You can always learn by doing.
Just learn about one thing called "sql injection", and ALWAYS keep it
in mind writing web query handlers.
There are different opinions as to how much should be in the database,
but, I find that using HTML with embedded code leads to godawful
mess. Your experience may be different. My site now is 100% generated
and web page templates are separate from page specific code.
I guess I'm a bit of a perfectionist. If I store the main content in the
database, I would want some kind of content management system for
editing and uploading new material, and that would be a lot of work.
For content which doesn't change often, manually-edited HTML files seem
okay to me.
Yes. Exactly. It was very funny and to the point. Very many sites can
be hacked with SQL injection. I think that somehow, PHP is especially
vulnerable, but I do not know for sure. I use perl and there are some
easy quoting functions like $dbh->quote( $username ).
I'm also interested to see that you've used some tables for layout on
the site. I'm using tables for layout on my site, but CSS for all the
other formatting. I know the complete separation of content and
formatting is a noble ideal, but using CSS to emulate a table seemed
like banging my head against a brick wall :-).
Here are some advantages to "separation of content from formatting"
and doing "100% of HTML generated by code".
1) If you sign up an advertiser, you can make sitewide changes easily
2) You can make layout, color scheme etc selectable by users
3) You can change layout of all pages simply by means of changing code
My site is not very neat because I am such a person. I wish I was
neater. But it is changeable.
I'm not against using CSS. CSS works great for setting colours, fonts,
indents, etc. But I've found that if you have a layout which is
essentially tabular, even if it isn't a table of data that you're
displaying, HTML tables are a much simpler and more reliable way of
achieving it than CSS. To me, trying to do that with CSS is hard to
understand, and what you get often varies from browser to browser,
particularly with older browsers. So you sacrifice the ideal of
complete separation of content and formatting, but in return get
something easy to understand which works even in older browsers. There
is of course the argument that pages which use tables for layout don't
work well with screen readers. I'm not entirely convinced by that,
because many sites which use tables for layout work fine in Lynx, and
I'd have thought that Lynx has quite a few similarities with screen
readers. Lastly there's the argument that pages which use CSS for
layout are quicker to load. I think this is a myth.
It's a matter of opinion. You take your choice.
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 03:14:00 +0000, with neither quill nor qualm,
I haven't worked with it yet, but postgreSQL is another highly touted
but free DBM. I've read that it scales even better than MySQL.
Google "postgresql vs. mysql" for more info.
[standard disclaimer applies]
We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small
worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.
-- Etty Hillesum
FWIW, when I was director of the regional Science Fair I wound up
doing quite a bit of the database stuff with postgresql. It works
fine (and I'm sure mysql also works fine). Use whatever is easier for
your web host.
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 03:14:00 +0000, Christopher Tidy
It depends on if you are looking for a site where you can concentrate on
content, or if you want to spend the time re-writing something else
that's already out there. I had this site up and running in one
evening: http://www.productrecallwatch.com /
rss feeds into the site, content categorization, display layer, database
calls, everything, all there. There's a bunch of apps out there
already, if something meets 90% of your needs, you can always tweak it
It depends. If you want to talk about this in email, my address is
I used to be a Unix hater! Using the command line of the old sh was
pretty bad, none of the commands had the order of options the same, or
the switch letters the same for the same function, etc. I used
PDP-11's, then VAXes with VMS, then Alpha systems. But, then I had a
reason to use Linux (the real-time version, for a CNC motion-control
application) and found that things had improved quite a bit. There were
some decent utilities that made the command line easier to use, and the
X version of EMACS is VERY nice. I'm doing as much as I can now on
Linux, and have 5 Linux systems at home, specialized for different purposes.
Linux Gimp seems to work quite well, I use it for many image processing
Software bloat is a real problem! At least with Linux, you have an
array of choices to deal with that. There are many window managers with
different levels of features (and overhead).
What's wrong with Linux? And, how can you really tell, at this point?
I think Linux support is really good, I do that all by myself, but I
know that there are people I could call if I really wanted to. There is
steady improvement, and my Linux systems often stay up 100+ days at a
time, between power failures. I usually wait to do serious upgrades
until things are REALLY out of date.
On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 19:15:35 -0700, Christopher Tidy
You should consider an upgrade. An Ultra-2 is a decade or so old.
Check the serial number - the first digit of that, is the last digit of
the year it was produced. So if it starts with a 9, that's 1999, and so
on. Good Sun gear is cheap on eBay, if you find something local you can
save on shipping.
Take a look at sunfreeware.com - been around for a long time and has a
better assortment. All packaged up, just a
pkgadd -d ./whatever
is all it takes.
