Few productive days in a dreamy vacation

Well, not hoping to write about my dreamy vacation, so will just tip off the few productive days. 🙂 Yeah so i was doing some work for Archmage last few days, gave life to a dead project, played with joomla, wordpress and osCommerce.

After much research and hacking me and few of my friends at Archmage thought of using Joomla and WordPress as core CMSes for our web development tasks, to make the work more rapid and easy. So yeah am hacking and looking for plugins and modules that i can use on joomla. Since last two weeks i was working on a real estate project and an e-commerce one. i was looking for resources on them. so yeah if you are looking for something similar try Estate Agent Improved for real estate and Virtuemart for E-Commerce. both are nicely made, Joomla plugins. With a little bit of customization they can be used like a charm.

OH and yeah today i gave a new look to my blog. 🙂 last night i updated to WordPress 2.5.1 ( yeah I know FINALLY!! 🙂 ) Edit: I updated it again today (16th June) to WP 2.6 🙂 .  Many thanks goes to Andrayogi for a pretty neat template. Added some plugins, had some problems with the DIGG IT icon. My firebug started giving a javascript error “unterminated string literal” and finally found a fix.. well its simple just edit the plugin and add

digg_bodytext = '<?php echo trim(preg_replace('/s/', ' ', get_the_excerpt())); ?>';

instead of

digg_bodytext = '<?php get_the_excerpt(); ?>';

That will fix the error. yeah so the site looks pretty neat. am sure many over the net uses this theme. even tried some different colors and combinations but thought this is the best combination so kept it in original.

Soo yeah will write some thing with more value soon.

cheers !

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Single Sign-On between Joomla (PHP) and a custom JSF / JSP login (JAVA)

Single sign-on (SSO) is a method of access control, that enables a user to authenticate once, and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems. Well in my case, the task i have given is to authenticate a user in a PHP and a JAVA (Web) system simultaneously.

My PHP web application is the well known Joomla CMS, and my JAVA web application is based on JSF and custom built. After some thinking and research I found several resources which are worth reading (JOSSO, OneSign ), but i couldn’t take any help from them, mostly those SSO frameworks are complex ( yeah 🙂 I couldn’t understand ) and aimed on a general pourpose and most of them are not for free.

So yeah I thought of doing some Hack to joomla and also make some changes in my Java web app’s authentication method. After talking with some of my geeky Friends (Sandaruwan and Anjana). I came up with two approaches. both are involved in handling the cookies manually up to certain extent.

The 1st approach is (Which i didn’t try and had to give up due to the reason that I am using JSF as the web application framework) to log-in to the Joomla site and after loged in to Joomla create a random named temp file in the server (possibly in /home/secrets with 777) with the user-name (if a valid log in) and set a cookie using set_cookie(“name”,$filename) and direct to a jsp page to do the java side authentication.

in this JSP, page read the secret file name from the cookie and read the file from the http server in-order to take the username of the loged-in user. By passing this to the authentication method of the java web app, the java side also can be authenticated.

yup it is pretty simple, but i had to give it up mainly because I use JSF. if I do the user authentication in the above way in the java side. I cannot add the user object to the FacesContext which will be used by my other java side components. so even though i log in. later on in other jsf pages my loged user cannot be found. (Shortly my java login process is not happening according to the JSF implementation procedures.) and secondly i had to give up this method because my Project manger didn’t like the idea of saving temp files in the server. 🙂

So the Second and the method which i have implemented is, automating the Joomla log-in process by making an http request to the http server from my JSF backing bean. and set the PHP cookie manually via Http Servlet response.

before i explain this method more broadly i have to mention about two nice tools which helped me to monitor the http requests and response.
Apache TCP Monitor
Live Http headers (FireFox ad-on)

Architecture

Implementation

There are two different scenarios.
1. User can visit teh home page of the joomla site 1st and the PHP Cookie is already set.
2. User visit the Java site PHP Cookie is not available.

Continue reading Single Sign-On between Joomla (PHP) and a custom JSF / JSP login (JAVA)

JEvents Hack – Integrating JEvents with Google calender

As i promised today I got some time to write about some PHP programming i did few weeks ago. I had to integrate Google calender with the Sensoria web site, so that the events published in the sensoria site will be automatically published in Sensoria’s public Google calender.

Sensoria Site is created using a famous CMS called Mambo, in Mambo one can install plug-ins for many usage for the customized site they are creating. In this case Sensoria was using Mambo Events Component or now available to download as JEvents in Joomla CMS.

What I did was a small code hack in the eventmanager.php file in com_eventmanager folder in the components directory of Mambo. Its was a pretty easy task, but i had problems while testing. I was behind a proxy and the Zend framework gave a huge trouble when connecting to Google Via an HTTPS connection. After some descutions on Google calender forums.. I found out that it is a bug in the Zend Farmework (Which i could not find a solution and didn’t bother or had time to spend on fixing it). So i had to test it in a live server.

Any how now its all working.. I will publish the code out here.. so anyone who wants to do the same.. please feel free to use it..

eventmanager.php

cheers !!

Umbrello – UML Modeller for Linux

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Since I haven’t used or haven’t heard that “Rational rose” working on LINUX (on WINE) and of cause for modeling purposes I had to switch to Windows making a headache, I was searching a solution or more likely an alternative within Linux. I was just peeping in the add/remove menu and under the programming category, I found two modeling softwares for Linux. one which failed to install (Gaphor) and the one which i installed (Umbrello 1.5.5).

What made me surprised is that this software almost had all the functionality that was there in “Rational rose” sometimes even more. the software is very much easy to use. simple and well featured.

The software supports forward Engineering as well as Reverse Engineering, meaning when the Model is designed the code structure can be created and vice versa (supporting 12 different programming languages).

Anyhow I would like to say that Umbrello brings an easy approach for UML modelling.