Problems in Joomla after upgrading to PHP 5.2.5

After having upgraded a web server to the latest version of the awesome PHP module for Apache, I ran into a snag with Joomla. At the time, I had just upgraded a few sites to Joomla 1.0.13 so it was hard to immediately find someone to blame 🙂

What happened was that I could no longer login as to the Joomla backend (admin, whatever, nothing worked). I kept being re-directed to the login page again. Entering an incorrect password on purpose would yield the correct message (i.e. “Incorrect username/password” bla bla). After digging around for many hours, and reading Joomla code, I saw that Joomla utilizes the session_name () PHP function call. This doesn’t sound too strange, until I checked the PHP 5.2.5 changelog, which states:

Fixed bug #41561 (Values set with php_admin_* in httpd.conf can be overwritten with ini_set())

Knowing that I usually configure a unique session name for every site by using


in my Apache .conf-file, I was thinking that although ini_set() wasn’t used in the Joomla code I was looking at, I guess you would want to protect yourself against applications overriding the PHP admin value; and Joomla makes use of the session_name() function to do just that.

Removing the use of the above configuration directive from my Apache .conf-file, and restarting Apache, the problem went away.

The bug is reported in the JoomlaCode tracker at:

I intend to add this explanation to that tracker item as soon as I’m allowed to 🙂

To sum things up: This is not a bug in Joomla 1.0.x nor in PHP 5.2.5 per se, it’s a case of security catching up with you (if you’re as anal about it as I’ve been with my PHP/Apache configuration).


Mankind is the only
species dumb enough

to believe in inferior
technology to make
decisions based on historical

instead of being genuinly

we choose to
trust something that by

definition can only see
the past

JoHo, 2007-11-26

How to demo software

“With geeks, it’s probably enough to put on a nice Banana Republic black jacket over your polo shirt or turtleneck. Do NOT, for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, wear any clothing with writing on the outside. I know how much you love your JavaOne T-shirt, with the happy little waving tooth. Wear that to your wedding or something, not when you’re on stage. Lose the sneakers, too.”

Joel quite frequently has interesting things to say, but I’d say this one rates as one of the better posts.

“Ever wonder what the difference is between sales and marketing? The official definition is that marketing creates demand, while sales fulfils demand. Giving demos is marketing, not sales.”

How to demo software:
Joel on Software:

Getting run over by the Twisted Sister freight train

Solnahallen (Stockholm), 14 November 2007: A few minutes past nine in the evening, time froze, and it stayed frozen for over two hours. Witnesses report seeing five middle aged men enter the arena shortly before the time freeze. The same witnesses also report the arrival of several large trucks and trailers filled with serious stage equipment. The stories have not been confirmed, but all of the individuals reportedly had S.M.F. painted on their foreheads.

Twisted Sister hit the ground running, at 200 km/h, and then they increase from there until the end of the show. Unlike the situation with many other wanna-be high-energy outfits, you can actually make out rythm and vocals in the extremely loud sound levels that has become the signum of any good Twisted Sister show.

Pero’s drums and Medonza’s bass hits you straight in the chest, more or less preventing normal movement. Ojeda’s and French’s fast but very solid guitars mark the boundaries of almost every song, and Snider’s energy and vocals lock your focus and attention to the stage. You have no choice but to surrender. Snider is past 50, he rocks like someone barely past 25.

Jaws open, fists in the air, I’m an S.M.F.!

Yes, they’ve relased some lesser albums (Love is for suckers) and yes, they’ve now recorded a “Heavy Metal Christmas Album”, but after being reminded of why they call themselves Twisted Sister, I’m willing to forgive them for that, and more.

Whether or not the choice of a smaller arena like Solnahallen is due to fears that they wouldn’t be able to sell out a bigger place, I don’t know. But seeing Snider & Co in a tighter place brings memories back to his S.M.F. show at the Hard Rock Café in Stockholm a few years back. It gets really intense, really focused, and really really rockin’

Many clichés have been used by media and fans to describe the feeling experienced when standing in front of this band; “like being hit by a freight train”, “like standing behind a Boeing 747 at take-off”, etc. I’d like to add “They’re like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They personify energy.”

If this is the last show I get to see with Twisted, then I’m happy this was how it ended
If they come back to Stockholm, I’ll be there, “fer shure” 🙂

Thanks for an awesome evening guys!
/Yours truly, a seriously S.M.F.

ps. Jay Jay, I hope your daughter liked our birthday song ds.

Twisted Sister web site