HTTPS Contretemps

You’ve probably noticed that this page is not secured with HTTPS/SSL. I hopefully will rectify that soon but I’d like to point out some issues I’ve had with it.

  • SSL is pretty much required, I guess, for a serious web presence these days. (The legendary Flask microframework being the most notable exception.)
  • My understanding is that the SSL/TLS/HTTPS infrastructure depends on an IP address, so as the laws of nature dictate, if you have something working it will eventually break and due to the nature of https infrastructure it takes literally days of waiting for confirmations, receiving certificates, and what not pretty much compel you to use some sort of virtual load balancer to terminate your SSL connections if you don’t want days of downtime.
  • It’s kind of embarrassing to an extent that http://nouveaupg.com is not setup for using SSL even though it’s really an online manual. Still, my first priority when I get it back hosted on AWS (I mean it is hosted on AWS @ http://100.26.252.77/ but there is cached DNS pointing to the old server. Hopefully this doesn’t cause my many irate reviews) is to get https working there.
  • My newer project https://picoevent.io is written in Django (I’m actually hosting on Linode after becoming increasingly frustrated with AWS. Very easy to setup SSL to the load balancer, I have this configuration I’m trying where I have a Linode 4096 where I run the master DB and another Linode 2048 which is a slave DB and also runs the NGINX/uwsgi/Python stack.

This is the key part of your nginx config, you want to open port 80 on your software load balancer so potential visitors don’t get an error if they visit http://picoevent.io, so you do a 301 redirect to port 443 on the load balancer.

root /var/www/html;

# Add index.php to the list if you are using PHP
index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;

server_name _;

if ($http_x_forwarded_proto = 'http') {
   	return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
}

Working on some awesome new stuff with Python 3.6

So after investigating every single possible angle in software to make a living over the years, I have decided to try out the open source model. Really excited with the ambitious Django projects everyone has been pursuing. Something that started out during a tech boom to meet the needs of a dying industry (newspaper) that couldn’t hire help, we now have this interesting beast that could hypothetically lead to some really niche SaaS offerings. If executed well of course. And that’s where my new project comes in. At the very least I am leveling up my Python. The tooling is amazing compared to when I left webdev for greener pastures back in 2010. Most people would’t even use a debugger to develop in PHP. I mean there were a couple, but it was sort of like JavaScript is now. At the same time Apple’s new iPhone came out with DTrace profiling tools which were extremely useful back when mobile hardware was severely constrained.

Electrians’ Calculator released

I’m not one to go chasing trends but I think this is a niche that can be better served. (The same as I think with NouveauPG)

Only includes the most important features so far, but I believe this will eventually become the best electricians’ calculator for iOS. Everything takes time. Free for now.

Get it on the App Store

Changes

Apparently we are in for some changes… anyone that has lived in New York City in the past was undoubtedly familiar with embarkNYC. It’s somewhat less useful now that there is cell service at most stations but the “gap” between trains for a given time was more useful than when exactly the train would arrive. embarkNYC has been abandoned for some time, as you can see in the screenshot below. It would be interesting to know what exactly is being deprecated, not much to this app, it doesn’t require network access to operate (which was very useful in the days before cell service/WiFi at subway stations). It’s basically an (outdated) PDF of the subway system that’s freely available and probably and an SQLite3 database. Too bad HopStop got the market first and got acquired by Apple. All good things must end I guess…