The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Just an FYI for those of you who might think of doing something silly like setting off illegal fireworks you got by driving to the border of South Carolina and totally said you would use them legally, wink wink nudge nudge say no more say no more …

[Amateurs: There's a reason professionals exist.]

Scaring 'da birds

It's been seven years since last I attended a Fourth of July party with my friend C, and once again, I'm at his house to help scare the local bird population. Fortunately this time, there was no big boom, but as a precaution, C moved the festivities to the back yard, next to the pool.

[Like, these are totally legit!] [Houston, we have liftoff] [Fireworks by the pool] [Ooooooh] [It's okay, the pool won't catch on fire] [Oops, did we cross the streams?] [Fire in the hole!]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An update to a quick note on embedding languages within languages

In making this comment I came across this old post of mine from 2007 where I lament the amount of code required to query SNMP values in C. I took one look at the code I wanted:

OID sys = SNMPv2-MIB::sysObjectID.0;
  
if (sys == SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.5567.1.1)  /* riverstone */
{
  IpAddress destination[] = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.1;
  IpAddress mask[]        = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.2;
  IpAddress nexthop[]     = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.4;
  int       protocol[]    = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.7;
  int       age[]         = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.8;
  int       metric[]      = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.11;
  int       type[]        = IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.6;
}
else if (sys == SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.9.1)  /* cisco */
{
  IpAddress destination[] = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteDest;
  IpAddress mask[]        = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteMask;
  IpAddress nexthop[]     = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteNextHop;
  int       protocol[]    = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteProto;
  int       age[]         = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteAge;
  int       metric[]      = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteMetric1;
  int       type[]        = RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteType;
}

for (i = 0 ; i < destination.length; i++)
{
    print(
        destination[i],
        mask[i],
        nexthop[i],
        snmp.protocol(protocol[i]),
        metric[i],
        age[i]
    );
}

and remembered—I did that!

Yup. Back in September of 2009 when I first started playing around with Lua. I installed the SNMP bindings for Lua and wrote the following:

#!/usr/local/bin/lua

-- http://luasnmp.luaforge.net/snmp.html

snmp = require "snmp"
OID  = snmp.mib.oid

routeprotos = 
{
  "other    ",  "local    ",  "netmgmt  ",  "redirect ",
  "egp      ",  "ggp      ",  "hello    ",  "rip      ",
  "is-is    ",  "es-is    ",  "igrp     ",  "bbnspf   ",
  "ospf     ",  "bgp      "
}

print("  Dest           Mask           NextHop         Proto   Metric Age")
print("-------------------------------------------------------------------------------")

router = assert(snmp.open{
                peer      = arg[1] or "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" , 
                community = arg[2] or "XXXXXXXXX"
                })

cisco      = OID "SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.9.1"
riverstone = OID "SNMPv2-SMI::enterprises.5567.1.1"
sysid      = router["SNMPv2-MIB::sysObjectID.0"]

if string.find(sysid,cisco,1,true) then
  shouldbe = OID "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteDest"
  result   = 
  {
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteDest" } ,
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteMask" } ,
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteNextHop" } ,
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteProto" } ,
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteMetric1" } ,
    { oid = "RFC1213-MIB::ipRouteAge" } ,
  }
elseif string.find(sysid,riverstone,1,true) then
  shouldbe = OID "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.1"
  result = 
  {
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.1"  } ,
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.2"  } ,
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.4"  } ,
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.7"  } ,
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.11" } ,
    { oid = "IP-MIB::ip.24.4.1.8" } ,
  }
end

repeat
  result,err = snmp.getnext(router,result);

  if result ~= nil then
    if string.find(result[1].oid,shouldbe,1,true) == nil then break end

    print(string.format("%-16s",result[1].value)
        .. string.format("%-16s",result[2].value)
        .. string.format("%-16s",result[3].value)
        .. routeprotos[result[4].value]
        .. string.format("%-6d",result[5].value)
        .. string.format("%-6d",result[6].value)
    )    
  end
until false
os.exit(0)

Those email server blues

I'm concerned that eventually it will no longer be possible to run a private email server and that everyone will end up using Gmail, Yahoo or MySpaceFaceBook because that's the only way we will be able to get email.

