Microsoft Internet Explorer, Adobe Acrobat's web-plugin, and Apache's mod_deflate

For the past year this has been a problem with the server this website has been hosted on; it was the strangest thing ever that I could not understand. If you tried to view a PDF file you placed on the web server with Microsoft Internet Explorer with Adobe’s Acrobat web plugin on Windows (a very common configuration), you would get an error about the PDF being corrupt and that it could not be opened.

It worked everywhere else: Mozilla Firefox and the Adobe Acrobat web plugin on Windows, with zero problems with any combination of browser and PDF viewer on Linux and OS X.

Apache 2.0’s documentation on mod_deflate suggests to compress everything except image files:

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI .(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary

The problem with this: there are many filetypes left out that don’t compress well, and can cause problems–like PDFs combined with Internet Explorer and Adobe’s Acrobat plugin.

The solution, add the rule:

SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI .(?:pdf)$ no-gzip dont-vary

This prevents PDF files from being compressed with mod_deflate. It’s also useful to add such files as MP3s, zips, and rars.

SCO belittles America's firefighters

Darl McBride has written another “community letter”. And, as usual, it’s full of marketing garbage and completely unfounded statements. The most offensive, regarding the for-free community backing Linux has:

Would you really want to trust the backbone of your business to the likely unpredictable response times of this Linux “volunteer fire department” support model?

I’m not sure about other countries but in the United States, especially after 9/11, fire fighters are at the top of the hero stack. And I personally don’t really see how volunteer fire fighters have saved any fewer lives or can be considered any “less effective.”

Back to the point: whether you think the Linux volunteer community is any good or not is your opinion; but making analogies like this in what comes down to an advertisement is downright tasteless. It is just further proof that SCO is just out to make a dollar, stepping on as many people along the way as it can.


The quest for coreutils' POSIX compatibility

Apparently, I found out today, GNU coreutils is trying to be more POSIX compatible.

And they’re taking the brute force way of doing things be completely disabling the old usage of their commands, some of which I’ve grown to use. Just my opinion but this is a horrible way to transition anything.

There’s a post on Debian’s mailing list that summarizes some of the major changes in this shift to POSIX compliance.


Debian's mailing lists: a spammer's delight

Since e-mail aliases are basically free (it’s a line in a text file), I’ve started the habit of creating new e-mail aliases for what I think have a “high-risk” of getting harvested by spammers.

I created one for Debian’s mailing lists a week ago, and today I received my first spam e-mail to that address. It was an eBay phishing scheme.

Debian’s public mailing list archives make no attempt at address obfuscation–any web crawler is free to come and take as many valid e-mail addresses as they want. My attempts at complaining about this appear to have fallen on dead ears–no one appears to care.

At least it’s nice to definitely know where your spam is coming from.



Subscribe to Samat Says RSS