mark :: blog
Spent a very very large number of hours converting the old
Apache Week site to completely use XML throughout. This
meant going through 257 back issues that had been written
with poor HTML (missing closing tags, no paragraph opens and
closes). Fortunately the w3c HTML-tidy and some perl did
90% of the work, leaving just 12 hours of manual labour.
If you visit the site you can get the XML and XSLT source if
try hard enough :)
Another week, mostly spent trying to find somewhere to live
in Glasgow. I've found my ideal house, it looks rather
like the Stronghold castle logo which is slightly
worrying. More fun creating various XSLT files to convert
Apache Week bits and bobs into the right formats; the current
issue is all XML built now, as anyone who received the
text version full of &#A0; codes instead of spaces will
Larry Wall last week was commenting on debuggers and
said "I don't use them; I'm more of an insert-print-
statements guy". Now I have an excuse :)
Back from OSCON to a jetlag and a heatwave. Looks like I
could have got my sunburn/tan here instead of flying 11
hours with a broken seat-back TV and a pounding headache.
Anyway I put up
photos of interest from the conference.
Read what we thought of the tutorials until the end of
this week when we've finished writing up what we thought of
the main sessions.
joe and I combined
talk on XSLT and a talk on Extreme Programming and spent a
few hours in the hotel converting the Apache Week markup
langauge (which was rather like Ventura Publisher markup)
to XML, pair programming, XP-style. It was either that or
watch ABC and play the internet enhanced-TV version of "Who
wants to be a millionaire?"
I'm sitting at the very back of a packed hall, typing this
live as Craig Mundie from Microsoft talks about his thoughts
on open source. He started by saying that Microsoft's
problems and comments are around the free software movement
rather than the open source movement. "Open source isn't
It must be strange for him up on stage looking out over a
sea of people wearing plastic red hats. Yes, it's a bit of
a publicity stunt, but we must have got about a third of all
the attendees wearing the fedoras. I had great fun handing
them out on the way in, getting trampled in the rush, but
the attitude of everyone was great. Apart from the guy who
worked for SuSe who didn't want one. Not even to burn,
It's exactly a year ago that I got to visit Monterery
California to report on the 4th O'Reilly Open Source
software convention (Apache Week
issue #208) When I managed to get invited back to San
Diego for this week I thought I'd been given the ideal
assignment; getting to fly to California in July, avoiding
the British rain, and spending a week right on the West
Coast with nearly 2000 other open source advocates. So with
only one direct flight a day from England I was unsuprised
to find a large number of delegates on the plane; wearing
Penguin badges and snapping pictures of the clear views over
Greenland with a variety of digital cameras.
San Diego has great weather, and it's easy to forget that
coming from England, so I managed to get sunburnt. If
you're at the conference this week look out for the pasty
english guys with sunburn. Wireless lans are great; I'm
currently typing this listening to Brian Behlendorf talking
about Apache to a group of people including Larry Wall,
sitting just in front of me.
Off to San Diego tommorrow for TPC/OSCON. I've not flown
with British Airways since 1995 when after two flights with
dismal customer service I vowed never to fly with them
again. However, London to San Diego was cheapest with BA
and I didn't fancy paying the price difference. Also they
might be better now, they've got the seat back TV screens.
I now know two BA pilots too, but neither is flying the
outward or return flights :(
Well I can't leave until I pack, and I can't pack until
I've finished work, and that means writing Apache Week.
People have been asking about the OpenSSL exploit, so I
need to write that up, together with a company that is
giving out free server certificates.
My entire trust model for SSL is based on that fact that
anyone who can issue a server certificate "does the right
thing". That means they check who I am and that I have the
right to use the name I've asked them to certify.
Otherwise someone else could register my name, or something
similar to it, and theres no point having SSL do
authentication anymore. How can a company giving out free
certificates afford to do any checking? But then I've
heard of Verisign and Thawte making serious mistakes
issuing certificates, so I probably had a false sense of
Hmmmmmm SmartTags. Someone posted a link to a site that
said in order to stop SmartTags parsing your documents you
add this to each one:
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
Well, with Apache it should be even easier. I wonder if
adding this to httpd.conf would be enough?
Header add MSSmartTagsPreventParsing "TRUE"
Depends how MS implemented their checks, I've not bothered
looking if IE is available that supports this yet.
Spent most of yesterday in Guildford, where Kiat noticed
that someone had scraped my car. Wonderful
Decided on the way back that I'd finish writing my OFX
gateway. The idea is that the OFX gateway would be able to
automatically log in and extract your statement details
from the variety of online sites that I use that don't let
you export your details (or have a convoluted way of doing
it). So you'd just hit "update" and MSMoney would talk to
the OFX server which would contact each of the sites it
knows about, screen-scrape the details, and present them
back to Money in OFX format.
After an hour of hacking late last night I have a module
that can log into the LLoyds TSB site and download your
statement. Next is getting into OFX (I already have
written something to do that). The biggest headache is
making money contact your OFX server; it works, but it's
just not very user friendly yet.
I should really switch everything to GNUCash and spend my
hacking efforts on that. The only thing holding me up is
downloading the whole 60Mb+ of gnome experience over a 45k
History is fun, I just finished off screenshots and the
history of ModPlay.
Yes, I really did share a house with Bryce
So I keep finding web logs mentioning Douglas Adams who
died at the weekend aged only 49. I'll add my story:
I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams (was in the fanclub
ZZ9-plural-Z-alpha as a teenager) and at ApacheCon in
London last October got into line to get my book signed by
(photo). The second time around when things had become
more quiet I approached him again to get a book signed for
Apache Week to give away. Instead of idle chit-chat I
asked him about the film. This peaked his interest and he
launched into telling me all about it and the problems and
was really animated. He seemed pleased that someone was
interested in it and was happy to talk to me for a few
minutes until I thought I'd held up the line long enough.
Or maybe he'd realised that the more he talked to me the
less books he had to sign.
The signature in the two books were far from identical, but
it read "Bop Ad" just like I expected.
Hi! I'm Mark Cox. This blog gives my
thoughts and opinions on my security
work, open source, fedora, home automation,
and other topics.
pics from my twitter:
red hat summit,