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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › How to Reset or rebuild a Sitemap in Drupal

January 20th, 2014 Comments off

A sitemap is exactly that -- a map that search engines read to find what is on your website.

Sitemaps are a simple way of keeping the main search engines like Google or Bing up to date with what is going on with your website. I mean, why bother writing a website if nobody every reads it right? 

The XML sitemap module creates a sitemap that conforms to the sitemaps.org specification. This helps search engines to more intelligently crawl a website and keep their results up to date. The sitemap created by the module can be automatically submitted to Ask, Google, Bing (formerly Windows Live Search), and Yahoo! search engines. The module also comes with several submodules that can add sitemap links for content, menu items, taxonomy terms, and user profiles.

I can almost guarantee that you are reading this because you searched for something on a search engine and it bought you here. It only knows about this website because of the website map 'sitemap.xml'

The sitemap is pure XML (a kind of funky HTML) and basically lists everything that is on the website and looks something like this:


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › dsplnk ‘/tmp/httpapi_debug.txt’

January 20th, 2014 Comments off

If you are using the IBM i HTTPAPI (LIBHTTP) opensource utilities, you already realize how easy it is to talk to a webservice from within your RPG programs.

But remember, after you have run your program, you will have a beautiful log of the entire SOAPey process stored in an IFS file in your temporary folder -- assuming you are running in debug mode.

So , in your program make sure you are turning on debug:

        // Note:  http_debug(*ON/*OFF) can be used to turn debugging
        //        on and off.  When debugging is turned on, diagnostic
        //        info is written to an IFS file named
        //        /tmp/httpapi_debug.txt
      /if defined(DEBUGGING)
         http_debug(*ON);
      /endif  

and then after you have ran it you can see the results by typing: dsplnk '/tmp/httpapi_debug.txt'

You will see a gloriously detailed log that looks something like this:


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › You say Tomato, I say Pomedoro

January 9th, 2014 Comments off

Over the last year, I've found a marked decrease in productivity during project work due what seems like a lot more life interruptions.managing life and time

I'm (a) easily distracted, (b) the king of procrastination and (c) frequently trying to multi-task to such a wide degree that I almost completely zone out and have revisit and rework things I've marked complete. Interruptions are insidious and I've discovered that its not the major breaks that break things but the small social ones. When I say 'social' I means by way of social media: emails,  texts, facebook, twitter, instagram and the list goes on.

[ and thats not even mentioning kids, dogs and the missus wanting to go for a quick lunch at the beach]

But wait... I've found a solution!

 


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Rob Litten – Drums the Word

January 6th, 2014 Comments off

OK - So I must admit to being slightly biased as Rob Litten happens to be my cousin but... Rob has grown from the gangly kid that I remember into a quite astounding musician. When he's not drumming away on any nearby acoustic surface (my granite kitchen has never quite recovered) he is either being very loud playing in his band or... in professional mode.... he earns his living by being one of England's best known drum instructors and the force behind the astoundingly successful Drums the word website and youtube video phenom.

robert litten drumming god

Rob is college trained and one of the elite few to achieve a National Higher Diploma in drum performance as well as BA(Hons) Degree in music specifically for the drum kit. A Percussion genius. Nuff said.


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › How to get IBM i command line during runtime using System Request 3

January 5th, 2014 Comments off

Here's a blast from the past:

I was just testing an IBM i program that is importing data from a Windows Server, converting the data, juggling it, tweaking it and when its finished playing it finally shoves it into an IBM i Database. Fun Fun FUN! But if its running interactive and I want to quickly get the command line... I'm stuck. The green screen is input inhibited. Luckily, we can easily get command line access by tweaking the system request functions of IBM i.

HACKEAT EMPTOR - obviously only grant this command line access if your system i is properly secured. You dont want any old Tom, Dick or Harry getting to the command line to do you?

The system request functions do a bunch of neat things during any interactive session - SysRq/2 shows a DSPJOB command. Luckily its super easy to change the command associated with all the system request functions.

Right now, lets quickly tweak the sysrq/2 function.

WRKMSGD MSGID(CPX2313) MSGF(QCPFMSG)


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › use LIBHTTP to talk SOAP to websites using RPGLE on IBM i

December 18th, 2013 Comments off

Thankyou -- Scott Klement!

HTTPAPI (LIBHTTP) on IBM i is the bomb. Luckily I am not boarding a plane at the moment, so I can use that kind of language without getting strip searched by some burly TSA agents.

Firstly, I have never met Mr. Klement but (like almost every IBM i Developer out there) have read many of his excellent articles about programming and tinkering with IBM i systems. Secondly, the man is a genius and I owe him a very large beer. After spending far too long investigating various techniques to get my IBM i system to talk to an external website (Authorize.net in this case) and being led down many wrong roads... I stumbled across scott's collection of open source RPGLE programs called HTTPAPI.

