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Showing posts from September, 2017

I, um, broke stuff

While I had a lot of fun putting that comic panel together, I'm not planning on getting into the webcomic business. I keep getting told to "keep my day job" as if I'm not hilarious or something. The comic does provide a nice lead-in to a more serious topic whereby firewalls are able to be circumvented in unusual, hard to detect ways.

This story begins with "needing" the ability to connect two clients together. Since I don't generally operate in web browser land, I'm not constrained to whatever features are only available in a web browser. Since that's not a restriction, I could use whatever protocol I came up with/wanted to use. Since ports 80 and 443 are most commonly accessible through even the craziest of firewall setups and I had previous experience writing my own HTTP and WebSocket clients and servers, I knew very well how those protocols worked. My main issue with just using WebSocket is that it transitions into a framing protocol…

What is wrong with European/German law?!

About two to three times per month, some random business in Europe will come out of the woodwork and e-mail me wanting to use one of my open source software products and say something to the effect of:
Please send me a quote, an agreement, or contract in order to use [open source software product XYZ]. It's open source under an open source software license. In the case of open source CubicleSoft software, I generally offer TWO licenses that you can choose from! Every time I see that type of silly e-mail, I'm reminded of a joke article I read a long time about shooting oneself in the foot with various programming languages that started off with C:
You shoot yourself in the foot. And ultimately devolved into 370 JCL:
You send your foot down to MIS with a 4000-page document explaining how you want it to be shot. Three years later, your foot comes back having been deep-fried in duck fat. Trying to communicate that open source software is open source to a business that will only…

Running cron scripts every minute is a waste of system resources

If you've ever done this in a crontab file to handle a user-initiated event that rarely happens:
* * * * * /path/to/script Then you are definitely doing it wrong. I know I'm guilty of doing that but only because until recently I didn't have a viable solution for the problem. That type of cron line is lazy and running a script every single minute for a process that only happens on rare occasions is pretty wasteful of system resources. A much better solution is to use either Cloud Storage Server /scripts or /feeds (or both) with their associated SDKs. I've been using both options on production systems for a while now and they provide several significant benefits over traditional cron:
The script is only run when there is something to do. The SDK makes the API call to Cloud Storage Server, which, in turn, kicks off the process.The ability to safely pass information to the target process without requiring intermediate file storage.Users don't have to wait for cron …