Ant Tar task doesn’t care about your file permissions

According to the documentation for the Ant Tar task, the “implicit fileset” of stuff to be included in your archive can be extended “to allow control over the access mode, username and groupname.”  I guess you have to read between the lines (or go with the ol’ trial by error) to find out that not only does the implicit fileset provide no control over these properties of your files, it actively reverts the file permissions to some default access mode (644).  Java ftw!

So you are hypothetically deploying your ant-built tar’d up software release. Let’s further say for the sake of argument that it contains some business-critical scripts that must keep their executable mode to be run from cron. Oops, those files are no longer executable! You will soon be disappointed at the failure of your cron job to do anything at all, and you may experience some increased email volume accompanied by mild irritation.  If this condition persists, call your doctor, or go back and RTFM again because as the docs imply, this shortcoming can be easily overcome.

Read the rest of this post »

Thanks, Site5! (updated)

I have generally had a good customer experience with web hosting from Site5.com.  Their customer support is responsive, price reasonable, server performance acceptable for the price.

The other day, someone at Site5 decided they had to respond to a vague and specious rumor circulating about a vulnerability in OpenSSH.  Their response?  To disable all customer ssh access.  Wheeeee!

Yesterday they finally turned back on SSH access.  But without any notice, they disabled ssh1 access on my server.  I don’t dispute that I should probably have been using ssh2 keys for accessing my svn repo over svn+ssh, but I wasn’t.  And since I am sort of a doofus sometimes when it comes to sysadmin type stuff, I got to spend half a day looking for some problem with my svn client before I thought of the obvious fact that while Site5 claimed all ssh access was restored, that claim may not have been entirely true.  Thanks Site5, you totally owe me a beer.

Update – SANS said yesterday it was indeed a hoax.


First drawings from the architect are in hand!  Before/after: Read the rest of this post »

Launched the new Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East

Last night, Maria and I completed and launched the new habitatportlandmetro.org! Big props, as the kids say (they say that, right?), to Maria for driving this project to completion, and to Chris for laying out the best-designed Habitat site I’ve seen yet.

The launch was nearly 100% smooth, the only exception being when I broke Habitat’s email for a half hour or so.  Turns out that if you move DNS for a domain, you move it for, you know, the whole domain, and stuff.  Who knew you could be a professional web developer while having such a crappy grasp of DNS?  Well, I’m living proof that it’s true.  Or false, depending on your definition of “professional”.

Update:  DNS caching is a giant PITA.

WordPress plugins released

I developed two plugins (so far) to support the new Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East site, and they are now listed in the WordPress Plugin Repository:

So far today I have compulsively checked the download statistics and somehow 60+ people downloaded PageSpot within about 6 hours of it being published.  I know there are a lot of WordPress blogs and users out there but there must be even more than I assumed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!