In Scott's words:

Download HTTP API source:

This is an RPG IV service program that uses socket calls to implement the HTTP 1.1 protocol. The HTTP protocol is the data transfer protocol that is used to transfer documents over the World Wide Web.

This service program can, optionally, also do "https" (HTTP over SSL) requests to an SSL-enhanced web server.


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › What happened to the Forums?

December 17th, 2013 Comments off

Hello websurfing chaps and chappettes,

Over the years this website has been through many, many changes – from HTML to Flash to Joomla to Wordpress and finally to Drupal. A couple of years ago, I decided to import lots of my old programming and AS400 specific documentation into the website and imported everything in Drupal ‘forums’. Primarily as an easy place to reference old technical articles and because I thought some of the older ‘RPG Programming’ questions just might help the IBM I community out there. Apart from my burbling blogs, the forums are easily the most accessed part of the website.

However, I now find myself spending (wasting) time every day deleting spam, moderating people leaving nasty comments and just basically being annoyed by the inability of some people to have sensible conversations using online forums.

So – whats the solution?

Social media is the answer. Over the last couple of years I've increasingly chosen to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate. I’ve also integrated DISQUS into every article on the website, as it has superb antispam tools built into it. Effectively the entire website is now acting like a forum with facebook and twitter being the new places for chatter and banter.


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Alas Poor Boris…

December 12th, 2013 Comments off

This mornings refusal to start was the final straw!

So, after doing the sums and realizing that I've spent nearly fourteen thousand dollars on repair bills since owning this Landrover in just two years, and he's still going wrong on a regular basis, its time to give up. To resign myself to the sad decision to banish Boris to a life in the wilderness, outside the walls of castle Litten. I havent got the heart to sell the car to another owner, or even to trade it into a dealer and be able to look someone in the eye while saying "Yes, this is a reliable little motor and I will be sad to see it go" so its time for the car auctions.... Everybody knows that its a case of 'buyer beware' at Auctions. You can get a steaming deal or a steaming Turd. I know which category I wold put Boris into  :)

Sadly, Boris will leave me in negative equity as I expect to be upside down on my car loan to the tune of something like $9000 when I consider the trade value for 2006 LR3's.

It's time to bite the bullet, and find a cheap but reliable run around until I get the outstanding loan payments cleared. I've already got my eyes on a cheap, little motor that is reported to be reliable, looks funky and fits kids, dogs and other beachlife clutter inside.

More about Herman Later

 


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Talking to Authorize.net using XML, RPG from IBM i

November 30th, 2013 Comments off

So, for the last few weeks I've been working on adding credit card handling to a legacy RPG application with an static HTML website over the top. The application code itself was written in the eighties and has evolved through a number of different versions of RPG (a mix of RPG2, RPG3, RPG400 and even a liberal splash of RPGLE) so I've had an enjoyable task of taking a bunch of old code, re-factoring to RPGLE/free and then adding some funky web services.

Now I've added the Authorize.net CIM functions and windows to my website pages, I can manually test the payment process. Now, the authorize.net documentation is not for noobs and makes an awful lots of assumptions, so implementing this technique on IBM i (AS400) using RPG, without a modern PHP Server on the front, is not as clear as it seems.  After reading everything I could on the various SOAP, XML, JAVA, RUBY techniques - I've opted for the XML route.

The next step is setting up the XML conversation to this lovely IBM i System talk to Authorize.net. After two days of googling, reading, studying, prototyping, re-prototyping, going down dead ends, trying sample code that doesn't work and repeating moaning and smacking my forehead with a wooden paddle.

So I want to


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Geekish Garrulous Grumblings blogs › Shall we Disqus why Drupal Comments are Dead?

November 14th, 2013 Comments off

Spammers... I bloody hate them.

Over the last few weeks, I've had a rash of spam attacks. The modules I was using to modulate spam (Mollom, Antispam, Botcha) worked very well in blocking the huge portion of it. The downside was a big upsurge in CPU utilization on my webserver and finally getting a 'cease and desist' warning from the website abuse folks over at ICDSOFT. *sigh*

So, rather than continue to fight the evil Spam OverLords I decide to travel a different route and let someone fight the battle for me. Why handle the website comments myself when I can let an third party handle them for me.... after a little investigation I was left thinking "Facebook comments or something else to handle it?"

Facebook integration is cumbersome and my memories of doing it last time were not something I want to play with again. There is not enough hours in the day.

DISQUS is very cool.

Enough Said.

Integration of DISQUS in a Druapl7 install is simple. Grab the module from here and plop it into Drupal, then create an APP over on disqus.com for your website and add the APP Keys into your Drupal and VOILA fully managed commenting service. 

Instruction from Disqus are easy to walk through:

 


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