The state of WP YouTube Lyte (now with fresh Pomplamoose)

Although it has been a few months since I last wrote about my baby WordPress plugin, time did not stand still between version 0.3.0 and 0.5.2; the player size can now be changed in the options-screen, I’ve replaced my newTube html5-hack with Google’s official (yet experimental) new html5-compatible embed code and I started migrating the CSS from the mess that had become the JavaScript-file. And I almost forgot what may be the most important change; I started searching for blogs that use WP-YouTube-Lyte to see how it behaves in the wild. Some of the bugs I discovered that way;

But with all those changes you might start to wonder if WP-YouTube-Lyte still reduces download size & rendering time substantially, no? So I ran a couple of new tests for this page on my blog (it has 3 embedded YouTube’s) on webpagetest.org (settings: 5 runs on IE7 via Amsterdam, excluding requests to stats.wordpress.com). The difference is … well, judge for yourself (or see below the tables for the summary)
With normal Flash-based embeds (full results here):

Document CompleteFully Loaded
Load TimeFirst ByteStart RenderTimeRequestsBytes InTimeRequestsBytes In
First View1.850s0.634s1.330s1.850s15343 KB5.350s22524 KB
Repeat View1.142s0.346s0.497s1.142s517 KB2.455s517 KB

And with WP YouTube Lyte (full results here):

Document CompleteFully Loaded
Load TimeFirst ByteStart RenderTimeRequestsBytes InTimeRequestsBytes In
First View1.201s0.355s0.974s1.201s1055 KB2.065s20103 KB
Repeat View0.605s0.352s0.473s0.605s212 KB1.447s514 KB

Did you see that? Less requests, less data and faster rendering for first and repeat views. Hurray for WP-YouTube-Lyte! But enough with that ego-tripping already, I’ve got an Opera-bug to look into! Or wait, I’ll watch this great new Pomplamoose+Ben Folds+Nick Hornby  videosong first:

Ben Folds, Nick Hornby, & Pomplamoose VideoSong!!!!

As found on the web (August 25th)

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frank Frank heeft z’n htc hero geüpgrade naar android 2.2 froyo (met froydvillain)..
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frank posted The Chilling Effect.
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Protecting wp-contact-form from spam

Ever since I installed WordPress on my (virtual) server, I’ve been using the WP Contact Form plugin to provide me with simple contact form. The plugin isn’t exactly under active development (Last Updated: 2009-8-28), but it got the job done and I was quite happy with it. Until spammers found the page and started abusing it, that is. There’s a bunch of other Contactform-plugins in the wordpress.org plugins repository, but most of them were either too feature-packed or development for them seemed to have stopped.
I considered adding ReCaptcha at first, but why would I want to put my visitors through such an ordeal; the captcha’s seem to have gotten very difficult to decipher.  Next possibility; implement Akismet (Mollom would have been a great choice as well)? There’s a great Akismet PHP5-class, you just provide your API-key and off you go. But it seemed kind of inefficient to have to do all that with the official Akismet-plugin already in place?
But wait a minute, why not just piggyback on the Akismet-plugin, as the Clean-contact plugin and wp-contactform-akismet did? Keep it simple stupid and so I just copy/pasted the clean_contact_akismet-function from Clean Contact’s code into my wp-content/plugins/wp-contact-form/wp-contactform.php and on line 142 I changed:

mail($recipient, $subject, $fullmsg, $headers);
$results = '
' . $success_msg . '
'; echo $results;

into:

$akismet=clean_contact_akismet($msg,$subject,$email,$name);
if (!$akismet) {
mail($recipient, $subject, $fullmsg, $headers);
$results = $success_msg;
} else {
$results = 'If it looks like spam and smells like spam, it must be spam. Leave (or rephrase)!';
}
echo '
'.$results.'
';

That was all it took to add Akismet spam-filtering to that KISS-y wp-contact-form plugin. I wonder why this isn’t in the plugin already?