Interesting. It doesn't change much if anything from a legacy
standpoint, all your old stuff should work. It might suck horribly on
an ultra-2 though, if it's even supported?
Pretty sure you can just install the gnome packages onto Sol10. Haven't
found anything that doesn't work on 10 that works on 9 yet, and I've got
800+ Sol10 servers that my team supports...
Errr, dunno. I ignored Mac until they went to Unix with OS X.
Ah, the GUI is little of the change in Sol10. zones are huge, for us,
on server-side. Not much change for desktop but, again, anything that
worked in 9 should work in 10 in the global zone.
It's fine for servers, for desktops, I'd rather install ubuntu and be
done with it.
Much as I love Sun hardware, and make a living wrangling it, you'd be
much better off with a $300.00 commodity off the shelf PC and Ubuntu
linux. Stable, popular, and uses the apt package tool (much like
sudo apt-get packagename
gets you everything you need, in the right order, and builds it so it
I've got an ultra-2 in the basement, off. I'm on a 7 year old Mac right
now, with no reason to retire it. But if I was going to build new, it'd
be ubuntu or I'd buy another Mac. Depends on the budget. Same OS more
or less, the Mac's GUI is better but a Linux box would be cheaper.
A decade or so old, but not that bad, if you don't need
interface cards which are only available in PCI format. (That is the
main complaint that I have about the Ultra-2.
In particular, I would suggest moving to a Sun Blade 2000 (but
be prepared to need Fibre Channel disk drives for the boot drives --
though you *can* boot from SCSI drives in a Multipack. I did that
before I got my Fibre Channel drives for my Sun Fire 280R.
Hmm ... useful to consider -- as long as it will work without
loading conflicting versions of GNU libs.
I'm running two Ultra-60s on Solaris 10 U3, and for the most
part they are Ultra-2s with PCI slots instead of SBus slots. The CPUs
are 450 MHz instead of the maximum 400 MHz for the Ultra-2, but
otherwise they are quite similar. Same SIMMs, same maximum of 2GB of
RAM, same two internal SCA drives, same internal CD-ROM, floppy (with
room for another 3.5" drive -- perhaps a DAT tape drive.
Anyway -- Solaris 10 U3 is not bad at all on the Ultra-60 (and I
would probably still be using the Ultra-2 (with Solaris 10 U2) if I had
not needed a PCI slot to allow me to talk to LVD devices.
Oh yes -- one other advantage to the Ultra-60 (and other
PCI-based systems) -- I have stuck a cheap USB 2.0 PCI card (from
Microcenter for about $18.00) in it, and Solaris 10 happily recognized
it. I'm currently using it for:
1) Logitech optical trackball (better than a mouse on the arm of
my Lay-Z-Boy chair).
2) Card reader so I can read the CF cards from my Nikon D70
digital SLR (though I can also read those with a SCSI interfaced
PCMCIA reader, plus a PCMCIA to CF adaptor card.
3) USB thumb drives, for moving more than a floppy's worth of data
between computers which are not networked, such as the Windows
2K box when I need to do income tax work.
Be sure to *not* install the Gnome package from the Solaris 10
DVD set as well, or you may have conflicts of program versions. There
is gnome stuff both in /usr/sfw/bin (which thus came from the main
install DVD), and in /opt/sfw/bin (which thus came from the software
companion DVD or CD).
To be *sure* -- type "pkginfo | grep -i 'gnome'"
On my Ultra-60, I get 265 entries with the "i-" option to grep, and 225
entries without it. So -- there may be quite a bit to remove, depending
on what you have installed.
Note that one difference between the earlier versions of Solaris
and Solaris 10 is that Solaris 10 does not actually use /etc/inetd.conf.
Instead, you use "svcs -a" to find out what is there, and "svcadm" to
turn things on and off -- no "kill -HUP <PID of inetd> after editing the
Some entries in /etc/init.d actually invoke "svcadm" to make the
changes. For example, look at "/etc/init.d/volmgt".
/etc/inetd.conf does still exist, but it is mostly:
=====================================================================# Legacy configuration file for inetd(1M). See inetd.conf(4).
# This file is no longer directly used to configure inetd.
# The Solaris services which were formerly configured using this file
# are now configured in the Service Management Facility (see smf(5))
# using inetadm(1M).
# Any records remaining in this file after installation or upgrade,
# or later created by installing additional software, must be converted
# to smf(5) services and imported into the smf repository using
# inetconv(1M), otherwise the service will not be available. Once
# a service has been converted using inetconv, further changes made to
# its entry here are not reflected in the service.
[ ... ]
It particularly bothered me, because I used the *original* OS-9
from Microware. A nice multi-user multi-tasking OS which was quite
happy in a mere 64k of RAM (or actually -- 56k of RAM, and 4K of EPROM,
and the rest of the gap used for I/O space.
