Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

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    Archive for February, 2008

    Comment referrers WordPress plugin

    27th February 2008

    Get it here.

    It adds Referrer of the person who’s leaving comment on your WP blog. May help to take the right action for seemingly legit, but really spam comments (e.g. if someone was just searching for blogs with enabled commenting to leave a comment with name linked to their biz-website).


    Posted in Software, Web, WP PlugIns | No Comments »

    Gallery2 with URL Rewrite and DHTML Album Select and Statistics module produces two forward slashes instead of the album select

    25th February 2008

    Problem report at menalto forum. Another one, also with no solution.

    I can confirm – URL rewrite + DHTML Album Select produces two forward slashes in the Matrix theme, in my gallery 2.2.4 setup, after a single use of the Recalculate button in Disk statistics tab in Statistics plugin from Community repository.
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in Software, Web | No Comments »

    ExpressionEngine: template-driven CMS for the unusual designs

    24th February 2008

    ExpressionEngine (EE) by EllisLab (see dislaimer). EE is available both as free and as paid-for: free has somewhat limited functionality, but enough to start the simple news site or blog. ExpressionEngine is suitable both for content-centric and news-centric (blog-like) projects, though in my opinion it’s more geared towards news/blog-like sites.
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in CMS, Software, Web | No Comments »

    SQL injection: RIAA example

    16th February 2008

    I know it’s kind of old now, but check this image out:

    RIAA screenshot with some SQL injection code

    Via –


    Posted in Links, Notepad, Programming, Society, Web | No Comments »

    Python: passing by value vs passing by reference

    11th February 2008

    Note: this a collection of scraps, describing how values (de)referencing works in Python, and describing when your variable is either a value or a reference. Primary source of knowledge for this post (also here).

    Python passes references-to-objects by value (like Java), and everything in Python is an object. This sounds simple, but then you will notice that some data types seem to exhibit pass-by-value characteristics, while others seem to act like pass-by-reference… what’s the deal?

    It is important to understand mutable and immutable objects. Some objects, like strings, tuples, and numbers, are immutable. Altering them inside a function/method will create a new instance and the original instance outside the function/method is not changed. Other objects, like lists and dictionaries are mutable, which means you can change the object in-place. Therefore, altering an object inside a function/method will also change the original object outside.

    Immutable variables – such as integers [strings, numerics and tuples are immutables] – are passed by value. That is, if your function accepts some integer argument, you are safe assuming that your function won’t be able to modify your integer. Mutable variables – such as dictionaries and lists – are passed by reference, and so if your function accepts mutable argument, it may modify the contents of that mutable variable outside the scope of the function.

    When doing :
    s = “Hello ”
    s += “World”
    … you are not modifying the string object bound to s, but creating a new string object and binding it to s.

    If using object’s methods within a called function, variable is considered “passed by reference” – it is modified out of the function’s scope. If using assignment on a mutable object, it is created a-new within the function, and global value isn’t modified.

    When you call a function with an arg, a “local variable” is created, which references the object passed as the argument. (well… an entry with the formal parameter name as key and a reference to the object passed in is created in the ‘local’ dict).

    So, rebinding this local symbol does not impact the binding in the caller’s namespace – because the symbol lives in another namespace.

    *But* – and if the object referenced is mutable of course – modifying the object in the function… well, just modifies the object, because it’s the *same* object that is bound to (‘referenced by’, if you prefer) both symbols (the one in the caller’s namespace and the one in the function’s namespace). So yes, the object *is* modified when the function returns.


    Posted in Links, Programming, Python | 3 Comments »

    Statistics of Google HDDs failures

    11th February 2008

    Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population (or here, if that link doesn’t work)

    Worth reading for any IT guy, especially for people dealing with lots of HDDs.
    Also might be interesting for those, who have Gmail with (now) over 6GiB storage… :)


    Posted in Hardware, Links | 1 Comment »

    Convert MySQL database from one encoding/collation into another

    8th February 2008

    Most frequent use: convert database from latin1_swedish to utf8_general_ci.
    Original script found at: MySQL and UTF-8.

    Update: the original script had an error, it would generate queries likes this one (note the bold part):

    ALTER TABLE `links` CHANGE `link_rel` `link_rel` varchar(255) CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci NOT NULL DEFAULT NULL;

    This is clearly wrong syntax (and logic). I fixed this by making comparison to NULL strict (with three equal signs instead of two):

    // Does the field default to null, a string, or nothing?
    if ($row['Default'] === NULL)

    Update 2: based on comment by banesto, I modified the script; now it does not require specifying the from_collation, it’s sufficient to specify to_collation (which will be used for all the fields and tables). The modified code is:

    if ($row['Collation'] == ” || $row['Collation'] == $convert_to)

    Update 3: the long-lasting, re-appearing NOT NULL DEFAULT NULL problem is finally fixed.

    Update 4: incorporated Russ’s fix to skip numeric fields (in order to leave autoincrement values intact).

    Here’s the script itself: (to copy-paste: first click the “Plain text” header)
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in Links, Notepad, PHP, Programming, Web | 60 Comments »