Magento cron.sh running but no tasks being scheduled/executed

If you have the situation where system cron is executing Magento’s cron.sh, but tasks are not being scheduled or run, then it might be because there is a previous execution of magento’s cron.php script which is sleeping (in the example below, it’s in status ‘S’ – interruptible sleep [waiting for an event to complete]).

mage-cronThis process may have to be killed to allow the next scheduled Magento cron to be able to run, as cron.sh checks for already running processes and won’t run a new one if it finds any.

Ideally one should then investigate the logs to establish what may have caused the process to hang in the first place.

 

Magento – Web Service Calls / API

At Fluid Branding we recently moved our website over to Magento. This all went very successfully, so one of the things we’re doing now is integrating our back office systems with Magento:

Fluid Branding Website - May 2012

Fluid Branding Website - May 2012

The first thing I needed to do was to retrieve details of a specified product from Magento. The back office system is on a different server from the website itself, so I needed to set up an API to be able to get the data. Continue reading

Synchronised Bliss? Web Development Tools and More

It just struck me recently, when I updated my iPhone to iOS 5 and started using iCloud, that I’ve now reached a pretty good place in terms of the software that I’m using allowing synchronisation across lots of different devices. I subsequently found that every iCloud doesn’t necessarily have a metallic lining, but more of that later!

Email: IMAP and Google Apps

Google Apps

Google Apps

When I first got the iPhone I was using POP for all my e-mail, both my private and work e-mail, across desktops, laptop and the iPhone. Clearly this doesn’t work in terms of trying to keep everything synchronised.

When I looked at switching to IMAP, I found that I’d need to pay for an upgraded e-mail account with my server hosting provider (Go Daddy) if I wanted to start using IMAP. However, just when I was about to hit the ‘Pay’ button I found that you can sign up to Google Apps and and Host your e-mail on GMail. This does require you to make changes to your MX records through your server admin panel, but Google provide really good instructions for this. The only problem I found was that I tried to use the same email address when setting up Google Apps that I was already using for my personal Google account. This can end up getting a bit messy! Incidentally I am pretty happy with Go Daddy in general.

Now that I’m on IMAP I’ve got everything synchronised across all devices. One thing to note though is that when I was using POP I was doing a send/receive every minute. Since switching to IMAP I’ve reduced the frequency a little (10 minutes), otherwise one synchronisation is barely ending before the next one begins. Continue reading

Return to JIRA

Well, this is the first post on the Ingham Creative blog. Previously there was a very attractive holding page, showing a Rio de Janeiro skyline from a trip in 2008, but things have moved on. A friend did ask whether the “coming soon”, mentioned in relation to the coming of the new website, was relative to some glacial or geological time frame…

This post is really to recommend the Atlassian JIRA tool, for bug, issue and project tracking. I used JIRA whilst working at Lehman Brothers and remembered it as being pretty good, but I think we used quite a convoluted custom work flow on top of it, which made it a bit over complicated.

A few months back we were looking for an issue tracking tool that we could use at Fluid Branding and we ended up going for a tool called Project Pier. We went for this because it was open source and we could self host it. I did look at JIRA at the time but thought it sounded a little tricky in terms of installation. Project Pier is fine and I’m grateful to anyone who provides open software, but there isn’t really all that much functionality there.

Last month I went along to the Agile On The Beach conference at Falmouth, which was a two day conference looking at lots of aspects of Agile software development and business practices. One of the talks, given by Lorna Mitchell, was called ‘Tooling up the LAMP stack’ and looked at software that helps when it comes to becoming more Agile, such as automated deployment, testing, etc. She mentioned JIRA as one of the available Bug / Issue Tracking products out there and it reminded me to have another look at installing it.

I installed the ‘JIRA Standalone for Linux’ on our Linux (CentOS) server and it was really easy to install. I think the only thing I had to do afterwards was to open up ports 8080 and 8005 that it uses.

After installation, I don’t think there’s an automated migration tool for Project Pier, although there are data migration tools for several other programs, so I just entered our old issues from Project Pier manually, taking the opportunity to add time estimates onto them.

When you install JIRA you will be given a default dashboard view, but you can easily create your own dashboard views and these can be shared with others. The dashboards are made up from ‘gadgets’ which you can select and move around the page. Below is an example of a custom dashboard which shows the tickets currently assigned to me, a pie chart of open issues across all projects based on the user that raised them, project overviews, favourite filters, activity stream and raised vs resolved graph.

My custom JIRA dashboardMy custom JIRA dashboard

Continue reading