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On November 8th, 2008

Checking Back In

Here's Johnny!

So it's been about six months since I last took the time to update my blog - though in the meantime I've redesigned how comments are submitted to better fend off the hoard of spammers. Just today I've started receiving waves of spam url comments which appear to be from - but are in fact exploiting a redirection security flaw in one of their web pages to make a bunch of porn sites appear legitimate. I've notified the webmaster, we'll see if they do anything about it.

So what have I been up to for the past several months? Well I've been back at Willamette for about two months now, pursuing my Computer Science degree and doing my level best to wreck havoc on the school's network. I've been trying to set up a FTP based file sharing service on campus, though as yet I haven't found a good FTP crawler / indexer, so suggestions would be awesome. In about two weeks I'll be heading up to Eugene to participate in the ACM's ICPC programming competition - maybe I'll be inspired to write something about the tournament - we'll see.

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Posted in: Digital Gemstones, Willamette

On April 28th, 2008

XML Based User Manager

Self contained in one class, and fully customizable

A few years ago, I wrote on the whiteboard above my desk 'Build a login script'. It sat there in the corner, along with a few other ideas, some have since been completed, some have been long forgotten. As I said in my last entry, I just learned how to work with XML, and what I learned inspired me to finally upgrade my Simple User Authentication script to work with multiple users. I've done more than just extend the script however - I have created a fully functional, fully independent user authentication class. Include it, load the XML file, and you're good to go.

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Posted in: PHP, Scripts, XML

On April 15th, 2008

XML Web Development

Shoulda learned this ages ago...

I promised myself I wouldn't update Digital Gemstones until I'd filed my tax returns, and now that that's finally out of the way, I've got several things to talk about, so expect more articles in the coming days. To get started, I just finished reading No Nonsense XML Web Development With PHP, which covered the topic of XML quite excellently.

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Posted in: PHP, XML

On March 16th, 2008


Tricks, Shortcuts, Add-Ons and Bookmarks

Since first installing Firefox a few years ago, I have customized my install in nearly every imaginable way short of modifying the source code. I thought I'd put together an entry discussing my suggestions on improving Firefox. These include add-ons I find useful, shortcuts that make navigating lightning fast, and other useful tricks.

I intend to continue adding to this as time goes by, so check back every now and then.

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Posted in: Firefox, Tricks

On March 3rd, 2008

A Change of Heart?

Microsoft's New Plan

Well what do you know - the people seem to have won out against the powers that be - a friend linked me to this IE Development Blog Entry, and it seems the IE development team has changed their mind. The article suggest the primary reason may be Opera's lawsuit filed in the European Union, though I'd like to think that it had more to do with the general public consensus. In either case, this particular fight is almost over.

The posting does not address what will happen in future editions of IE, will they continue allowing people to build for IE7 well into the future? Will standards only be slightly better off, or will future versions retire older versions, like they should? This is a highly important question which needs to be answered before we all celebrate.

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Posted in: Opinion, Standards

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