Troubleshooting Changes

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Before making changes

If you are messing around changing files, always work on a copy of the file so that you can restore a known good one when something goes wrong.

Use the TNG override capabilities:

  • mytngstyle.css to override style sheet definitions
  • cust_text.php to override $text variables

If you're changing styles on things, this should be done in the file mytngstyle.css by copying the block you want to modify from genstyle.css and pasting it into mytngstyle.css and making the changes there. This prevents you losing the changes when there is an upgrade to TNG

Likewise with changes to the $admtext and $text variables found in the admintext.php, alltext.php, and text.php files in each language folder.

Note that you should keep track of all your changes since they will get regressed by an upgrade or new release of TNG.

Troubleshooting Problems

When trouble shooting changes you have made:

  • look at the page to see exactly what is happening - that's why it's helpful to ALWAYS post a link to a page showing the problem when reporting a problem
  • look at the source code of the page - we can't do this if it's just a picture of a page is posted on the TNG Forum
  • if formatting is wrong, assume that something is wrong with the style sheet
  • if text added to the languages/English/cust_text.php (English-UTF8 or whatever your primary language is) does not display, then check to make sure you don't have a cust_text.php file in your TNG main folder
  • view the style sheet and compare to to a standard one from a fresh download of TNG using TextWrangler on the Macintosh or WinMerge in Windows environment
  • the file compare will quickly identify changes between your backup file and the file you changed

And remember all the time spent futzing around with look and style of a site aren't doing anything to contribute to the site's contents

Tools to Use

Firefox Web Browser

Webdeveloper Add-on

With those two addons, you can see and modify the file on a temporary basis to try out something, see where particular visual aspects are coming from, etc, without modifying the files on your server.

These are the tools that people are using to diagnose problems on your site when you report them on the forum.

Just load the addons and take a look at what you will see, you won't break anything, you WILL learn something, and you may save yourself some headaches.

Related Links

Reporting Problems

Templates - Explained

Templates - Overriding

Setup - Site Design