Switching back from Froyo to HTC’s Eclair

Although I was quite pleased with my Hero after installing HTC’s version of Android 2.1 (in the guise of VillainRom 12), I couldn’t refrain myself from wanting to install Froyo, the latest and greatest version of Android. The guys over at VillainRom provided a great Froyo rom (Froydvillain 1.2) based on the official Android sources and the work of the CyanogenMod team with CM6 and added LauncherPro, a beautiful alternative to HTC’s Sense, to the mix:


After seeing FroydVillain run on the Hero of a daredevil colleague of mine (thanks Thomas!), I swiftly booted my HTC into recovery mode, made a backup of my Eclair-installation and effortlessly slapped FroydVillain on my handset. But now, only 2 days later, I’m back on HTC’s Eclair.
Why? Because of what HTC adds to the mix. Although Froyo + Cyanogen mods + LauncherPro is a fast & slick combination, there were a number of (mostly minor) annoyances which bugged me enough to do a rollback to VillainRom 12 (i.e. HTC’s Eclair).
Some of the quirks that irked me:

  • the keyboard seemed a tad more clunky, there’s no button to hide it (the keyboard tends to get in the way sometimes) but most importantly there’s no Dutch dictionary installed meaning no spelling correction and above all no text-prediction
  • the new Android-native Exchange mail integration is great, but there’s no indication of new Exchange mails on the Launcherpro homescreen and most importantly it is too easy to accidentally delete a mail (the button is located at the bottom right of the screen!) and there’s no undo or move available
  • battery life seemed shorter and there’s no way to disable ‘always-on mobile data‘ (a continuous data-connection doesn’t help battery life)
  • the dialer application (you know, to actually call someone) does not search my contacts while typing a number (HTC’s dialer searches both numbers and names, which is a great time-saver)
  • in the browser bookmarking is less straightforward (no ‘add bookmark’ in the menu iirc), there’s no ‘reload’ in the main UI (it’s at the right side of the address-bar in HTC’s Eclair)
  • the free version of Launcherpro does not come with a calender widget (the “Plus” version does though) and I could not find one to my liking on the Android market
  • as I had to re-install my apps, Shazaam didn’t recognize me as an existing user, meaning I lost unlimited tagging

So in spite of increased speed and an overall very nice package, I decided (after having had to run downstairs last night to move that accidentally deleted important mail back to my inbox on my PC) to abandon FroydVillain and switch back to VillainRom 12. I was a little upset with Nandroid spitting out that horrible “Run nandroid-mobile.sh via adb” error, but it turned out that it wisely doesn’t like to have to work on an almost empty battery. After recharging I successfully restored good ole HTC Eclair.
Froyo + LauncherPro is a great combination, but it’s not in the same league as HTC’s polished Eclair builds yet. Thanks for the great job HTC, I’m looking forward to your Desire HD with HTC Froyo (or Gingerbread?) which I’ll probably buy from you next year.

As found on the web (August 18th)

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frank published Afscheid van m’n Vero.
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frank posted Paint prose.

Afscheid van m’n Vero

M’n Vero en ik, we gaan uit elkaar. We waren 2,5 jaar lang onafscheidelijk, maar ze vindt me de laatste tijd te veeleisend. Ik wil inderdaad vooruit en dan trek, sleur en duw ik haar tot ze mee wilt. Daar heeft ze het moeilijk mee en sinds ik haar een paar maand geleden zowat mishandelde, is het nooit meer écht goed gekomen. Dus het is beter voor ons alletwee, ik ruil haar in voor een nieuw model; sneller, jonger, steviger! M’n Vero heeft overigens ook al iemand anders, daar heb ik zelf voor gezorgd, want ik wil dat ze goed terechtkomt! Maar mijn nieuwste verovering is wel familie; m’n Vero liep er misschien niet mee te koop, maar ze was eigenlijk een Dahon en dat is m’n nieuwe vouwfiets dus ook.

Het is dus weer geen exclusieve Birdy geworden, geen dure Brompton en ook geen nieuwerwetse Ori, maar een Dahon Vitesse D7HG. Fantastische zithouding, lichte en dus snelle fiets, een onberispelijke afwerking en een bijzonder scherpe prijs. In prijs en afwerking zit hem overigens het grootste verschil met m’n Vero. En in die fantastische Shimano Nexus 7-speed naafversnelling natuurlijk.

Een twist grip shifter en pot-versnellingen, ik zit bijna terug op de Raleigh Grifter waar ik in m’n jeugd van droomde!

