Author Archives: soulseekah

WordCamp Russia 2013

I took part in WordCamp Russia 2013 this year, which was organized by my brother (with huge help from a handful of volunteers and the WordPress Foundation). This was the first ever WordCamp in Russia.

My talk was on testing automation in custom WordPress code, which covered some basics of unit tests using PHPUnit, system tests using CasperJS.

The talk is in Russian, but English subtitiles are available. Also slides and code. To view all other talks visit http://wordpress.tv/event/wordcamp-russia-2013/.

Konstantin wrote about the event in much detail.



Flask-Admin Hacks for Many-to-Many Relationships

Flask-Admin Many-to-Many Hacks

Flask-Admin is a pretty powerful administration solution, which, however lacks several important features for managing models with many-to-many relationships (or at least clear documentation thereof). Here are some useful (albeit perhaps unreliable) hacks to get Flask-Admin SQLAlchemy models to dance the dance.

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Multiple Development Environments on One Domain

While it’s true that distributed development should be managed by source control, with each participating party pushing or issuing pull requests from within their own environments, this is sometimes not possible.

Participants might not be able to setup their own development environments in light of many possible reasons and limitations. So remote development environments are usually setup for such participants so that they can work on their own forks of a project without interfering with others’ work. S/FTP/S is usually used, due to their inability to use version control remotely.

Here’s an interesting strategy that came to mind that allows participants to have their own environments on one single domain, single server, with the ability to switch between them without having to edit their hosts files or any other magic.

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PrestaShop Variable Shipping Carrier

PrestaShop Variable Shipping

Sometimes complex shipping and handling rules make it impossible for customers to place orders in PrestaShop. Lack of instant shipping quotes, huge quantities and large weights, limited shipping addresses, etc. And while PrestaShop administrators are able to create orders manually via the back-end, these manual orders are still subject to the same shipping carrier rules.

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Consuming Hidden WCF RIA Services

A Silverlight application made it to my desk yesterday, an application that consumed a remote WCF RIA service running on a Microsoft IIS. The service did not provide a public API, nor did disassembly with dotPeek help get the service manifests to construct a WCF client with. WSDL files weren’t exposed either. A new, custom client was to be written by reverse engineering what was available without any fancy configurations.

Consuming Hidden WCF RIA Services

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My very own standing desk

Today I finally got my custom-made standing desk installed. It’s a 2-in-1 actually, with surfaces for both standing and sitting modes. It’s quite compact, occupies far less space than my older workspaces. But enough talk, here are some pictures instead:

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I’ll post an update in a week or so with how it feels to work upright. Haven’t had the chance to wrap my head around the experience in such little time, but I feel that my typing speed and accuracy have increased a bit. And a sense of utter freedom of movement – I can now kick, punch (both the air and the wall around the desk) and stretch anytime and even jog in place while I wait for compilation, downloads/uploads, chat responses, etc. or simply pause to think.

Have you tried using a standing desk? What benefits did you discover?



Bulk Reports and Digests for Gravity Forms

Bulk Reports and Digests for Gravity Forms

I have written yet another Gravity Forms plugin/addon. This time the plugin was to generate bulk reports for form entries, digests of sorts. Based on a set schedule (which can be altered using the cron_schedules filter), this addon will aggregate all new form entries it hasn’t seen yet (including very old ones) and send them out to predefined e-mail addresses.

The whole thing works best with regular single-shot notifications turned off, probably.

Download it from github now.



A new, much better home for my code

I have been having trouble with my former low-end VPS provider after two years of quite stable service. They decided to move data centers, and my OpenVZ box ended up being corrupted during the move. I have been looking to move for quite a while now. First of all I started using Arch Linux a while ago, and have been enjoying effortless rolling updates and upgrades every day. My former server was running Ubuntu 10.04 for 2 years, and due to fear of breaking it during updates (yes, it happens more often than one might think) I was stuck with some pretty old libraries, and although I managed to compile PHP and ngnix every six months or so to stay up to date, other newer packages required newer libraries, which in turn required a new kernel, etc.

So I was looking for a VPS provider with Arch images. Amazon AWS is quite expensive, although Arch Linux AMI images are available from Uplink Labs. But besides that, I’ve also been looking to switch to XEN virtualization, to have guaranteed memory, the power of swap and other advantages over OpenVZ and Virtuozzo offered by many companies.

After having tried out several alternatives on the low-end market, it’s been nothing but headaches, for the past month. So I decided to go for a safe, proven and mainstream provider – Linode. Fit my criteria of carrying Arch images (1.8% of deployments are Arch on Linode), XEN virtualization, quite low-end and budget-friendly, 2TB of data transfer, and promised effortless upgrades. The only downside was their lack of support for PayPal payments (very probably justified). So I had to get a prepaid virtual card.

So, as of a couple of days ago, the new home for my dozen of sites, and repositories is a blazingly fast XEN Arch Linux box at Linode. I’m quite sure I wont’ be disappointed.

What have you tried? What do you use now?



Resigning Tampered Android APKs

After tampering with a signed apk using tools like smali/baksmali or even apktool here are the steps to rebuild and resign the Android application (from application root):

keytool -genkeypair -alias androiddebugkey -dname 'CN=Android Debug,O=Android,C=US' -keystore /tmp/debug.keystore -keyalg RSA -validity 10000 generate a valid Android debug keypair (Signing in Debug Mode) with password ‘android’ for both the keystore and the keys

rm -rf META-INF if such exists

zip -9 -r out-unaligned.apk . to zip things up

jarsigner -sigalg MD5withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore /tmp/debug.keystore out-unaligned.apk androiddebugkey sign it

zipalign 4 out-unaligned.apk out.apk align it

keytool -printcert -jarfile out.apk check it

adb install -s out.apk install it (you may need to uninstall a previous version of the application in case of certificate errors