Archive for March, 2009

Will Visual SVN Server remain a for-Free product?

March 30th, 2009
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After writing about Visual SVN Server, I was wondering will the software remain free… Since I was thinking to myself, what is the logic behind giving it away like this. I already though of some reasons but I wasn’t sure and their website did not indicate any future plans but niether it indicated that the product will remain free. Hence I emailed the sales team and got this response back:

we’ll always keep VisualSVN Server free with the current set of functionality. We’re not going to take money in future for the functionality that we distribute free of charge now.

This means that we should expect another version that is a paid version of this product. It also means that we can certainly enjoy using this version without getting blocked from future upgrades or locked in to this solution with no way out.

Web Development

iNove theme from mg12: Pros and Cons

March 29th, 2009
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As you can see I am using the iNove theme offered free by mg12. I have spent about an hour this weekend to tweak and set it up to my liking and overall it is a great theme. The look and feel of this theme is awesome, clean, and easy to read. While playing with it over the weekend I did find some room for improvement. I am going to limit  my pros/cons to max 5 for each and please remember this list is provided with constructive intentions only. So here is a short pros/cons list for the iNove theme:


iNove theme Pros

  • Clean look & feel.
  • Allows for custom meta tags, google search, notices, rss feed, and email feed.
  • Neat usage of icons.
  • Well balanced main content area versus sidebar.
  • Fantastic set of default hard-coded widget set for the sidebar.

iNove theme Cons

  • Not using the wordpress widgets engine, hence it is difficult to edit and tweak. In some cases will require editing theme files.
  • Scalability and performance is impacted due to the large number of css and javascript files. Using local jQuery file instead of the google hosted one.
  • Not using CSS sprites while having a classic example of one such possible usage (icons).
  • Javascript files are not minified.
  • Some external plugins are required for all the functinoality to work.

Overall, it is a thumbs up for anyone who is considering this great theme. However, like everything else, there is always room for improvement.

Web Development

New theme, updated wordpress – 2.7.1

March 28th, 2009
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Yes, I am sure you have noticed. I just finished updating the blog a bit. The current theme is iNove by mg12 – I love the use of the icons. I also updated the underline wordpress to the latest 2.7.1 – yes it is about time.

Expect more positive updates soon and always let me know if you have any feedback. Enjoy.

Web Development

Recommended: Visual SVN Server, now with Subversion 1.6

March 27th, 2009
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Sometimes we are so busy with our projects that we miss interesting changes, some may influence us positively. Here is a change that I wanted to share with you: new subversion version 1.6 and Visual SVN Server.

In the last three years we have used both VSS that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft’s Visual Studio, of-course and subversion which can be handled simply from the Windows Explorer window under windows or by using the simple but useful subversion client. Through our development years, it was subversion that took over all our source code repositories. It was simple to use, great to manage, and most importantly – reliable.

Just recently I needed to use the ‘merge’ feature and I discovered that it was only available in version 1.5 and on. So, I went on trying to upgrade the subversion binaries to the latest stable on an Ubuntu server. If you have been reading my blog, you already know that I do not like Ubuntu, well this is the only Ubuntu server left in our arsenal. To make a long story short, after trying to upgrade but giving up since it requires a major Ubuntu release upgrade, I decided that I should look somewhere else. This is where I turned to Visual SVN Server.

After purchasing a copy of Visual SVN – which is a great little plugin to Visual Studio that allows you to integrate with your subversion repository seamlessly and efficiently, we noticed that the same company created Visual SVN Server. Hence, I tried it. I can start by saying that it was well worth it. Yes, Linux is great but for the simple stuff that we do with SVN a windows box will do just fine. Not to mention that with Ubuntu it is a nightmare and waiting for CentOS to adopt the latest version of subversion may take some time, Visual SVN Server is very convenient. If you check their download page, the latest download-able version is already using subversion 1.6. Great!

So, if you are looking to build a subversion repository or in need of upgrading due to need of features/bug fixes – I strongly recommend upgrading to Visual SVN Server.

By the way – moving your existing repositories is a no brainer, especially with Visual SVN’s repository import feature.

Web Development , ,

Tightening up iptables for a dedicated DB server (MySQL and CentOS)

March 25th, 2009

In a typical high performing web servers environment I have a few web servers running apache/php and a separate DB server to support them. If the need ever comes to increase the capacity of the DB server it can easily be done via the MySQL clustering configuration. In any case, one of the most redundant tasks before setting up all servers is to tighten the security. In particular, setting the firewall is a repetitive task. Hence I am setting this page as a guide to myself and anyone who cares, Enjoy!

  1. SSH to the server, login as root
  2. type vi myiptables-mysql
  3. Insert the following commands:
    NOTE: you will need to insert the web server’s ip addresses where I placed <ip address#>. These are the ip addresses that MySQL queries will originate from.

    # iptables example configuration script
    # Flush all current rules from iptables
    iptables -F
    # Allow SSH connections on tcp port 22
    # This is essential when working on remote servers via SSH to prevent locking yourself out of the system
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
    iptables -I INPUT 1 -i lo -p tcp --dport mysql -j ACCEPT
    iptables -I INPUT 2 -i lo -p udp --dport mysql -j ACCEPT
    iptables -I INPUT 3 -i eth0 -p tcp --dport mysql -s <ip address1> -j ACCEPT
    iptables -I INPUT 3 -i eth0 -p tcp --dport mysql -s <ip address2> -j ACCEPT
    # Set default policies for INPUT, FORWARD and OUTPUT chains
    iptables -P INPUT DROP
    iptables -P FORWARD DROP
    iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
    # Set access for localhost
    iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
    # Accept packets belonging to established and related connections
    iptables -A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
    # Save settings
    /sbin/service iptables save
    # List rules
    iptables -L -v
  4. save and exit
  5. Allow the file to execute by typing this command: chmod +x myiptables-mysql
  6. Run the file by tying this command: ./myiptables-mysql
  7. Test it and Enjoy!

Security notice: yes, for an even tighter security it is possible to change the ports.

LAMP: Linux Apache MySQL PHP, Web Development ,