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The 1 thing I love about Google, is that no matter how obscure you think your “unique” problem is, there’s a BUCKET of people who have had it before 😉

I use a local test server to code called WAMP.

I had some code working perfectly using PHP file_get_contents to suck in a web page and do stuff to it.

ONE DAY, it just suddenly stopped working – no reason I knew of – with a cryptic error (as always in coding)

something like; “can’t get contents, did you enable S when you compiled PHP”.

Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: Unable to find the wrapper “https” – did you forget to enable it when you configured PHP?

So naturally I go down several rabbit holes until I finally uncover this answer;

Huge thanks to Andrew Dodson (a full stack engineer) for providing an explanation (to some else) that I understood.

Coding Rabbit holes included;

  • Checking the source URL
  • Changing the source url
  • Checking PHP config in WAMP to verify the functions were allowed. They weren’t even listed, let alone allowed, so I had to go find that syntax. Nothing changed.
  • Changing the source to a local file
  • Changing the source url to my own site
  • Changing the source url to my own site, but with SSL (that’s where it broke)

So it was an SSL issue, probably just with WAMP – although a production server may have the same setup conditions too.

After searching many other peoples problems and changing my google search to say httpS specifically, Andrew’s answer popped out.

//1: Check which wrappers are installed.

//2: If you dont see “https” on the list, add to/uncomment from php.ini
//Restart your server*, and your done.
//*if server fails to restart go download php_openssl.dll from someplace and stick it in your extensions directory defined in the php.ini file, restart server, say a few hell mary’s and pray.

And low and behold, there was the commented out (semi solon) open SSL extension

I’m still completely mystified why it was working OK and then suddenly stopped.
I guess something got more secure 🙁

Naturally you start doubting everything, yourself, what day it is, whether fairies cam in and changed it, whether auto installs happened, or whether you just totally forgot you changed absolutely everything and just forgot.

But the good news is that other people, somewhere, have had exactly the same UNIQUE sh*t happen to them !

Praise be for the “hive” 🙂

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