Posts Tagged ‘html’


Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Last week was rather eventful, the largest thing being the one thing I naturally forgot to write about (go figure…), my appointment as deputy coordinator of FSFE Sweden. This is nice :)

That has however meant that this week hasn’t seemed as eventful, and I don’t know, for some reason I got off to a really slow start of the week, the only worthwhile things to write about started happening this Thursday.

nginx and password-protected directories

My father asked me for help in getting a bunch of files in his possession, over to some friends of his (who are, to the best of my knowledge, as computer illiterate as he is).

This meant that my first idea, to just set up an FTP-account on my server and have them log into that and download the files, wouldn’t work. I would need something simpler, but still with restricted access.

Preferably they’d just surf to some place, enter a password, and download a zip-archive (since all Windows versions since XP handles zip-archives like compressed folders, this should fall into the realm of what a computer user should be able to handle).

Something like Apache’s htpasswd stuff. And I wanted to do it with nginx, because I really want to get better at using and working with it.

The first task, obviously, was to check if nginx had that capability at all (it has), and if so, how it works.

This post showed me that it was possible, and how to do it.

A note here though: I first tried to set a password containing Swedish characters (åäö) and this didn’t work at all.


I have been wrestling with the question of how I would manage to create a database which individual users can read from and write to, but which they shouldn’t be able to remove from the filesystem (I know, a DROP or DELETE command can be just as devastating, so I must continue thinking about this).

alamar at StackOverflow solved this for me. The solution is to let the file be read and writeable, but have the parent directory not be writable.

This however makes it impossible to add new files to the directory. But since I am working with the idea that there should be a “ticket” user with a corresponding “ticket” group, and that every individual who should have access to the tracker will be in that ticket-group, the directory could disallow writing for group and other, leaving the ticket-user free to create more databases…

Although I now realize that this would make it easy for anyone in the ticket-group to screw around with any ticket database (insert, update, delete).

This clearly needs more design thought put behind it.

ArchLinux and MySQL client binaries

I needed to interact with a MySQL database on another server, but MySQL (the server) wasn’t installed on my desktop, and I didn’t really want to have to install the entire server just to get hold of the mysql client binary so that I could interact with the remote server.

Turns out that in ArchLinux, themysql binaries are split into a clients and a server package, perfect for when you wish to interact with MySQL databases, but not have the entire frakking server installed on your machine.

Accessibility, HTML and myConf

Since FSCONS is striving to be accessible, and the little “myConf” technology demonstrator I wrote the other week was intended for FSCONS, I have been trying to figure out how to make that as accessible as it can be (first of all, I have no idea what so ever, if a screen reader even parses javascript, and as the myConf demonstrator is mostly implemented in jQuery that might present itself a showstopper).

But given the assumption that a screen reader can parse javascript, and will output that big ‘ol table which is created, how do I make an html table accessible? Since a screen reader makes use of the html code, and even a sighted person could get tripped up trying to parse the markup of a table, this looks like a worthwhile venture.

Sadly, like all documents from, they just leave me more confused and without any questions answered than when I began, but luckily, there seems to be other resources more knowledgeable, and with more understandable wording/examples, although I haven’t had the time to read through them all yet (I’m mostly just dumping them here so that I’ll be able to find the pages again once I again have the time to look into it):

Ed Weissman has taken his most insightful comments from Hacker News and compiled it into a book, which he then graciously made available for free.

Now, I have to admit, until this week, I’d never heard of Ed, and I have rarely read stuff on Hacker News, but from what I’ve read so far of his book, I might have to change this.

Optimizing Vim usage

A fellow… hmmm, a fellow Fellow made me realize just how long it is going to take me to fully grok Vim. I have been using ggVGd to:

  1. Go to the first line (“gg”)
  2. Enter visual mode (spanning entire lines) (“V”)
  3. Go to the last line (“G”)
  4. And finally delete the selection (the entire contents of the file) (“d”)

Or one could just do :%d as the fellow showed me… And I have been using the pattern :%s/foo/bar/ for quite some time, understanding perfectly that “%” in this context means “for every line do…”

I just never made the connection that it could be applied to something simpler than a sed substitution.


Lack of (American) geeks is a national security risk according to DoD. Funny, anyone else who thinkgs that if they just stop prosecuting every kid who is playing around with security systems, or dowload music, or build (more or less dangerous) stuff from schematics they found online, this problem might just go away on its own?

My software stack revisited – Programming

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Programming is one of my primary interests, mainly because it allows me to stimulate my brain with solving problems, but also force it to think in new ways.


I started programming in PHP, picked up Java and Erlang during classes at ITU, picked up Python on my own during my studies at ITU, and my latest addition would be shell scripting.

Slightly tangent to the topic are the markup languages I have picked up as well, html and css in high-school and LaTeX at ITU. I dabbled around for a while with both creole and markdown, but that didn’t last long.

Editor / IDE

My first and foremost tool of choice given nearly any situation will be (g)vim. The only two exceptions I can think of off the bat is Java (for which I use Eclipse and if I need to write a whole lot of text, with minimal distraction (more on that later).

The pragmatic programmers recommend learning one text-editor, and learn it well. If the name of that editor is vim, emacs, kate, gedit, or whatever, I really don’t care. Just pick up one that fits you, and LEARN IT WELL!

I have extended vim with a couple of plugins, the most prominent being NERD Commenter, matchit, snipMate and sparkup. There are at least two more plugins, but I will write more about those later.

And for Python, I usually install the IPython interactive prompt as it is a fair bit more useful than the standard python-prompt.

Version Control

While studying at ITU I had my eyes opened about the wonderful concept of version control.

I was first exposed to SVN, and while quite capable, I figured it was too much of a hassle to set it up myself, since that would require the presence of a server somewhere to host the SVN repositories.

But then mercurial entered the stage. Git or bazaar would have done the job just as good, but the people orchestrating the fourth term settled on mercurial, and it is so dead simple and still powerful enough for what I need that I haven’t had a reason to look elsewhere.

Issue tracking

For a course at ITU I tried using Mantis, a web-based bug tracker written in PHP, and while it worked well, it was a hassle to manipulate bug reports since it meant I’d have to go online and log in to yet another system.

I have however found a different solution which I am currently trying out: a plugin to mercurial called b with the tagline “distributed bug tracking”. It is a bit too early to tell if it will do, but for the time being it solves the immediate problem of having to go online somewhere to handle bugs.

Next post in line: “Office Suite” software