Category Archives: Software devel

Configuring WordPress for SSL is Maddening

I recently moved my WordPress installation to an “https://” address, that is, I now route all traffic (except the user’s first visit to a page) over a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). As the title of this blog posting suggests, the upgrade was maddening. I encountered a “too-many-redirects” error, which turns out to be a bug in WordPress 3.0.2. and probably other recent builds. Readers more interested in how I dealt with this problem should skip to the section entitled My experience with SSL, below. As will be seen, although I succeeded, I was not able to find a general solution to the problem. Those want to read more generally about my decision to use SSL connections should start at the section immediately below and continue to read until the end.

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Graphviz: There’s an app for that!

The iPhone and the iPad touch have, admittedly, proven to be amusing. With the release of Instaviz, an implementation of Graphviz, it turns out that they can really be useful. At $9.99, Instaviz is one of the more expensive applications, but it is more than worth it. Graphs are created by tracing out shapes and connecting them by tracing out a line between them. Nodes of various shapes can be drawn, just as in the dot language. The app is remarkably good at determining what shape the user intends to draw, but will sometimes interpret what is intended to be a circle or ellipse as a diamond or record style. Node label, font, color, border, thickness, corner style, and fill color can be adjusted for each node. Misinterpretation of the the intended shape can be remedied using the formatting tools. Rendering of the graphs is animated (fun to watch!). Selecting a node by tapping it and shaking the iPod Touch/iPhone will delete a node. Graphs can be exported by email in a variety of formats, including Graphviz GV, PNG, PDF, Visio VDX, and—according to the documentation on the web site—can be imported from the Internet, and  exported to Mac and Windows machines using the Instavue tool.

Drawing graphs is easier than doing so in OmniGraffle—which uses Graphviz to lay out directed graphs—or coding in dot, and I use it like a notepad for sketching graphs while writing or brainstorming using pen and paper or my laptop. It’s easy enough to draw, format, and revise graphs while standing on a crowded NYC subway, the ultimate test of usability for an iPod Touch/iPhone app.

Here’s the .gv code and the graph it generated, which I exported by email. Multiple formats can be emailed at once; the graph and code below were sent in a single email.

digraph "" {
graph [layout=dot, IVFileName="Graph", bb="0 0 82 260", IVLastNodeNumber=6, IVLastNodeChangeForDiamond="\"style\" = \"rounded\"; ", IVScale="1.344304", IVContentOffset="0.000000,0.000000"];
node [label="\N"];
graph [IVFileName="Graph 2"];
"EF25C82B-1C2D-4522-9C04-44398A56A51C" [label=1, IVPosition="20,159", shape=circle];
"49973C53-DFEE-4B54-B3B1-4B0CC2FCF66B" [label=3, IVPosition="112,-27", shape=ellipse];
"E4C0BEAD-41FE-44E5-9EAF-19E4A46896F9" [label=4, IVPosition="223,7", shape=ellipse];
"2067E4D4-502B-426C-85F7-1F26B8193D2B" [label=6, IVPosition="117,46", shape=ellipse];
"E4C0BEAD-41FE-44E5-9EAF-19E4A46896F9" -> "EF25C82B-1C2D-4522-9C04-44398A56A51C";
"49973C53-DFEE-4B54-B3B1-4B0CC2FCF66B" -> "EF25C82B-1C2D-4522-9C04-44398A56A51C";
"49973C53-DFEE-4B54-B3B1-4B0CC2FCF66B" -> "E4C0BEAD-41FE-44E5-9EAF-19E4A46896F9";
"2067E4D4-502B-426C-85F7-1F26B8193D2B" -> "49973C53-DFEE-4B54-B3B1-4B0CC2FCF66B";

New release of BibDesk

The BibDesk development team is pleased to announce that BibDesk 1.4 has now been released. You can download the new version from within BibDesk itself using BibDesk > Check for updates; and if you start an older version of BibDesk, a dialog box will appear, offering the option to upgrade.

You can also upgrade by pointing your browser to the following address:

This will cause the download to begin immediately.

Or, you can visit the BibDesk home page at

to upgrade manually, or to learn more about BibDesk.

Note that the version number has bumped up from the 1.3.x sequence to the 1.4.x sequence, in keeping with the BibDesk policy of increasing from x.x to x.x+1 when a new Mac OS version is released—in this case, Snow Leopard support for an earlier Mac OS revision is dropped. In this case, support for Tiger (OS 10.4) has been dropped. Tiger users may continue to use versions in the 1.3.x range, but the code will not be updated any further for those versions, and the Sparkle updater will not notify users of new versions in the 1.4.x range.

For those who are interested, here are the release notes for version 1.4:

BibDesk Release Notes

Changes since 1.3.22

NOTE:  Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is no longer supported as of 1.4

New Features
• General improvements for 10.5 and later
• Skim notes are now indexed for filtering in the background, which can improve opening a file
• New web group parser for IEEE Xplore
• Allow arbitrary letter characters in generated URLs
• Use standard status bar and divider styles and animate them
• Allow hiding the status bar in the detail editor
• New menu items to toggle the groups and the sidebar
• You can now duplicate groups
• Show overflow item in search bar if needed

Bugs Fixed
• Fix a potential bug when running shell tasks
• Fix AppleScript sort command for special fields
• Properly resize images on Snow Leopard
• Coerce scripting properties passed in with “make” command
• More subdued warnings when external groups fail to load
• Include custom publication type in detail editor popup
• Only sort by import order when switching to a search or web group
• Safer calling of script hooks, fixes potential tcrasher and inconsistent state
• Fix some saving issues when saving needs permission
• Compare all fields for item equivalence when we don’t know the type
• Allow volume and boooktitle fields as group fields
• Avoid a race condition in shell script execution
• Fix attaching file import sheet
• Avoid showing more than one warning sheet when opening a file
• Fix small toolbar items