Firefox warning for Java plugin

Web Start of unsigned Java apps: .NET to the rescue

Have you already signed your Java applets with a trusted authority certificate? You know you will have to.

Why sign?

This is supposed to provide “numerous security benefits to users”, according to Oracle. Indeed, if someone used to just visit a “get-rich-quick” site, and to unknowingly start a hidden malicious Java applet, now they will have to confirm that that they knowingly agree to start an applet provided by officially registered “get-rich-quick Pty Limited”.

As for you and me, as publishers of Java applets, how will it protect our good names? Well, the bad guys will not be able intercept our software and add their viruses to it – unless they want to use their own certificate to sign it with. This is the code repurposing which Oracle aims to prevent. One can argue that the same could be achieved by simply requiring the applets to be delivered only via secured protocol. And it would be cheaper too, for us. Some people even are questioning if all this exercise with certificates can achieve much at all…

Oracle used to tell us that “For applets and JNLP applications the best approach is often to leave the jar files unsigned. The application then runs in a sandbox and will not be able to execute any potentially dangerous code” in its Secure Coding Guidelines. Well, no more…

But for now, while you are busy collecting documents for the trusted authority to sell you the code signing certificate, why not have some fun, and see if we can deploy a Java application without help of Java Web Start. Continue reading

Firebug shows fonts preview

Removing WordPress web fonts for Vista users

“To increase readability and attractiveness, Twenty Twelve features the gorgeous Open Sans typeface. Refreshingly different from the basic web fonts of yesteryear, this font spruces up your prose and gives your content a modern, clean look.” ♦ Lance Willett,

Little did I know how awesome Twenty Twelve WordPress theme was, when I decided it was time to do something about those blurry unreadable fonts. Searching the Web did not offer much help at first: most complaints about the fonts were related to them lacking international character sets. But then…

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Sample WSDL files for WebLogic Web Services

WebLogic application server provides a vast set of policies, which allow developers to configure various aspects of Web Service behaviour: from supported message security to user authorisation rules. It all goes smoothly when you stay in Oracle space: JDeveloper integrates with your server, server integrates with…

And here you may stumble: in B2B world, the other party may well be coming from some other smooth operator. Of cause, Web Services are based on well documented standards, but how easy would it be to exactly match a set of Oracle policies to, let’s say, Microsoft WCF configuration?

To help with such tasks, we show samples of WSDL files produced by WebLogic server under a number of different security policies. Continue reading

GIF, JPEG, PNG? Examples

Continued from previous posts: GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short Answer and GIF, JPEG, PNG? Now to GIF

To finish our discussion of image formats, let’s go through some examples.

Small Icons

sample of small icon images  PNG would be the best format.

If you do not need semi-transparency, GIF format would be as good, but the size of the files may be slightly larger.

And JPEG format should not be used here: it will either distort images, or make files larger. Continue reading


Continued from previous post: GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short Answer

GIF files deserve more explanations than the other two formats, in case you wonder why we did not delved into more details on it in the previous post.

GIF colour palette

The most practically important feature of GIF format is that it stores images using no more than 256 different colours. The editor would analyse the image before saving it as a GIF file, and decide which 256 colours to keep in the file, and which colours to replace with one of those 256 colours. The the outcome usually is once of these:

  • There were less than 256 colours in the image, and it is saved without any losses of data or quality
  • Most of the space in the image is taken by only a few colours, and the rest of them are hidden in details, like edges of shapes. Some details would be lost, but you may not even notice it
  • Many colours are spread over significant areas, and GIF format would severely distort the image

Let’s look at some examples. Continue reading

GIF, JPEG, PNG? Short answer

Did you ever struggle with this choice? Did you wonder what’s the difference? Some people obviously do.

Let’s explore these image formats. And let’s start with a simple rule of thumb:

GIF format is suitable for “simple” images: those without many details or colours

JPG or JPEG format is best suited for photographs

PNG is for everything else and between. If you are not sure – use PNG format.

Of cause, we are talking about publishing images: otherwise, you can store them in any format your editor suggests. It’s only when you upload an image to your web site, or insert it into some software, that you’d have to worry if that default format is the best choice.

Continue reading