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Colas Nahaboo Blog

Migration to Foswiki

2015-10-18 by ColasNahaboo in Site - 0 Comments
At last, I found the motivation to work again on this site that I have left dormant since 2009. And I start with a long deserved migration of the engine from the old TWiki system to the superb Foswiki WIki engine.

Just installing a new Foswiki, and copying the data seem to provide a working base, I will then work on fixing the minor bugs and designing a new look in the following weeks

Irclogger 1.16b released

2014-12-08 by ColasNahaboo in Site, Software, Irclogger - 0 Comments
A new minor version of IrcLogger, 1.16b is out.
  • The case-sensitive option was bugged. Found & fixed by Christopher Foo
  • Searches are now timeouted, that is aborted if not done in 60 seconds. This timeout value is settable via the new variable search_timeout in irclogger.conf as a number in seconds.

Since the python code is not modified, you do not have to restart the daemon, upgrading is recommended as it is a simple unarchiving in place.

See IrcLogger

Irclogger 1.16a released

2014-11-30 by ColasNahaboo in Site, Software, Irclogger - 0 Comments
A new minor version of irclogger, 1.16a is out. It only fixes minor issues:
  • Fix provided by Christopher Foo, irclogger was confused when users typed a backslash at the end of a line
  • You can use space to separate words in the search now, not only ;

Since the python code is not modified, you do not have to restart the daemon, upgrading is recommended as it is a simple unarchiving in place.

Irclogger 1.16 released

2010-04-29 by ColasNahaboo in Site, Software, Irclogger - 0 Comments
A new release of IrcLogger, 1.16 is out, to solve a problem that appear recently: On restarting after a disconnection Irclogger would connect then disconnect after some seconds repeatedly. This was due to a bigus log directory with a ] in its name that was created in response to some IRC server strange messages. The bug ticket was http://trac.colas.nahaboo.net/irclogger/ticket/10 TRAC.

Since the python code has been modified, you have to restart the daemon, after an unarchiving in place.

See IrcLogger

Irclogger 1.15a released

2009-03-14 by ColasNahaboo in Site, Software, Irclogger - 0 Comments
A new release of IrcLogger, 1.15a is out, to solve a minor irritating problem: In the html view, URLs in the IRC log text are detected and rendered as proper html links, but as legal characters in URLs include dots, comma, and parenthesis, it was often including the text punctuation after the url as part of it, sending users to nonexisting pages. With 1.1.5a we properly detect and exclude this ending punctuation. However, for this I had to use specific features of the GNU sed, so it will need the GNU sed, such as the one in use on Linux. (I could recode it with perl if this is a problem, but all unix lovers should use the GNU utilities anyways :-).

E.g, writing in IRC: You could look at http://foswiki.org, or http://www.foswiki.org. (both refer to http.foswiki.org/) was generating 3 bad HTML links.

Since the python code is not modified, you do not have to restart the daemon, upgrading is recommended as it is a simple unarchiving in place.

See IrcLogger

Usability issues on a payment form

2009-03-03 by ColasNahaboo in Koala, Usability, Web - 0 Comments
I know, I know, it is easy to nitpick on other people design, but this morning I tried to pay my phone bill online, and... failed. I had to retry many times, because I kept making mistakes on a simple, run-of-the-mill form to enter my credit card data. I was dumbfounded. How can, in 2009, people manage to make such a trivial and essential part of online business go so wrong? As I guess you are as curious as me, here is what I found out: (See the picture for the 3 main pain points)
  • 1 the expiration date example is ambiguous: does 0903 here means 2009-03 or 2003-09 ? Why didnt they disambiguate it by also adding a specification (like MMYY, or, as it is a french dialog, MMAA ?)
  • 2 but today, it was not only ambiguous but plainly misleading! As we were in March 2009, I assumed that the example was built from the current month and year. I said cool, so it is YYMM. Wrong! it was actually the reverse, MMYY, resulting in one failed attempt
  • 3 ok, I filled the fields, and hit the OK button... and it just reset the page to empty fields! Grumbling, I re-typed the fields, re-clic, and... another blank page! After these two more failures, I tried to think (which is what you http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Make_Me_Think do not want your users to do, trust me!). I then read the button label and discovered that this big, prominent button alone at the bottom of the page was not the Submit button but the Cancel one!. I should have hit the middle one "Valider", but this button was not in the correct place on the flow of the form.

So,after 3 failed attempts, I managed to pay my bill. All this on a simple form with no fancy verification code or Captcha. Well done Telefact, I wonder if you can find a worse example still in use today.

Irclogger 1.15 released

2009-02-17 by ColasNahaboo in Site, Software, Irclogger - 0 Comments
A new release of IrcLogger to add the functionality to be able to connect to IRC servers protected by a password. No need to upgrade if you connect to password-less servers.

See IrcLogger

Google is not only not evil, it is also human

2009-02-02 by ColasNahaboo in Koala, Tech - 0 Comments
As most of you must know by now, Google http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-site-may-harm-your-computer-on.html suffered an outage on Jan 31, 2009 that was caused by a simple mistake: the search Goliath depended for its results on a small http://stopbadware.org/ David but didnt properly prepared themselves for the risk of such a dependency on a 3rd-party site. Unbelievably, when the http://stopbadware.com stopbadware site failed to respond (ironically, because a Google bug was DOS-ing them), they decided to... stop serving pages! A saner approach would have been to serve anyways, or perhaps better, reuse a cache of the stopbadware previous results.

Anyways, I was kind of relieved to find that Google was down, because when it happened, I was installing for the first time broadband at my father-in-law house, and not being able to google sent me in a mild panic on trying to understand how a broadband or Vista misconfiguration could result in these strange symptoms! (Well, nothing is impossible with Vista, I know, it can even work sometimes smile

It also brought me memories of a similar blunder I was responsible for at work. I set up a monitoring daemon to check that our vital http://www-sop.inria.fr/acacia/WORKSHOPS/IntraWebs2006/Chat_Intrawebs2006.pdf Intranet Wiki was up. The daemon checked various server health issues, and would eventually restart apache if it could find any other solution. One day, somebody by mistake locked the front page of the wiki so that nobody could see it... and the daemon, unable to see the page, would then endlessly restart apache... The resulting behavior puzzled me quite some time, especially since nobody uses a Wiki front page (everybody dwells in his own little corner) so the main cause was not found immediately... I can see the same human logic here in this bug: we are very bad at expecting the unexpected.

So, whatever you do, take some time to imagine what could go wrong. Expect the unexpected, and even the impossible. I often use an anecdote to bring people to realize this fact: Your computer memory bits can be http://www.ida.liu.se/~abdmo/SNDFT/docs/ram-soft.html changed by cosmic rays or radioactivity ! Now ponder this, and try to imagine how you can be sure of your data if it can be changed in your main computer memory, or hard disk controller, or disk... You will not see the world with the same eyes... and you will double check your monthly bank accounts smile

Topic revision: r60 - 28 Apr 2009, ColasNahaboo
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