PHP OAuth extension: trial, error and success

I’ve been experimenting with the PHP OAuth PECL extension over the last few days and initially ran into some small problems getting it to function correctly. So for the sake of making this world wide web an even better place, here are some error-messages you might encounter and what you could do to resolve them:

  • “OAuth::getRequestToken() URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration” → the OAuth extension by default uses fopen (streams) to fetch data from the OAuth provider (server), but you’re probably slightly paranoid (or is it security- conscious?) and have allow_url_fopen = 0 in you php.ini. Just change that value to “1” and reload your webserver and then see …
  • SSL: fatal protocol error → OAuth seems to be working fine, but for reasons unknown OAuth insists something fatal just happened. You could ignore this one, or try to lower the error-reporting value or do as I did and decide to use OAuth::setRequestEngine to switch from those doomed streams to almighty Curl, until …
  • “setRequestEngine expects parameter to be long, string given” → so you installed (compiled) the OAuth-extension, but you didn’t have that libcurl-dev package installed, did you? No matter how polite you request that Curl-engine, it is just not going to happen unless you install libcurl-dev, and then re-installed OAuth.

And after successfully re-installing OAuth, this time with Curl-support, you could try to build a small application, accessing GMail maybe?

As found on the web (August 4th)

blog (feed #46)
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frank Frank vraagje voor wie al in sinescoop is geweest; is dat daar wat te doen qua akoestiek, drukte, … of trekken we toch beter naar metropolis?.
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frank liked Zaz – Je veux.
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frank published WordPress stats oddity.
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iGoogle Facebook gadget security flaw fixed & explained

I just received confirmation from the Google Security Team that the bug I discovered in the iGoogle Facebook Gadget which allowed attackers to log into an other user’s Facebook account bypassing all authentication, has been fixed. So now that the hole has been closed, let’s look at what was happening, shall we?
The gadget uses the Facebook’s Javascript API to the connect with Facebook, asking you for permission to access your FB data. In the process of getting that authorization, the gadget exchanges tokens with Facebook, some of which should absolutely be kept safe from prying eyes. And that’s where things went wrong: the gadget had the authentication info in the URL. So if a user of the iGoogle Facebook gadget clicked a link to an external site in the news feed, the request for that page had a referrer that contained all authentication-info.
And that’s exactly what happened on last week, when I spotted this referrer in my blog stats:

http://facebookiggadget.appspot.com/?exp_rpc_js=1&exp_track_js=1&st=c%3Dig%26e%3DAPu7icpJzJJhOouS8TuGegSqFHHI8XHU1r55OllrNbk0ey/aTpkUFx9jPKB/cwgcEZoGfcBuc43x/CuzuEL2cQinYglFvhFWKtlXg6j/JtKC0%252BWsAu3vo/3ZR/WA64J/Fmw1YuUFgT7q&v=fdb2b406636e1f3cff1c5d7e660f59eb&container=ig&view=home&lang=nl&country=BE&up_session=%7B%22uid%22:%221165373488%22, %22session_key%22:%2291d52d2ed5a130fd941b11f1-1175373488%22, %22secret%22:%22fdee68961b3cdee5b51390a4bdeac7a0%22,%22expires%22:0, %22access_token%22:%2283101558C90fd9KfA9KJQh5uT98TqIjxQpzUi4.%22,
%22sig%22:%22dd635ef67af1f59c1c671215076cce10%22%7D
&parent=http://google.be&libs=7ndonz73vUA/lib/liberror_tracker.js,iHKb-4mKuMY/lib/librpc.js,vrFMICQBNJo/lib/libcore.js,a5j4V1JuNVE/lib/libsetprefs.js&is_signedin=1&synd=ig&view=home

You can guess what happened when I opened that URL; the iGoogle Facebook gadget initialized using the embedded credentials, automatically logging me in as the guy that was unlucky enough to have clicked the link to my blog.
But how could this vulnerability have been exploited, you may ask? Well, easy enough; create a page that is viral enough for people to share or like  (likespam or even likejacking) and wait for users of the iGoolge Facebook-gadget (there’s over 1 million of them after all) to follow the links, feeding your webserver logfiles with credential-rich referrers.
As Google confirmed this bug indeed has been fixed. The new version of the gadget, which was deployed late last week, does not leak credentials in the referrer-URL any more:

http://facebookiggadget.appspot.com/?lang=en&country=us&.lang=en&.country=us&synd=ig&mid=101&ifpctok=6472409229927695377&exp_rpc_js=1&exp_track_js=1&exp_ids=17259&parent=http://www.google.com&libs=7ndonz73vUA/lib/liberror_tracker.js,iHKb-4mKuMY/lib/librpc.js,vrFMICQBNJo/lib/libcore.js,a5j4V1JuNVE/lib/libsetprefs.js

So if anyone asks me what my good deed for this year was; I helped protect 1 million people’s Facebook accounts from being hacked.
Sounds swell, no? 😉