywhere she can because I intercepted/recalled the package.  It’s not a difficult concept… if you do not pay, you do not receive.  She may also realize that if you have a little patience, everything will be fine.