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Archived content 2005-2007

Integrating an Apache reverse proxy and Sharepoint

Posted by Tim Riley Mon, 13 Aug 2007 02:13:00 GMT

Recently I have installed an Apache reverse proxy to delegate external requests to a number of different MS SharePoint installations.

It was straightforward to set up and it worked quite well, with one problem -- The reverse proxy accepts HTTPS connections from clients, but all internal traffic to the SharePoint installations is over plain HTTP. At some point during the user signin process, the SharePoint server redirects to a new page using an absolute link beginning with "http://", since that is the only protocol of the requst.

This results in the user being prompted to authenticate twice: once when they hit the HTTPS site, and then once again when their browser is redirected to the plain HTTP site. Worse still is that all secure traffic is taken back to an insecure protocol.

Ideally, it would reload using protocol-independent relative links, but the Windows engineer I was working with said this was not possible.

To fix this, I had to set up a simple RewriteRule for mod_rewrite that redirects all traffic to HTTPS for the virtual hosts listening for HTTP requests:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !443
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

This fixed the double-authentication problem and has the added benefit of moving all traffic to a more secure protocol.

Here is the whole HTTP virtual host block for the reverse proxy to SharePoint:

  <Proxy *>
    Order Deny,Allow
    Allow from all
  ProxyPass /
  ProxyPassReverse /

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !443
  RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]

Posted in Geek | no comments

Rails Tip: Pointing observe_field to an invalid DOM ID breaks all subsequent observers

Posted by Tim Riley Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:28:00 GMT

Be careful when use use Rails' observe_field helper. If you point observe_field to an invalid DOM ID, then all subsequent field observers on the page will fail to work.

This is easily avoided if you are using the helper manually. However, if you are programatically generating observers, they do not fail gracefully, so make sure that you only create them if the necessary IDs are present.

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Life in Canberra

Posted by Tim Riley Thu, 02 Aug 2007 12:29:00 GMT

It's about time that I update you all on what has been going on lately. At the start of July, I moved to Canberra from Adelaide in order to be closer to my girl, and life since then continues to be as challenging and rewarding as ever.

Things with work have not changed -- I'm still fighting the good fight with the rest of the NetFox crew. In the last few weeks, we've delivered a number of handy improvements to the product (see our blog for info), and we have a long list of enhancements that we will be releasing regularly over the months to come. I feel like we really have begun to hit our straps in terms of getting product improvements written, integrated, tested and released in good time.

I have continued to play volleyball after moving here. I'm playing with the ANU Volleyball Club in the ACT State League. I'm setting for the team, as I was in Adelaide. After a couple of rusty games adapting to the different style of play and getting used to the super cold playing environment, I have found my feet again. The league plays on Wednesday nights here, and last night the team had its first win since I joined. I'm looking forward to playing with the team into the finals.

I've been getting out and about quite a lot in this new city, thanks to Misch's active and welcoming group of friends. In the last month I have enjoyed a couple of benders out on the town (who said Canberra was dead?), a volleyball club quiz night, and lots of gourmet pizza and movies. Tomorrow night I am looking forward to going to the annual law students society Ball at Parliament House!

Finally, since I have come here, I have been reenergised to work more on personal web projects. To start with, I am working on my blog, giving it a new design that incorporates all the microformats and possibly looking at implementing OpenID logins for SimpleLog.

Posted in Life | 1 comment

Your next computer will be a big ass table

Posted by Tim Riley Fri, 22 Jun 2007 00:04:00 GMT

Very funny fake commercial mocking the $10,000 Microsoft Surface. (Via Daring Fireball.)

Posted in Geek, Tumble | 1 comment

The cloud of promise

Posted by Tim Riley Mon, 07 May 2007 13:22:00 GMT

Lenovo won the design competition for the Beijing Olympic torch. I did not expect to see something like this when I hit their web site today! Their design reminds me of old scrolls, burning incense, and is a pretty red colour :) It’s a cool mix of old and new.

Along with the design blog on which they made this announcement, Lenovo has several other blogs as well. Following their acquisition of some of the IBM products, the company’s done an impressive job of raising its profile in the west, and I look to them as one of my inspirations for NetFox’s own community dialogue efforts.

Posted in Tumble, General | no comments

To anyone who has told me otherwise

Posted by Tim Riley Sun, 06 May 2007 13:22:00 GMT

From the Australian Road Rules (Part 9, Section 118):

Giving a left change of direction signal when leaving a roundabout

(1) If practicable, a driver driving in a roundabout must give a left change of direction signal when leaving the roundabout.

That’s it. Plain and simple: no conditions, no exceptions, you just have to do it.

Posted in Life | 2 comments

Rails form helpers should not require an instance variable

Posted by Tim Riley Fri, 04 May 2007 07:24:00 GMT

From ticket #2726 in the Rails Trac:

The form helpers assume the object you want them to reference is an instance variable, ie: they require an ’@’. This makes them completely useless in a partial unless I explicitly include something like ”@user = user” at the top of each partial.

I came across this limitation today when I was using partials to contain forms to edit a collection of objects.

Right now the only way I can see to work around this is to add that additional line at the top of the partials in question. Seems that the form helpers were really only designed to work best in the view that receives instance variables directly from the controller.

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Hackety Hack!

Posted by Tim Riley Thu, 03 May 2007 05:53:00 GMT

My first brush with programming was writing Beatles songs in QBasic. It was a fun and simple experience that and was inspiration for me to learn more.

This sort of accessible introductory experience has disappeared for a while now, but thanks to why the lucky stiff, Hackety Hack is poised to bring it… backety back. Best of all, it wraps everything up in current concepts:

How can you find fault in a programming tutorial that teaches you how to make a blog before it teaches you how to do arithmetic? -aparrish

Further, _why is fostering a community around the system, which looks like it will culminate with all budding hackers being able to share their programs with each other. Having been involved in “grown up” open source projects, I can certainly say that their sense of community is a big part of their appeal, and this should work in the same way here.

Anyway, read the manifesto and check it out!

Posted in Geek | 1 comment

NetFox at CeBIT!

Posted by Tim Riley Tue, 01 May 2007 06:08:00 GMT

I may be in Adelaide holding down the fort, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting that NetFox is exhibiting at CeBIT Australia this week! We’re at the rather snazzy looking “South Australia: A Brilliant Blend” stand in the Business Software section.

If you’re attending CeBIT, check us out and have a chat with Daniel and John, they’re a pair of smart, interesting and handsome guys.

Posted in Life | no comments

I what you?

Posted by Tim Riley Fri, 27 Apr 2007 15:31:00 GMT

I don’t know if it is just me, but whenever I see “I love you” written as “I <3 you,” I always read it as “I icecream you.”

Posted in Tumble | 5 comments

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