Wandering Thoughts archives

2006-09-26

Why people still like TCL/TK

This is the complete source code for a little X program I call tkmsg. It puts up a window with a text message (given as the command line arguments, ala echo), sized to fit the message, and when you click in the window it goes away.

set myname "tkmsg"
wm title . $myname
wm iconname . $myname

frame .frame
button .text -text $argv -command {exit}
pack .text

(And this also automatically handles standard X things like the -geometry command line argument.)

For all its warts, TCL/TK is pretty much the closest the Unix world has come to a Bourne shell for X programming: something you can use to easily whip up quick little utilities and scripts. And it's pretty good at that job, as you can see.

(And like sh scripts, it can be written by people who are just bashing rocks together; you don't have to choke down a big pile of library documentation just to do something simple. The most time consuming bit of writing this script was finding out how to print out stuff to standard output, so I could see if TK did anything peculiar to $argv or if I could just use is straight.)

programming/TKLike written at 23:36:28; Add Comment

Web site security theatre

'Security theatre' is the term I've seen Bruce Schneier use for pointless things that are done mostly to make it look like you're doing something about security. Websites are especially prone to this disease, because everyone knows that the Internet and the web are insecure and overrun by hackers, right?

Today's shining example is the US Air Force Cheyenne Mountain public website, which seems to be pretty much a PR site (complete with cheesy photos). Despite this un-sensitive usage, Cheyenne Mountain has decided to make it a https based website. Just in case the Air Force doesn't want a hacker in the middle knowing which bits of their PR you browsed, or something.

What elevates this into true security theatre levels is that their SSL certificate expired September 6th, after a three year run (instead of the usual one year).

(And while I'm here, I must throw some brickbats in Firefox's direction for their certificate display; in this day and age, showing dates with unlabeled two-digit years is asking for it. Quick, was this entry written before or after '06/05/07'?)

web/WebsiteSecurityTheatre written at 14:40:24; Add Comment


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