Notes on Updating WampServer, TNG, and WordPress

In May, 2014, I updated WampServer, TNG, and WordPress. These applications just keep getting better and better. Both TNG and WordPress are now mobile friendly.

After downloading and installing WampServer as described in an earlier tutorial, “WampServer, TNG, and Wordpres for Genealogists“, I was not able to start WampServer. The problem was that port 80, the port assigned to WampServer by default, was being used by Microsoft-IIS. After searching the Web for a solution, I ended up stopping the “Windows Process Activation Service (WAS)” and the “World Wide Web Publishing Service (W3SCV)” and then setting them to “manual.” After this, the services were no longer using port 80. I did this from Administrative Tools/Services. If these services are required in the future, I can restart them. Except for this problem, the WampServer installation was easier than ever.

With the new WampServer installed, there was no error message related to configuring the phpMyAdmin storage. Also, this time, I checked the Template4 configuration box to use text headers on all TNG pages and let TNG’s default CSS take care of the header styling. All other changes were made as described in the previously linked tutorial (including upgrading phpMyAdmin to version 2.2). Next, I installed the latest versions of WordPress and TNG on the development platform. It was very satisfying to see that TNG is now mobile friendly.

The latest WordPress, version 3.9.1, installed perfectly. I am using this version on all of my blog sites, including this site. It is easier than ever to create and publish great looking posts and pages. However, on some of my blog sites, I have customized the styling using a “Child Theme” based on the earlier 2010 theme in order to achieve the look and functionality I prefer (simple, fast, no glitz). Until I use one of the more recent WordPress themes, not all of my blog sites are mobile friendly. I do use a newer theme at http://rcsouthsound.com/: the “Child Theme” there is based on the 2013 WordPress theme and is mobile friendly.

After installing TNG 10.0.2 on the test platform, making the necessary template changes online was a snap. However, I ran into a display problem that, in all of my years of PC usage, I have never encountered. To display search and navigation information when using TNG template-4 and the display window is mobile-device width, the site must be viewed as a “mobile site” as opposed to the default “standard site.” When Firefox, my PC browser of choice, is switched to view the site as a mobile device, navigation information is available; when Firefox is switched to the “standard site” mode, search and navigation are not possible for a phone-sized display.

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Firefox Default “Standard Site” — No Navigation.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, for the display of a site as a mobile device on a PC, manually add “?sitever=mobile” to the end of the URL: (http://www.tivel.org?sitever=mobile). This will display mobile-type navigation on the web page as shown below. Access to navigation links is very minimal, though (Home, Search, and Login). However, the most important site function, searching the genealogy, is available.

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Mobile Site–Navigation available.

For Firefox, a second solution to the display problem is to add an extension called “Go-Mobile.” This adds a new icon which can be clicked to manage the display and allow the selection of various phone (browser) types.

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Firefox Go-Mobile Extension

Go-Mobile adds a convenient button at the bottom of the page to switch back to a “standard site” display.

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Mode Switch

 

I applaud TNG’s developer, Darrin Lythgoe, for moving TNG in the direction of mobile frendliness. Hopefully, future template revisions will have more comprehensive site navigation for small display screens–without having to use browser extensions or special code at the end of URLs to view it on a PC.