My name is Philipp C. Heckel and I write about nerdy things.

Posts Categorized / Programming


  • Mar 22 / 2015
  • 2
Linux, Scripting, Security

Circumvent Internet blockages/filters/censorship with socksproxy and netcat

These days, ISPs are often forced to block the access to certain sites, because their government considers these sites dangerous and/or illegal. While one could certainly discuss the usefulness of such measures in great detail, this tiny post focuses on the more interesting subject of how to circumvent these blockages. It’s not a lenghty post, and it doesn’t show all the ways there are, but I’ll show two simple ways to circumvent Internet non-DNS-based filters.

Continue Reading

  • Jan 24 / 2015
  • 0
Code Snippets, Programming

Snippet 0x09: Reading a ZIP/JAR file with PHP (here: a JAR manifest)

For my open source file sync software Syncany, I have integrated the automatic plugin build process (we provide plugin repository and an easy plugin API to download plugins) with an upload to the Syncany API server. Plugins (JAR files) are uploaded by Travis (example: Samba plugin) to the Syncany server. To serve meta data on through the plugin API, I need to parse the plugins’ MANIFEST.MF files and store them in a database.

This tiny blog post shows you how to read a ZIP/JAR file entry with PHP, and parse JAR manifest (MANIFEST.MF) file. That’s it. Nothing fancy.

Continue Reading

  • Oct 30 / 2014
  • 1
Code Snippets, Programming

Snippet 0x08: HTTP Basic Auth for secure WebSocket connections (with Undertow)

For my open source file sync software Syncany, I use the embedded web server and web socket server Undertow to provide a websocket and REST based interface by the Syncany daemon. Syncany clients (such as the GUI, or potentially a web interface) connect to this daemon, send requests and receive asynchronous events. Syncany’s GUI client also uses the Undertow websocket client to connect to the above mentioned daemon.

To authenticate the websocket client with the daemon, the simple HTTP basic authentication mechanism over HTTPS is used. This tiny post shows you how to authenticate against a websocket server with HTTP basic auth using the Undertow websocket client.

Continue Reading

  • Aug 07 / 2014
  • 4
Code Snippets, Programming, Scripting

Snippet 0x05: Windows .bat: Checking if process is running by PID file

Batch (.bat) files are an MS-DOS legacy technology and I don’t know a single person who loves writing them — and yet, to this day, many people have to do it. In order to run Java programs, start daemons or check if a process is running, batch files have to be used. For my open source file sync tool Syncany, I had to do just that:

The Syncany daemon runs in the background and is started by a batch script. To check if the daemon is already running, the batch script needs to read a PID file and determine if a process with this PID is running.

Since it took me an enormeous amount of time to figure out how to do that (I am a Linux guy!), I wanted to share that little script in this code snippet.

Continue Reading

  • Jun 22 / 2014
  • 4
Code Snippets, Programming

Snippet 0x04: Run .sql-scripts from Java (on HSQLDB, Derby, MySQL, etc.)

Java is sometimes harder than it should be. Oftentimes, very easy things are made hard for no apparent reason. Running SQL scripts (.sql) from inside Java is one of those cases. I really expected this to be easy. And it should be, right? Simply take your JDBC connection and do connection.executeScript() or something. After all, a .sql-script is just a file with many statements.

Turns out there is no easy way to do it without writing some code yourself — at least not to my knowledge. Please enlighten me if there is. In the meantime, checkout my SqlRunner class — a class that reads SQL script files and executes the statements.

Continue Reading

  • Jun 17 / 2014
  • 7
Code Snippets, Programming

Snippet 0x03: Recursively watch folders on Java (using the Java 7 WatchService)

The “new” Java 7 WatchService provides a mechanism to easily monitor a single folder for file system events. Java uses the underlying OS mechanisms to realize that (inotifiy on Linux, and ReadDirectoryChanges* on Windows). What the WatchService cannot do, however, is monitor a folder recursively — meaning monitoring all sub-folders and register new folders if created. This tiny code snippet article shows you how.

Continue Reading

  • May 29 / 2014
  • 3
Programming

The magic of Gradle: create Windows installers, Debian packages, manage a PPA, and optional sub-projects

Gradle is great build tool. Compared to Ant or Maven, it’s so much easier to use and write proper code for it — it’s unbelievable at times. A little while ago, I switched from an ugly Ant/Maven installation to Gradle with my open source project Syncany. Ever since then, I am simply amazed about what Gradle can do. Granted, it’s not always easy to understand and the lack of proper documentation and IDE support makes things more like a trial-and-error-based packaging experience. However, the amount of time that it saves is worth it.

Since I really like Gradle and I myself often have a hard time finding proper answers for the questions I have, I’d like to demonstrate a few solutions that I have come up with. In particular, I’ll describe how to create a Windows installer using Inno Setup under Linux, create Debian packages and manage a PPA (debuild/dput) as well as how to add an optional Gradle sub-project.

Continue Reading

Pages:1234