Friday, July 8, 2016

Married Ten Years Today!

It is still a mystery to me why she said "Yes" when I asked her but she did and on July 8, 2006, this beautiful lady married me.  She is pretty, smart, funny and, lucky for me, tolerant!

In celebration I am posting these links.  Not really of interest to many but still the site and the pictures are pretty fun. (Our official wedding site still up since 2006)

Pile of Wedding Pics (A bunch of memories!)

We like to do the fine dining thing so we've both taken the day off and have a reservation for Alinea tonight to celebrate.  A great meal is the perfect way to start another ten years!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Be aware of automatic Domino HSTS Settings

As part of our normal review of such things I ran an SSL Labs test on our sites only to discover that we now had double header entries in our responses for Strict-Transport-Security.

Not a terrible thing but the SSL test does point it out and after some examination I realized that Domino now adds that header automatically once you only use HTTPS or if you redirect to HTTPS as explained by the very helpful Dave Kern right here:

Since we use a Netscaler in front of our Domino servers to add a variety of security measures and other network enhancements, I decided I did not want Domino also adding its own header so I set the nifty .ini setting of ...


which did the trick!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Current Software

Over the last three weeks I've had the pleasure of upgrading my laptop and also my desktop machines.  Since I've done it twice recently and I find these lists helpful on occasion, I thought I would quickly post the software I find I actually need on a new machine.

I've found great convenience in using cloud storage options like Dropbox, Box and iCloud.  It really speeds up transitioning to a new computer and it helps me migrate my preferred way which is to not migrate at all but, rather, do a clean setup on the new machine, install what I really need for tools, copy any data not in cloud storage over the from the last machine, make a backup of the old machine then decommission the old machine.

FWIW, new hardware was...

- 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, 3.1 Ghz i7, 512 GB SSD, 16GB RAM

- 27-inch 5K Retina iMac, 4.0GHz i7, 1 TB SSD, 32GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M395X w/4GB

- Sundry iPads which I just restore from iCloud backups

Now I am faced with the unenviable task of upgrading wife's computer.  She's a Windows Girl which means I've got to shop for a PC which is a little like shopping for an American-made luxury car: You know you're in for trouble.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Beware Round Trip Timezone!

Learned a valuable lesson last week which can essentially be summed up as "Don't use this setting."

The purpose of this setting is ostensibly to introspect the current user's time zone via their web browser and it does so by adding a small Javascript that connects to the server and then the server sends something back.  Round Trip. Get it? Go there, come back, go there...never mind.

Besides the fact that I was unable to actually see any difference in our UI based on changing this setting (which I am totally willing to admit that I may just not have used it correctly), the real problem is that if you're connecting to your site programmatically via the Apache HTTP Client or other similar clients, then that "web client" will enjoy the thrill and non-functionality of simply getting a page that constantly reloads itself but does not actually contain any of the content it was supposed to contain.

It gets that nifty little Round Trip Javascript function for sure.  ONLY that nifty little Round Trip Javascript function.

So, yeah, don't use this switch. Ever.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Guest Post from Paul Calhoun: Aspose Java Tools Review

Let me start by saying that I am a huge proponent of open-source software, specifically The Apache Foundation collection of code.  I’m a Java developer who writes code for IBM platforms, and I almost always find their tools to be adequate for the task at hand.  

So if I’m going to purchase software, it requires the following:
  1. Better functionality / fidelity than an open source equivalent.
  2. Superior documentation of API and example code.
  3. Responsive support for questions / issues.

I can say without pause that Aspose software’s suite of products for working with Excel, Word and PDF file formats exceeds any expectation I might have had.

We have the requirement to dynamically produce Word Documents, Excel reports and PDF documents from our customer content.  Up to this point we have been able to accomplish this with an open-source solution, but quite frankly it took a LOT of code and was not as easy to maintain as we had hoped.  

We needed to add some additional functionality to this system this year to provide one click download of files in multiple formats and that is what has led us to choose Aspose as our vendor for these tools.  

Our primary goal was to be able to produce Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and PDFs from the same stream of HTML.  This was impossible to do in any other tool without hundreds of lines of code and separate logic for each. 

Aspose Words, Cells, and PDF allow us to accomplish this task in one code stream with less than a dozen lines of code.  Simple to implement and simple to maintain!

In addition to simply providing an easier path to what we already have, Aspose tools will allow us to implement new functionality we could not provide before:

  • Via Aspose Words, automatically provide a much-needed red-line (track changes) process for our customers to visually track document changes from one submission to the next!
  • Provide content in Word Document format, not just PDF.
  • Via Aspose PDF, automatically create merged PDFs and PDF Portfolios.
  • Via Aspose Cells, provide Excel spreadsheets that contain dynamic formula logic, so reports are now live workable spreadsheets.
  • Automatically provide PDFs, Word documents and Excel reports with password protection.

We are now able to concentrate more on providing solutions than maintaining code with a faster, more maintainable code stream.

Aspose makes it easy to review their tools with a free download of the fully functional API, as well as a temporary license for all products.  This allows developers to put the tools through their paces and get questions answered prior to making a purchasing commitment.  

I was having an issue with one of our code streams and placed a question in the forums expecting an answer in several days, as I was not a customer yet, but just kicking the tires, so to speak.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received a clear, concise response to my inquiry in less than 24 hours. 

As a Java developer with more than 30 years of programming experience with many different languages and platforms, I can highly recommend these tools!!