Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Setting up your own domain in (Ubuntu) Linux

...is easier than you actually think. I managed to get a working domain name for our company's servers going using tutorials and information collected from here, here, here and here.
I'd love to be able to write a coherent guide based off of the information from these pages, but I'm just too busy at work to do it at the moment.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Quick note on SFTP jails

SFTP jails are uber useful and I've blogged about them before, but one crucial piece of information that I've been missing has been where it all started. This thread on the Ubuntu forums was the base for all of the work that I've done and it has made it super easy to setup jails here at work, which is a blessing due to the frequency with which we move files and make changes. I'm finding more and more that I owe an increasing amount of thanks to the people and posts on forums, both Ubuntu and others, so thanks.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Understanding Linux ACLs

Ok, so for a while, I've had an SFTP jail setup within our company for our clients to connect and dump batch files to our systems. It later became necessary to have an administrator user for our staff to be able to go in and read any of the files from any of the clients without having to use a bunch of different logins to login as each individual client. This makes sense as doing so would be far too cumbersome. This is where ACLs came in. I learned what I had to so that I could get going, but that wasn't very much (forunately at the time, unfortunately later). I've since learned a couple of interesting things since then:

There are two types of ACLs in Linux :

  1. The access ACL which controls access to files and directories

  2. The default ACL which applies to directories only and acts like a template for newly created files and subdirectories within that directory.

The former I knew about right from the beginning (pretty obvious), but I didn't really know the proper name for what I was manipulating. The latter I learned about today, and had previously assumed that Access and Default ACLs were one and the same (I didn't know about the distinction because it wasn't mentioned in the fucking

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today's karmic balance

It's pretty rare that I have something to blog about within a couple days of each other, never mind on the same day, so I suppose that this post is the karmic balance of the other for today. I just found out yesterday that because one of our processing partners had their douchebag of a contractor ditch on them, I now have to maintain two systems and integrate them both together. That in and of itself is kinda stupid. But at least this'll be my first production interaction with Ruby on Rails, and I'm actually really looking forward to the experience. I've been meaning to get myself up to speed with Rails, but between feeling tired after I get home and working so damn much that I don't have the time when I get home, I haven't really had the chance. It's going to be an interesting coming couple of weeks.

Use DTDs, they're there for a reason

As the title of this post states, if you're a web developer, use a fucking DTD. They exist for a reason, that reason being to allow web browsers to have a reasonable expectation of the content and layout of your website so they can deliver the desired experience to your user. If you're a web developer and you don't know what a DTD is, then you're in serious fucking trouble. In the event that you don't know, DTD stands for Document Type Definition, and it's a single line of XML that goes at the very beginning of HTML documents and almost at the very beginning of XML documents (if they're validated by DTDs). An example of a DTD :

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

That DTD is for a strictly validated XHTML 1.0 compliant HTML document. This means that it's strongly validated and web browsers can expect everything after it to be well-formed quality. That's right bitches, I use a good version of HTML and I'm standards compliant like a mofo.

Sorry, but I just had to get that out. Lately, I'm being inundated with pages from our partners that don't use DTDs, don't validate to anything, and are just generally horrible markup. Now, normally, a person wouldn't need to care, but when your partners are lame and you have to scrape their pages for data, the lack of developing to a DTD becomes a giant pain in the ass.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A letter to Apple

Yes, these things are cliche, but whatever, screw it.

Dear Apple,

In case you haven't figured it out from my buying patterns, I've stopped buying music from you that isn't DRM-free. This is because, as Steve Jobs has admitted himself, DRM is archaic, and frankly doesn't work. What your company doesn't seem to realize is that if you want to continue your high level of sales, (especially to technophiles / audiophiles such as myself) you're going to need to get going on casting off the DRM that exists on your considerable library of music. I steadfastly refuse to purchase any music that is not DRM-free. I want to be able to play it anywhere on whatever device I may happen to own, and I'm not going to cave into unreasonable demands of an already clearly greedy music industry that refuses to evolve and adapt to technological reality. If I can't purchase music through large corporations such as yourself, I'm going to look elsewhere : smaller sites, independent labels, and independent artists who publish their music for free. So, until you get your head out of your ass : screw you, you're not getting one thin dime from my pocket.