SoapUI taking a long time to establish a connection


Views 32 

Some of the recent work I’ve been doing required the use of SoapUI to do some basic load testing. When I first started this, every request I tried sending to the server was taking 30+ seconds to complete. This really stumped me because another, pretty much identical environment would respond immediately. I’ve finally tracked down the issue to DNS.

The environment I was trying to access was rarely used via SoapUI, so naturally I did not bother configuring its IP and hostname in the /etc/hosts file. So I simply used the IP address for the web service endpoint I was accessing and thought that should be sufficient. It turns out, however, that SoapUI tries to do a DNS lookup on the IP address and as this was an internal address, the network name server would not respond for a long time. This is where the delay was coming from.

The solution was to add the IP address to the hosts file. The hostname doesn’t actually matter in this case, it can be anything. Once this is done, SoapUI started establishing connections to the server instantly.

[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Thu Aug 21 09:07:27 2014 in Programming, Tips, OS X

SEO Metadata Plugin removing quotes, punctuation characters


Views 45 

I’ve been noticing that the SEO Metadata Plugin for FlatPress has been removing quotes and other punctuation characters from the metadata. This makes any blog snippets on social media sites (Facebook, Google Plus, etc) appear unprofessional. The plugin can already preserve these characters, it just needs to be configured.

There is a readme file in the plugin directory that describes how to configure this, but for the purposes of illustration, the changes are done in the plugin.seometataginfo.php file. There is a line that defines the $keep_char variable. I set mine to this:

$keep_char = ",.'";

Now the metadata will contain the punctuation and single quotes.

[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Wed Aug 20 09:32:15 2014 in PHP, FlatPress, Tips

Adding Google search to a FlatPress theme


Views 64 

Although FlatPress includes a search feature, I found it to be quite limited, so I had a look at adding Google search to a theme in FlatPress and found that to be quite easy to do. There is some tinkering with the FlatPress code itself, however the end result is a fully working search for FlatPress that is backed by the power of Google.

This article will not go into the details of how to create the Custom Search Engine (CSE). Google has a good tutorial on that already. Check it out here. The prerequisite for this post is that you have created and configured the CSE as a results only page.

The first thing to do is create a template file that will display the results page. Below is a sample without any styling. The file name is search.tpl, this is placed along with the rest of the .tpl files in the theme directory. Add the CSE code between the comments. This has to be included between the literal tags since it contains JavaScript.

 $ Template file: search.tpl
{include file=header.tpl}
<div>Search Results</div>
<!-- Start CSE code -->
<!-- End CSS code -->
{include file=footer.tpl}

[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Tue Aug 19 13:39:04 2014 in Programming, PHP, FlatPress, HTML, JavaScript, Google

Modifying a SGI Octane metal frame to use as a conventional computer case


Views 72 

Last time I wrote about taking the SGI Octane apart. This entry is about taking the metal frame and modifying it to so that it may be used as a conventional computer case. This involves drilling and cutting metal with an angle grinder and redoing the pop rivets in a number of places. The end result is a rectangular frame without any internal dividers.

This post follows on from the previous one. Since this requires power tools, I did all the work outside. To modify the Octane frame, I used a drill, angle grinder, a pop rivet gun, metal brush, metal cutting scissors and some pliers. The backing I made has a brushed look and covers the entire rear, this will need to be drilled to be attached in the future, so it’s not quite complete yet.


[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Sun Aug 17 08:18:05 2014 in Modding, SGI


Taking apart an SGI Octane


Views 139 

I’ve come into the possession of another SGI Octane recently that I plan to use as a HDD enclosure to match the other Octane case that I modified that I use as my home server. These are the photos from the disassembly of the machine.

Starting from the rear of the case, each of the expansion boards and the power supply can be pulled out. This case didn’t have the lock bar that runs the entirety of the case, so I didn’t need to worry about removing that.

The power supply is first. It’s quite easy to remove, just undo the two thumb screws that secure it at the bottom and pull it out.


[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Mon Aug 11 16:59:36 2014 in Modding, SGI


Log request service times in Oracle Application Server 10gAS (10.1.3.x) with SSL enabled


Views 215 

Recently I was asked to investigate how long our web service requests were taking to process at the level of the application server. We had logging inside the web services for total elapsed time serving a request, but we wanted to see if there was any overhead within the app server. Our app server is 10gAS with Apache 1.3 as the web tier.

When I first started looking into this, I thought the task will be quite straight forward and all I would have to do was edit the httpd.conf file CustomLog line for the common log, which is used for access logging. I was wrong on this one. After editing this file and restarting, the access log output didn’t change.

The thing that I forgot to take into account was that all our services run over SSL, which meant that the access log configuration in httpd.conf is not used! So with this in mind, I opened up the ssl.conf file and found my VirtualHost configuration.

The config file is in: $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/Apache/conf/ssl.conf

In the “General setup for the virtual host”, I found a TransferLog line, which I changed to the LogFormat and CustomLog lines instead as per below. The %D parameter logs the time to serve the request.

 $ Apache/conf/ssl.conf
<VirtualHost _default_:9999>


#TransferLog "|/u01/product/ /u01/product/ 43200"
LogFormat "%h %l %u %t "%r" %>s %b Bytes: %B Time: %D" common
CustomLog "|/u01/product/ /u01/product/ 43200" common


After a restart, the access log started showing me the request times as expected.

The only catch here is that the request times are in whole seconds, there is no sub-second precision. Apache 2.x has an option to output the microseconds elapsed, sadly this was not available in 1.3.

[Read More and Comment]

Posted on Wed Aug 6 09:33:30 2014 in Programming, Oracle, Unix, Apache