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Articles related to programming and software development

Deploying an assembly jar file with sbt

The assembly-sbt plugin for sbt 0.7, the (not so) simple build tool for scala, creates a nifty fat jar containing everything to run an application anywhere. You may want an additional task to automatically copy it to a server. Here's how (Linux only, sorry).

Authentication using Unfiltered for Scala

Since it took me a while to figure this out (though it seems very obvious now), here's how I do HTTP authentication in Unfiltered while preserving the authenticated user for later access:

Using /, ? and & in the path with Apache mod_rewrite and PHP

I came upon a nasty problem the other day: The rel-tag microformat (, poorly designed like so many of them, requires the URL to end on the tag name. Not a cleaned up, ANSI compatible version, no, a 1:1 representation. This on the one hand leads to some woes regarding encoding and non-ansi characters, think umlauts!, and on the other hand poses problems with caracters that usually are not allowed within an URL or have a special meaning. Think for example of a tag called "Q&A".

Unfortunately, as we will see, simple escaping is not enough.

How to install imagick and gmagick on Ubuntu

I had to struggle a while installing the PECL extensions imagick and gmagick on my Ubuntu Hardy machine, here's a simple how-to.

Identifrac reloaded

Maybe you know identicons: little unique icons generated out of hash values. But maybe you don't know identifracs, which offer the same functionality based upon fractal functions. Identifrac was created back in 2007 by Jesse Dubay, but his site has gone in the meantime. That's why I took his code, updated it, and now released it to the open domain.

Gyro-PHP application framework release

It has been more than two years since my last post. Two very exiting years for me, though. Not only my daughter was born, but also my PHP application framework is now ready to be open-sourced: Gyro-PHP, a PHP application framework.

PHP and UTF-8: A Guide - Announcement

I started to write a guide on using PHP with UTF-8. It's on German, but I plan to translate it within the next couple of days.

Yet another browser! Safari On Windows

As you might have heard, Apple's Safari browser now is available for Windows, too. So there is yet another browser to support for us web developers. Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, the current build seems terribly broken, as the following screenshot shows (Click to enlarge):

Screenshot of this site with Safari Beta for Windows

Apache Xerces' weird error message

For one of my projects I'm using Apache's Xerces C++ XML Parser and run into this strange error:

The primary document entity could not be opened.

Took me a while to figure out that Xerces simply wants to say "File not found" here, because I was was calling parse() with the data to be parsed, while Xerces expects a file name here. Silly me.

However: Here's how to parse an XML string using Xerces SAX parser. you need to use a MemBufInputSource:

When Internet Explorer displays a white page...

.. this may be because of a wrong script tag. Actually, both Internet Explorer 6 and 7 will fail, if you use the script tag like this:

IE instead requires an explicit closing tag, like this:

PS: This is primary a note to myself, since I get trapped by this over and over again...