Sunday, 15 October 2017

Correct do...while in Ruby

Rubyists use the .each or .map way of looping frequently. However, when there is a need of a while loop, the following is the correct way.
loop do
    # statements
    break if condition

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Getting method name within the same method

For logging in some server side javascript, I had the need of getting the name of the method within the same method. There are 2 ways of doing this:
- accessing arguments.callee.toString() and applying regex extraction to get the name
- accessing

It does not always work though. ECMA strict mode does not allow it but their is no alternative either.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Unable to locate "adwaita" theme engine

While running KDE on Arch linux, on a number of occassions, I get to see the following error.

(java:20732): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: "adwaita"

[828:828:0708/] GTK theme error: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: "adwaita"

The mitigation of the issue is installation of gnome-themes-standard package.

Monday, 27 February 2017

[Newtonsoft] Checking for null valued keys in parsed JObject

Using Newtonsoft's Json package, when we need to parse a string to get a JObject, we can do it as follows:

JObject o = JObject.Parse(serializedJsonString);
This is of course the case when you don't have a model class for the Json response coming in. For keys that can have a null value, checking for null values as follows is intuitive.

o["key"] == null

However, it is also incorrect. Due to the way in which null values are stored in the parsed object, the proper way of checking for null valued keys is as follows:

o["key"].Type == JTokenType.Null
Of course, you should do both checks and the former check should be done earlier to ensure that the key exists before checking whether the value is null.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Web request with HTTP authentication from Powershell

Web requests can be made from Powershell with HTTP authentication in the following 2 ways:

1. Using credential objects
$username = "foo"
$password = "bar" | ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force
$cred = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($username,$password)
$res = Invoke-WebRequest http://localhost:3000 -Credential $cred

2. Adding appropriate header
$acctname = "foo"
$password = "bar"
$params = @{uri = 'http://localhost:3000';
                   Method = 'Get'; #(or POST, or whatever)
                   Headers = @{Authorization = 'Basic ' + [Convert]::ToBase64String([Text.Encoding]::ASCII.GetBytes("$($acctname):$($password)"));
           } #end headers hash table
   } #end $params hash table
$var = curl @params

Curl above is same as Invoke-WebRequest because on Windows, by default curl is just an alias to Invoke-WebRequest.

A JSON request with a body can be made as follows:

$res = Invoke-WebRequest http://localhost:3000/stores -Credential $cred -Method POST -Headers @{"Content-Type"="application/json"} -Body (ConvertTo-Json @{"Key"="Value"})

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Frustrating experience with AWS Beanstalk

I have used Azure's Paas services before. For a friend's website, I was trying out AWS's Paas offering today. The experience is nothing less than just frustrating. I have a fully functioning rails application. It is working fine locally. However, when I tried to upload the application using the beanstalk command line, I am seeing the following error.

ERROR: [Instance: i-002808929ac3e534b] Command failed on instance. Return code: 1 Output: (TRUNCATED)...SyntaxError: Invalid CSS after "": expected selector or at-rule, was "{"
/opt/rubies/ruby-2.3.1/bin/bundle:23:in `load'
/opt/rubies/ruby-2.3.1/bin/bundle:23:in `
Tasks: TOP => assets:precompile
(See full trace by running task with --trace).
Hook /opt/elasticbeanstalk/hooks/appdeploy/pre/ failed. For more detail, check /var/log/eb-activity.log using console or EB CLI.

Now the complete log is not available here. You need to log into the instance and check it. However, as the lines show, it is a problem with asset pre-compilation. I tried running asset compilation locally; but I do not see this error. Interestingly, the instance created by the CLI did not allow permission for SSH. It's acceptable source was set to some other IP. It seems to me they launched their product in a hurry.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


Robocopy is remarkably different from other copy commands. It is often used in msbuild projects but there are a bunch of caveats which would appear non-intuitive to a first time user. The reason people consider using it is because it allows retries and after parameterised wait intervals.

The default syntax of robocopy takes folders as parameters and copies source folder to destination. To copy a file, the syntax is the following:

robocopy C:\source C:\destination filename.ext

Notice that filename is not part of the source here. Also, because of this limitation a file can not be copied to another location with a different name. Due to this, in msbuild projects, you need to copy the file using robocopy (assuming you use robocopy) and then rename it.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Detailed changes of a stash

I have been using git for a few years now. Stashing is one of the very frequent operations I do on git. So, on a number of occasions, I find myself with the need of looking into what the stash contains (Perhaps, I should branch more and stash less). The following command, which shows the detailed changes in a particular stash, does come in handy in those situations.

 git stash show -p stash@{1}

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Bypassing SSL in WebRequests

Using C#, there are two prevalent ways of making HTTP requests:
- using HttpWebRequest
- using HttpClient

When you have a cancellation token that you want to use, only the later provides the facility for that. So, there are scenarios for each method to be adopted is what I am getting at.

While accessing HTTPS sites whose SSL certificates are not trusted, we manually allow access in case of the browser. The same can b achieved via code using the following methods.

1. Setting ServerCertificateValidationCallback for the request.
This method only for the first method of making HTTP requests.

// provide a custom callback
request.ServerCertificateValidationCallback = new System.Net.Security.RemoteCertificateValidationCallback(SSLValidationDelegate);

// define the callback to allow always
private static bool SSLValidationDelegate(Object o, X509Certificate cert, X509Chain chain, System.Net.Security.SslPolicyErrors errors){
    return true;

2. Setting ServerCertificateValidationCallback for the ServicePointManager class.
This method essentially does the same but instead of doing it at the request level it does that for all.

ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback += (sender, cert, chain, sslPolicyErrors) => true;
HttpClient client = new HttpClient();
CancellationTokenSource cts = new CancellationTokenSource();
string url = "https://localhost/some/path";
HttpResponseMessage response = client.GetAsync(url, cts.Token).Result;

So when a cancellation needs to be used,we have to take the second route.