Monthly Archives: April 2014

Apostrophes and the Ubuntu Font on OS X

Since I’ve breathed a bit life back into this blog, I was playing around with using Google Fonts, deciding to use the Ubuntu font as an example.  It turns out that this was a singularly unfortunate choice for testing!

There is a known issue (without an apparent resolution) which under certain circumstances can cause problems with rendering the apostrophe character.  In my case I was seeing small superscript 9 characters instead of apostrophes.

There is an example of the issue appearing in a different context on the Xojo forums.

The easiest solution in my case was simply to use a different font.  I wasn’t a big fan of how Ubuntu renders minuscule w anyway.

Getting SlickrFlickr to use the Flickr TLS API

Now that I’ve converted the site to use TLS, I’m going about replacing my old homebrewed Flickr plugin to use SlickrFlickr since it seems to be maintained and has similar, but extended, functionality.

I switched mostly so that I wouldn’t have maintain my own plugin, unfortunately I discovered after I finished setting up SlickrFlickr that it only returns the http scheme and not https scheme for the Flickr API.

Not to be too discouraged, I’ve created a simple fix for this and even though it’s a freemium plugin, I may submit a patch to the developer because it’s so simple.

There are three variables that contain the URL scheme in them:

# the variable $url in phpFlickr.php sets some image locations
sed 's/\$url = \"http/$url = \"https/g' wp-content/plugins/slickr-flickr/phpFlickr.php
# these strings also need to be changed in slickr-flickr-api-photo.php
sed -e 's/\$this->url = \"http/\$this->url = \"https/g' -e 's/\$this->link = \"http/\$this->link = \"https/g' wp-content/plugins/slickr-flickr/slickr-flickr-api-photo.php

I’ve actually implemented it as a check in my own local copy of the plugin by verifying the Apache server variables to figure out if the connection is HTTPS.  I just don’t currently have this implementation in patch format.  I will post it soon.

TLS for Everything

I’ve not posted in quite some time (I cringed when I realized it had been more than three years), but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been maintaining the software around these parts. It’s been strange, what little time I’ve made for non-recreational use of computers has been almost completely consumed with mundane details. Definitely the tail wagging the dog!

Anyway, I just thought I’d announce that I’ve converted everything on this domain to use TLS. Heartbleed made me realize that it was time I really tightened things up. I’ve been running the currrent configuration since 2008 with very few changes to the underlying platform. I’ve made two changes to implement this feature.

First, I’ve moved all of the HTTPS accessible content to and have removed all of the historical subdomains for different services (e.g.: the RPM repository — more on that in a future blog post). This is necessary unless you want to buy a wildcard X.509 certificate, which I don’t.

Secondly, this has resulted in a restructuring of the URLs for the aforementioned content. In most cases there is an automated redirect or error message, but if you’re searching out something that you have bookmarked let me know and I’ll help you out.