Every process was position independent and reentrant, so it
could run without memory management -- though there was a Level-2
version which did use memory management, and handle up to 2MB of RAM,
Of course, I used it before I used unix (v7) and if they had
been tried in the other order, I might have been less pleased. But for
an OS running on an 8-bit CPU (the Motorola 6809), it did quite well --
especially when compared to the original IBM-PC, which came out a bit
later, and had a much larger possible address space. :-)
Also -- zfs is a very nice (and well-integrated) version of
RAID -- a lot easier to administer than the earlier versions under Solaris.
Or run Solaris 10 on a good fast UltraSPARC system.
Well ... my Sun Fire 280R was $250.00 with 4GB of RAM, and the
OS (Solaris 10) was free. :-)
My two Ultra-2s were retired within the past year -- replaced
with Ultra-60s, and then the Sun Fire 280R replaced *several* SS-10 and
SS-10 machines. :-)
I keep being tempted to pick up a Mac for the Income Tax
software. For the rest, I am happy with my mix of Solaris 10, Solaris
2.6, and several versions of OpenBSD.
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Yup. I've got the OS-9 Level 2 materials sitting on the shelf right
over (there). Yeah OK I need to clean up a bit but, I figure, if I save
it long enough, it goes from old to antique. And I can't bear throwing
it away, spent a lot of good time in that OS. Great training for Unix.
Trying to remember how that got addressed but yeah, there were some
tricks to get quite a lot of memory. I was a young teen though so I
couldn't afford more than 512K.
"but, where are the _games_?" (sheesh)
Solaris volume manager isn't evil once you get used to it. Certainly
easier to use than Veritas Filesystem.
Depends on the point of the exercise, sure. When I get home I just want
to use it, so the Mac meets my needs admirably.
Hard to argue that. I wouldn't mind having some modern-ish sun gear at
home again, all my stuff is getting a bit aged. I'm also spoiled; at
work we just migrated last weekend to a 4-node E25K cluster for one of
our database apps. What a monster.
Yeah, maybe its time for a tech refresh.
Either way, they all speak the same language. But, I'm surprised there
isn't a *nix-ish app which does taxes, other than for the Mac?
That was a lot more than I had -- because I didn't have the CPU
board with the proper memory management --just the SWTP 6809 card, which
had memory mangement of sorts, but not really good memory management.
On the Unix v7? There were some. (Obviously, no GUI based
For that matter, I ran adventure on the SWTP 6800 (SSB DOS-68)
which preceded my 6809. It was interesting the way they squeezed it
all into that limited address space. Each string in all the messages
was replaces by a run of 16-bit numbers which were pointers into an
array of individual text words, the final character of each was marked
with the parity bit set instead of clear. At the time, I had a FORTRAN
deck of it for the CDC 6600 (which would not compile on other systems,
since it was using 6H10 formats instead of 30H2 (if I remember FORTRAN
FORMAT strings properly. The 6600 did not have enough core to compile
with the standard format strings for other FORTRANS, but the ability to
get ten six-bit characters into a single word made it able to handle
things a lot better.
Isn't the volume manager used for auto-mounting CDs and DVDs
(and floppys) -- not for being a RAID system? I thought that it was the
META commands on earlier Solaris. From the "SEE ALSO" on Solaris 10 for
mdmonitord(1M), metaclear(1M), metadb(1M), metadetach(1M),
metahs(1M), metaoffline(1M), metaonline(1M), metaparam(1M),
metarecover(1M), metarename(1M), metareplace(1M),
metaroot(1M), metaset(1M), metassist(1M), metastat(1M),
metasync(1M), metattach(1M), md.tab(4), md.cf(4),
mddb.cf(4), md.tab(4), attributes(5), md(7D)
while zfs only has two command, "zpool" and "zfs" (with lots of options
of course. :-) It even has automatic sharing of file systems in the ZFS
pool if you select that.
While I am home full time these days (retired, dontya know), and
am quite happy to use Solaris for almost everything.
[ ... ]
The 280R was from a hamfest -- and a friend and neighbor who is
still working spotted it for me. I hadn't seen ones that new, and
didn't recognize it.
Hamfests can be good -- if you are lucky. eBay can also be
So am I. I guess that the commercial writers don't want to
write for open-source platforms (for fear that their proprietary rights
will be contaminated), and the open source people can't afford the
potential of lawsuits -- it takes a really large user base to make that
profitable for them.
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