i've figured out the problem, but no solution: as soon as I make a change, it writes to a new vhosts_ispconfig.conf file and immidiately thereafter appends the datestamp onto the end. It never even touches the straight file. For example: I added a bunch of junk characters to the front of the filenames currently in the folder (the straight file and one with a datestamp) so there was no straight file left. As soon as i made a change, it made the file, added all the correct data (except one bit- hold on) then as soon as it did that, added the datestamp, making it useless. The interesting thing is, in all the newly created files at the top under the ispconfig header bit, it used to add
<virtualhost (myiphere):80 and so on
now it just adds
I say myiphere because it was originally my public ip, but since i'm behind a nat router, i changed it to my private ip hardcoded into the template file. I did this so I could use my public ip as my default, so when new virtual hosts were created, they'd have the proper ip in their vhost entries, but the users could add domains which would use the proper public ip. anyway, thats not my problem, that's worked for weeks.
and there are no syntax errors in httpd.conf