First spammer working around captcha

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Tue, 2007-06-05 01:25

After almost six months without abuse following the installation of the captcha module, a spammer found its way through it, to promote a ringtones site.

Not that it did him/her much good, since comments are premoderated anyway, but still...

Sheer luck, of astute pattern matching and module workaround ? Oh well, it's still six months of peace gained. Well worth the almost nonexistent hassle, it seems.

Floating menu in Mediawiki 1.7

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Thu, 2007-05-10 14:21
Just a quick note about Mediawiki today, because I noticed I hadn't been writing about software for quite some time. I just installed Mediawiki 1.7 on a server, and was annoyed by its table of contents (TOC) being in the normal HTML flow under the default "Monobook" skin, unlike Dokuwiki, for which the default skin neatly places the TOC on the top right of the main area. Of course, you can always use per-page directives to define this, like {{TOCright}}, but this is tedious to do on every page. After considering alternative skins, I figured it might not be that much to tweak, and indeed it is quite simple once you know where rules are located. so here we go:

SOAP box: accessing VIES from PHP-GTK

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sun, 2007-04-08 22:33

With OSInet having a large part of its business with suppliers and customers within the EU at large, I often find myself having to check the validity of the VAT information for third parties, and the EU VIES database comes in handy.

VIES client UI done in PHP-GTKHowever, although I had been discussing remote access using XML-RPC or SOAP as early at 2004 with the database administrators, the UI had remained web 1.0-only until quite recently (apparently march 2007), when an AXIS SOAP service went online, just as I had suggested three years ago. So I figured I really couldn't let the occasion pass, and did a PHP-GTK client to VIES, which happens to be my first production SOAP application in PHP-GTK, previous ones having always been done in Pascal using Delphi or Kylix.

Let's see how this can be done... (code updated 2010-09-21)

String gauge and metric units

Submitted by Frederic Marand on Sun, 2007-04-01 22:12

For some reason, I had never bothered to pursue the relationship between string gauge and actual string diameter. However, when I sorted my stash of old strings after putting brand new Elixir medium strings in order to sound best at next week's concert, I found several strings for which I didn't know the gauge, meaning they would be next to useless in case of an emergency (which is typically the only situation under which I'd put on a used string). And I only had a metric vernier caliper available...