How to reference Smarty variables inside {php} tags

I gotta’ be honest, I’ve never used the Smarty Template Engine before in my life. I’m currently working on a project to integrate WordPress and JobberBase so they use the same WordPress theme. JobberBase uses Smarty, so I’m getting a crash course.

You can use PHP in the template (.tpl) files and reference the values of the assigned Smarty template variables like this:

  $html_title = $this->_tpl_vars['html_title'];
  $echo $html_title;

I’m sure Smarty users cringe at this sort of thing, being that it adds business logic to the template files. But, this is just the functionality I need to hack the JobberBase templates without mucking around in core JobberBase code.

I found this solution in the Smarty FAQ after hours of Googling.

Downgrade PHP 5.3 to 5.2

Like many others, I recently upgraded my Production server to PHP 5.3. I’m not quite sure of the reason anymore. I think I was trying to integrate a PHP profiler that required something in 5.3. Whatever my original reason, after I got 5.3 installed on my server, it started slowly hemorrhaging memory and occasionally freezing up, always during the middle of the night while I slept of course. So, today I set about downgrading PHP 5.3.2 to PHP 5.2.13. Here is what worked for me.

The Setup

First off, I’m running Ubuntu-Hardy, and both my PHP 5.3 and 5.2 distributions came from I have a Production server and a Test server that I try to keep as similar as possible. The first thing I did was make a backup of my Test server with PHP 5.3 installed and my app functional. Then I began hacking away on my Test server trying to successfully downgrade to PHP 5.2. When I screwed the Test server up beyond repair, I restored from backup. Likewise, when I made progress I documented my steps, restored from backup, and tried to repeat my success. I did this several times and eventually made a script that successfully downgraded PHP. I rehearsed this script 3 times on my Test server, backed-up my Production server, then repeated the script on my Production server. IT WORKED!

NOTICE: I probably have a couple of unnecessary steps in here that I didn’t bother to investigate their necessity. You may also need to uninstall and reinstall different PHP modules than I did, depending on the requirements of your applications.

My Final Steps

  1. Remove PHP
    1. sudo apt-get remove php5-common
    2. sudo apt-get remove php5-cli
    3. sudo apt-get remove php5
    4. sudo apt-get autoremove memcached
  2. Update your sources list to point to PHP 5.2
    1. sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    2. Remove the references to PHP 5.3 packages. For me that was:
      deb stable all
      deb-src stable all
    3. Add the following 5.2 packages:
      deb stable all
      deb stable/updates main contrib
      deb stable all
  3. Install PHP 5.2
    1. sudo apt-get update
    2. sudo apt-get install php5-cli
    3. sudo apt-get install php5
  4. Reinstall any PHP modules your application requires. For me that was:
    1. sudo apt-get install memcached
    2. sudo apt-get install php5-memcache
    3. sudo apt-get install php5-curl
    4. sudo apt-get install php5-mysql
  5. sudo reboot

After my production server rebooted, I had to fidget with Apache to get it started again. You may have to:

  • sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
  • sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
  • sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

Hope this helps!

How to Update Ubuntu Hardy to PHP 5.2.9

First upgrade your software as is.

>> sudo apt-get update

>> sudo apt-get upgrade

Then add the following to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.

>> sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

deb stable all
deb stable/updates main contrib
deb stable all

Finally run the update to install PHP 5.2.9.

>> sudo apt-get update

>> sudo apt-get install php5-cli

>> sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart