News items for tag web - Koos van den Hout

2020-12-29 Some updates to parts of my homepage 2 weeks ago
It's the christmas holiday and that gives me some time to fix things that have been on the wishlist for a while. This includes some parts of the scripts that make up my homepage.

The update was a learning process, I found out getting caching right is still very hard and I learned about preformatted text and the CSS grid which worked differently than expected. All fixed now.

This is now fixed, and I may find more things to fix in the (near) future.

Changes include:
  • The pages are now using a CSS grid
  • Pages have a usable righthandside
  • Updates to the footer have been made on all pages
  • The history function of the newstag page has been fixed to give usable permanent urls
  • The IPv6 check is active on more pages

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2020-12-27 Taming preformatted text in the CSS grid 3 weeks ago
I found out the mobile version of my homepage was a lot wider than the desktop version (which tries to fit on the screen). This didn't show when I learned about the CSS grid for Camp Wireless.

The difference is that my homepage regularly uses log samples which are displayed as preformatted text. I used the grid width 1fr which allows for the full width of <pre> items. Changing this to 100% fixed it. The desktop version uses two columns and those are already split using percentages of the full screen width.

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2020-12-24 Getting caching right is still very hard 3 weeks ago
After switching my websites to https I found out caching works differently on https (for good reasons) and files included by lots of pages got reloaded a lot.

So I added some caching hints. I especially did not want the stylesheet to be reloaded constantly. So I added an ExpiresByType directive to cache stylesheets for a week.

But on the change of camp-wireless to a new stylesheet and programming language I got bitten by this: some browsers had the old css code cached and saw no reason to check for updates. The site looked strange (but wasn't really broken).

I recently made some changes to parts of my homepage too, also going to the CSS grid model, just like the changes in Camp Wireless to the CSS grid model. And I had the same problems with the CSS in the production version. It took a bit of searching to find the source of the Expires statement, it was in the .htaccess file.

Now fixed to a much shorter cache time, it is quite possible to have versions of the pagecode and CSS differ in the browser.

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2020-12-18 Some people actually read instructions 1 month ago
Back when I started with world wide web things I created my own links page. For my own use, so I had my web links available on all my computers.

With the rise of 'search engine optimization' I started to receive requests to add certain links. First as bulk 'link exchange' mails but later as automated "personal" requests which have their own special rant.

The "personal" requests sometimes used interesting backstories such as a school project where the children had found such a good resource together and the teacher hoped to bring a smile to the childrens' faces by having the suggestion from the schoolchildren actually implemented.

So I added a line at the beginning of the page:
If you want to mail me to notify me about your very special link that really needs to be here to help children all over the world, enable world peace, would be the best resource ever or simply increase your pagerank: Don't. These are my links.
and this seems to help. For now.

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2020-12-13 Makefile logic not working perfectly 1 month ago
I noticed the certificate for idefix.net was expired according to my webbrowser. I dug up the reason and found out the scripts to maintain the ocsp files managed to confuse the Makefile to keep the haproxy certificates updated.

The ocsp responses have more updates than the certificates, but a certificate update needs to be processed anyway.

So I updated the Makefile in the previous post. The dependency is now certificate-stamp depends on installed certificates, installed certificates depend on copied certificates. And installing the certificate also updates the ocsp response.

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2020-10-26 Speeding up TLS connections for Apache with OCSP 2 months ago
Encrypt all the things meme I have one Apache server exposed to the outside world for IPv6 clients (because of a history in hostnames going back to the 20th century). So after enabling OCSP for haproxy I decided to have a look at OCSP stapling for Apache 2.4. That's even easier than haproxy since Apache 2.4 will fetch the ocsp data itself. I followed Apache 2.4 SSL/TLS Strong Encryption: How-To OCSP Stapling and it works.

So now the current score at the Qualys SSL server test for koos.idefix.net is A+ both via IPv4 and IPv6.

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2020-10-14 Speeding up TLS connections for haproxy with OCSP 3 months ago
Encrypt all the things meme On my to-do list was the idea to look at OCSP stapling for haproxy. OCSP is Online Certificate Status Protocol which wraps the revocation status of a certificate in the certificate negotiation. This speeds up the TLS setup a bit since the client doesn't have to make an extra connection to the OCSP responder of the certificate issuer and it adds a bit of privacy because the certificate issuer doesn't see which client requests the status of a certificate.

Finding the right way to get the ocsp updates to haproxy was a bit of work, eventually made some modifications to the script in HAProxy OCSP stapling. I also used the remarks in OCSP stapling with HAProxy. From pitfall to euphoria because I saw the "OCSP single response: Certificate ID does not match any certificate or issuer" error message. I had to restart haproxy first to make it enable ocsp processing (because now each server certificate has its own .ocsp file) and now it accepts the "set ssl ocsp-response" command.

Update: I'm not completely happy yet: after a certificate was renewed haproxy complained about the .ocsp file being out of date. Which is fully correct, since that .ocsp file was about a previous version of the certificate. This needs more work. Ideally I would check the validity of the .ocsp file before deciding to renew it. And fetch the new ocsp data before reloading a renewed certificate.

Anyway, the 'TLS setup' part of connecting to sites like idefix.net goes from 20-21 milliseconds to 5-8 milliseconds. Not a blinding fast improvement but all bits help and I like to have optimal security and privacy.
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2020-10-13 Searching for a vulnerable framework found in weblogs 3 months ago
I had a look at some weblogs and after removing the entries caused by webbots most of the rest of the traffic was attacks. All on stuff I don't have (usually wordpress), but one thing was noticeable:
37.59.47.61 - - [13/Oct/2020:00:17:34 +0200] "GET ////nette.micro?callback=shell_exec&cmd=ifconfig HTTP/1.1" 404 747 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.90 Safari/537.36"
37.59.47.61 - - [13/Oct/2020:00:17:41 +0200] "GET /////nette.micro?callback=shell_exec&cmd=ifconfig HTTP/1.1" 301 715 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.90 Safari/537.36"
37.59.47.61 - - [13/Oct/2020:00:17:43 +0200] "GET /nette.micro?callback=shell_exec&cmd=ifconfig HTTP/1.1" 404 747 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.90 Safari/537.36"
From what I've found about the 'nette microframework' there are callbacks, but none of those is called shell_exec.

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2020-08-25 A new Camp Wireless that looks the same 4 months ago
The new Camp Wireless that looks almost the same, but is completely rewritten is on-line.

It should look and work better on mobile devices. According to the statistics about half of the visitors is using a mobile device, so that is an important part.

I am a great fan of not breaking existing links, so they will keep working. There is a change in the url scheme for the site, but all old links redirect to the correct new location.

The details: Camp Wireless was completely written in PHP since the start of Camp Wireless in June 2004. But I didn't update the code a lot over the last years because I wasn't using PHP anymore and doing all my newer webprojects in modperl. This was becoming a risk, I didn't like updating the code anymore. I had to fix several things when I moved from the old homeserver to the new one because the new system came with PHP 7.

Since the url design of Camp Wireless was 'technology neutral' from the start (the main urls do not include .php or other hints to the used technology) it was possible to rewrite it in another language, as long as it could handle all the urls the same way.

I made one change to the url scheme: in the old setup the directory of campsites had urls with /database/region/ and /database/site/. Although there is indeed a database behind the site, the better term to use is directory, so I developed with /directory/region/ and /directory/site/ urls. And wrote a rewrite rule handler to redirect all the old links, because I don't like breaking old links.

I rewrote the site it in modperl. It was hosted on the development webserver and after implementing and testing each function I committed the result to version control. I still use cvs because that's what I once dove into.

After testing for a while with an acceptance version I finally made the switch today. After that I found a few functions missing so I added those promptly. Still using version control, so I know what I changed when and why.
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2020-08-23 Getting work done on the Camp Wireless rewrite 4 months ago
In the last few weeks I had actual time to work on the planned rewrite of Camp Wireless in perl.

I rewrote it in perl and redid a small part of the CSS to use the CSS grid model to optimize Camp Wireless based on screen size. In the coming days I will create an 'acceptance' version of the site using the production version of the database, to iron out the last errors.

I still need to finish the correct 404 generation from within mod_perl scripts, advertising and some specific cases. And it's a good idea to run a website security scan on my work.

The look and feel hasn't changed a lot. I decided to present the same information in the same order and maintain most of the screenlayout.

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

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My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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