Occasionally Dad will call asking why his email to me is bouncing, and every time I check, it's because AOL is taking the forced transitory failure (as generated by my greylist daemon) as “I can't deliver this in one shot, so of course that email address is bogus.” So I've had to whitelist all of AOL.

I had a similar problem with MyFaceSpaceBook. One or two transitory failures and my email address is considered bogus. Another whole swath of IP addresses whitelisted.

Then Corsair writes in about his emails to be being bounced.

Sigh.

Corsair's case I can't really figure out. From the logs:

Jul 18 04:28:36 brevard gld: [98587] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 18 08:28:36 brevard gld: [98799] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 18 12:28:37 brevard gld: [99052] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 18 16:28:37 brevard gld: [99309] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 18 20:28:38 brevard gld: [99491] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 00:28:38 brevard gld: [99675] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 04:28:39 brevard gld: [99944] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 08:28:39 brevard gld: [100234] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 12:28:40 brevard gld: [100509] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:00:38 brevard gld: [100595] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:01:09 brevard gld: [100596] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:05:38 brevard gld: [100604] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:06:09 brevard gld: [100605] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:13:09 brevard gld: [100610] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:13:40 brevard gld: [100613] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.194 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:24:24 brevard gld: [100629] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 14:41:18 brevard gld: [100641] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] GRAYLIST GREYLIST
Jul 19 15:06:38 brevard gld: [100678] tuple: [XXXXXXXX.195 , XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , sean@conman.org] ACCEPT WHITELIST

His email should have gone through on the second attempt, as it was only four hours, which is less than the six hours it takes to purge unreferenced tuples. Others I can explain; the third becuase it's from a different IP address, and the fourth becuse it definitely is past the six hour lifetime of an unreferenced tuple. Same for the fifth, but again, I can't explain why it wasn't accepted by the sixth attempt.

My initial thought was that it had something to do with searching the tuple list. I recently rewrote the binary search code so it was not only half the size, but much clearer, but maybe it doesn't work. Maybe I missed some subtle boundary condition.

50,000,000 tests later (no, really!), and no, both the old binary search routine and the new binary search routine return identical results. If there is a corner case, 50,000,000 random tests was not enough to reveal it. So I doubt it's that code.

About the only thing I can think of (and I haven't tested this) is that the timeout for old tuples is not what I think it is, but when I query my greylist daemon it returns a value of six hours for the lifetime of a greylisted tuple.

In any case, I whitelisted Corsair's email address. And I'm pondering why I even run my own email server any more …


How not to design a PHP web site

I don't even know where to begin.

One of the tasks our team is currently working on for “Project: SocialSpace2.0” is to separate the user uploaded content (images, videos, etc) to its own webserver (what we're calling “the static content”) to make it easier to scale out the site.

My task is to figure out how the content is uploaded to the site. This is not an easy task. The proprietary PHP framework (where have I heard that tale before?) consists of over 400,000 lines of undocumented code (but of course!) spread across 3,000 files (really!) that is a prime example of why object oriented programming can be a Bad Thing™ (early on in the project, I was curious as to how far down the rabbit hole this code went, so I spent some time starting with the topmost PHP file and replacing each require_once() function call with the code it referenced; I stopped after including over 15,000 lines of code and that's before anything is executed).

The automagical code is amazing. Even though I changed

$EO->set_setting('FS_IMAGE_UPLOAD_PATH','uploads/images/ );

which is relative to the DOCUMENT_ROOT and thus, hard to move to its own domain, to

$EO->set_setting('FS_IMAGE_UPLOAD_PATH','/home/spc/tmp/images/');

the content is still save to the old location, thus making it harder to move the content to its own domain.

Going further—the actual upload control on the webpage is a Flash program (lovely), which apparently is controled by some Javascript (oh it's getting better) that is generated on the fly (can you feel the love) and yet still manages to hardcode the destination directory.

Wow! I'm seriously impressed by the previous team's work.

This is going to be painful, I can tell.

Obligatory Picture

[Don't hate me for my sock monkey headphones.]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site: http://boston.conman.org/, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

http://boston.conman.org/2000/08/01

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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