today, i was tasked to set up the vtiger customer portal for my company.

the installation guide was a small pdf, sourcecode a straightforward zip
file. two quick downloads, and i fire up the installation guide in
evince ( http://www.gnome.org/projects/evince/ ) and follow the simple
instructions, but the site refuses to log someone in.

thinking its a serious problem, i start trailing the code execution path
from the login point. i find out that the vtiger configuration file is
missing some details. i add them, it doesn't work.

next, i verify that the include files exist, and the include paths are
valid. it still doesn't work.

i concentrate on the CustomerAuthenticate.php file, and notice that
there's some SOAP thing going on. i don't know much about soap, but
well, i should be able to see what's going on by looking at the code.

poking at nusoap.php reveals that the vtiger customer portal source code
package isn't complete. the nusoap package in it is missing some
critical files.

since the nusoap author was wise enough to put his email, and url in the
source file present, i head over there and grab the nusoap source code.

i unpack all files except the available one (i hope this doesn't cause
any problems in the future), and try logging in again. still doesn't

i look at the CustomerAuthenticate.php file again, look at the error
message, make some sourcecode changes that won't affect the logic of the
script, and notice that the error message includes the sourcecode
changes i just made… impossible. there must be an opening 'brace'
missing somewhere… in the end, i find out the vtiger coders used '<?'
instead of '<?php' for php code blocks…

so, i spent a few hours chasing the wrong leads, but fixed problems that
i would have had to fix down the road anyway.

'me wonders why the vtiger coders chose to code that way, and whether
they verified their package before putting it on the net…'

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