WordPress/PHP Nonsense

fault code -32700 parse error. not well formed

That’s what I’ve been getting when I tried to use any client to connect to my WordPress instance. The WP web UI worked fine and I wasn’t seeing any errors in the dashboard.

I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of using my micro.blog account for a while now, but kept having trouble with the micro.blog apps. I could read just fine, but I couldn’t post to micro.blog via the app (which in turn posts to my self-hosted WP blog).

This process used to work a few months ago and I thought it was a problem with micro.blog itself. After more investigating and some pointers from Manton Reese via Micro.blog support, I finally figured out the issue…

The server was missing the package php-xml. Turns out, WordPress will happily run without it and the xmlrpc endpoint will even respond with XML without it, but it won’t actually work. After doing a quick:

yum install php-xml

I was back in business. I’m surprised WordPress didn’t detect this and point out that a required package was missing. Maybe it did and it just didn’t make it obvious? I’m not really sure, but I see lots of people with the same issue when I search for the solution. I had to dig through several Google results to finally find the answer which was also surprising.

So if you get an error saying “fault code -32700” and “parse error. not well formed”, make sure your php-xml package is installed.

Blogging Thoughts

One of the reasons I haven’t tried to blog, or even post to social media, more these days is I can’t figure out how I want to manage all of my accounts. I haven’t used Facebook in a year and a half (or more) at this point and I don’t see myself going back.

I go through periods where I don’t look at Twitter at all, but I still have some friends that I only see on there, so I hate to abandon it altogether. I also have this blog which I’ve had forever – I’ve imported most of my old content from various other blogs into this one.

I think this blog will stay the single repository for anything I make. That keeps it nice & easy, even though it doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as my social media accounts.

I’m still trying to post to Micro.blog as well, but I’m not involved in many discussions there since there are so few people I know using it. Any blog posts on here that are tagged with microblog will also show up on Micro.blog itself. I’m sure I’d have a different feeling about it if most of my friends from Twitter (and some from Facebook) were there, but that’s not the situation today.

I used to have Micro.blog cross-post to Twitter for me and maybe I’ll end up turning that back on, but the catch for me was that I didn’t want to check Twitter for replies. At the same time, if I post something there and I get a comment about it, I’d like to see it. I haven’t found a way to get just Twitter replies sent to me though. If I have the Twitter app (well, Tweetbot) installed, I’m going to mindlessly browse Twitter more than I’d like. Without the app, I only get emails when someone DMs me. It sounds like I should be getting reply emails as well based on Twitter’s setting screen, but I’ve never seen that in emails.

For now, I think I’m going to go back to not using Twitter. I recently signed up for Feedbin and it lets to subscribe to specific Twitter accounts as if they were regular RSS feeds. I think that may be a nice middle ground to keep up with the handful of accounts I like to follow without getting sucked into scrolling Twitter for ages.

I’m going to keep posting my content to this blog and I may look at turning on Twitter cross posting for the microblog category specifically – so those posts go out automatically, but I’ll have to manually cross post any longer content if I want it to go out.

Thoughts on the Oculus Quest

I’ve been a long time fan of VR. I was an original backer of the Oculus Rift Kickstart, I’ve really enjoyed my Rift CV1, and I finally got my hands on an Oculus Quest a few days ago. Here are some stream of consciousness thoughts after about a day and a half of using it…

It’s incredibly impressive what Oculus has been able to pull off with such a compact, all in one package.

I did have a good bit of controller tracking issues when the controllers were by my sides and behind my head. It corrected their tracking quickly once they come back into view, but if you’re playing a game with fast action, you may see the controllers jump a bit as they come back into view and it’s jarring. The hand tracking was nearly as good as my Oculus Rift CV1 otherwise. Head tracking was as good or better.

Setting up Guardian is 100x easier on the Quest. You just look at the camera passthrough image, point your controller around the room, and you’re done. Super simple and it works well.

Guardian has some type of issue where fast sideways movements of the touch controllers can cause Guardian to activate even when you’re not near the boundary. This happened repeatedly in Beat Saber. Even though my hand never got closer than 1 foot away from the boundary, fast sideways swipes would always activate the boundary grid display for just a second or two. It doesn’t interrupt the game, but it’s very distracting.

Passthrough is very handy, but there should be a quick way to toggle it on and off if you just need to see the real world for a second. As is, you have to leave the Guardian boundary to see it. Walk too far and the passthrough image will fade to black. I’m assuming this happens because the passthrough view is distorted and delayed which can make you sick pretty quickly if you walk too much with the view active.

6.5′ x 6.5′ is the recommended play space. It works fine, but you really should have a bit more than that for most of the games just to leave some buffer.

The sound was “fine”. If you crank up up to 80% or higher, you can hear it pretty well…well enough to play any game I tried. Everyone around you will hear the sound at that volume though, so you definitely want headphones if you’re trying not to disturb people around you or if you want a good amount of bass.

The fixed foveated rendering is much more annoying than I expected, but it each app gets to control it so it’s not an issue in every game. For example, in Bogo, I would constantly see my pixelated hands toward the bottom of the screen. It was incredibly distracting, but if you always look at the center of your view and turn your head instead of moving your eyes, you won’t notice this. If there is a lot of fast action, you don’t notice this either.

The graphics are a very noticeable downgrade. The Oculus Home app was the only app I tried that felt pretty much at parity with PC, but no one was expecting apps to look PC-like, so no surprise there. I did find more realistic looking textures to look much worse than cartoony textures – e.g. Robo Recall looks relatively bad when you look at the cars near you in the streets, but you’re usually busy looking at the robots so you don’t have time to get too distracted. Beat Saber looks great though even though it isn’t parity with the PC version.

I don’t know for sure, but I think some of the games were dropping a few frames on my here and there. I don’t get motion sickness very easily in VR, but I started feeling slightly sick after trying several of the demos. It felt like there were tiny stutters every once in a while so I suspect that was more the cause and not the lower refresh rate (72Hz on Quest vs 90Hz on Rift CV1).

YouTube VR looks amazing. I was surprised how nice some of the 1080p/4K non-VR videos looked projected on the giant YouTube screen. The 180 & 360 videos on there worked great as well, but they just don’t look that crisp (not a problem with the app, it’s just a fact of life for these types of videos right now).

Skybox VR worked great as well. I tried streaming some Plex movies and it was fantastic.

RiftCat + SteamVR does indeed let you “play” Steam VR games on your Quest, but you probably shouldn’t yet. The latency is high and it’ll easily make you sick. That said, I was able to get Elite: Dangerous working with it so I could see my ship in the hangar in VR and that was great. I couldn’t get my HOTAS working with the USB-C OTG cable though nor could I get audio working. In a few months, I could see this being almost playable as long as you don’t mind some compression artifacts to keep the latency lower.

Steam Link works really well in the “TV” app (you have to sideload it). I tried streaming several games from my home PC and everything was playable and the text was readable.

The headset itself is really heavy to me. I know it’s not that much heavier than my CV1 on paper, but in practice, it felt very heavy on the front of my face. I had a really hard time getting a secure fit. Either the fit was relatively comfortable, but let the headset move out of the sweet spot (which seems awfully narrow to me) when playing something like Beat Saber OR the headset was very secure, but the headset was pressed into my sinus area so hard that it was incredibly uncomfortable.