Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sensitive Web.config Settings + GitHub + AppHarbor

So I learned some lessons with having an open source project ( on GitHub that is also being deployed to AppHarbor using the same Git repository.

Number one tip. Do NOT save any sensitive information in any source file that you check into the repository. Even if you make a single commit locally with the sensitive info and then undo it with another commit, do NOT push it to GitHub without removing the history because your history will be sent to GitHub with a normal push. This page on GitHub can help you with that.

Once we make sure our application does not have any sensitive info we need a way for AppHarbor to know our settings. The easy settings to handle are the Application Settings. AppHarbor has a Configuration Variables page where you define Key/Value pairs in your Web.Config you want AppHarbor to replace. For instance for WatchedIt I store my Twitter Key and Secret tokens like this in the Web.Config that is checked into Git and pushed to GitHub.

    <!--Site Settings-->
    <add key="ApplicationName" value="WatchedIt" />
    <add key="Twitter_Consumer_Key" value="YOUR_KEY" />
    <add key="Twitter_Consumer_Secret" value="YOUR_KEY" />

Then I configure AppHarbor to replace Twitter_Consumer_Key and Twitter_Consumer_Secret with the real values and everything just works. This is pretty straight forward and covered by AppHarbor here.

The setting that challenged me though was the connection string. I use Entity Framework Code First running on SQL CE to develop WatchedIt locally. My connection string in the Web.Config I check into Git looks like this:

    <add name="SiteDB" connectionString="Data Source=|DataDirectory|SiteDB.sdf" providerName="System.Data.SqlServerCe.4.0" />

If you use an AppHarbor SQL or MySQL DB, AppHarbor says it will replace your connection string based on the name property. For some reason this didn't work for me and I think it's because it doesn't change the providerName property. So since AppHarbor also supports Web.Config transformations and even has a nice littler tester for them I decided to combine the two features and see what would happen. To my delight it worked! Here is the code I placed in Web.Release.config to make it work:

    <add name="SiteDB" connectionString="" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" xdt:Transform="Replace" />

Now I don't have to worry about accidently pushing my database connection string to GitHub for the world to see and while developing locally Visual Studio will use my SQL CE DB.

This is just another example of why I love AppHarbor! I strongly recommend trying them out if you haven't yet!

....And one more thing. A big thanks to Michael Friis of AppHarbor for changing by DB password after "the incident". These guys rock at customer service!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Get Mime Type From File Extension using C#

I thought this would be built into .NET but I guess it's not. The first way to do this is to use the registry like Kaushik Chakraborti does.

Since you may have security issues with doing that on a shared hosting provider I decided to take the list of Mime Types I found at FeedForAll (which appears to be link bait but oh well) and make a C# Dictionary out of them.

This comes in handy if you want to do something like this in MVC:

public ActionResult Image()
    string filePath = "SOME-FILE.png";
    return base.File(filePath, MimeTypes.GetMimeTypeOrDefault(System.IO.Path.GetExtension(filePath), "binary/octet-stream"));

You can find the latest version of this library on GitHub.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;

/// <summary>
/// Dictionary of Mime Types by File Extension.
/// Created by CDeutsch.
/// License:
/// Original list created from here:
/// </summary>
public static class MimeTypes
    public static Dictionary<string, string> MimeTypeDictionary = new Dictionary<string, string> 
        {".ai", "application/postscript"},
        {".aif", "audio/x-aiff"},
        {".aifc", "audio/x-aiff"},
        {".aiff", "audio/x-aiff"},
        {".asc", "text/plain"},
        {".atom", "application/atom+xml"},
        {".au", "audio/basic"},
        {".avi", "video/x-msvideo"},
        {".bcpio", "application/x-bcpio"},
        {".bin", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".bmp", "image/bmp"},
        {".cdf", "application/x-netcdf"},
        {".cgm", "image/cgm"},
        {".class", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".cpio", "application/x-cpio"},
        {".cpt", "application/mac-compactpro"},
        {".csh", "application/x-csh"},
        {".css", "text/css"},
        {".dcr", "application/x-director"},
        {".dif", "video/x-dv"},
        {".dir", "application/x-director"},
        {".djv", "image/vnd.djvu"},
        {".djvu", "image/vnd.djvu"},
        {".dll", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".dmg", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".dms", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".doc", "application/msword"},
        {".dtd", "application/xml-dtd"},
        {".dv", "video/x-dv"},
        {".dvi", "application/x-dvi"},
        {".dxr", "application/x-director"},
        {".eps", "application/postscript"},
        {".etx", "text/x-setext"},
        {".exe", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".ez", "application/andrew-inset"},
        {".gif", "image/gif"},
        {".gram", "application/srgs"},
        {".grxml", "application/srgs+xml"},
        {".gtar", "application/x-gtar"},
        {".hdf", "application/x-hdf"},
        {".hqx", "application/mac-binhex40"},
        {".htm", "text/html"},
        {".html", "text/html"},
        {".ice", "x-conference/x-cooltalk"},
        {".ico", "image/x-icon"},
        {".ics", "text/calendar"},
        {".ief", "image/ief"},
        {".ifb", "text/calendar"},
        {".iges", "model/iges"},
        {".igs", "model/iges"},
        {".jnlp", "application/x-java-jnlp-file"},
        {".jp2", "image/jp2"},
        {".jpe", "image/jpeg"},
        {".jpeg", "image/jpeg"},
        {".jpg", "image/jpeg"},
        {".js", "application/x-javascript"},
        {".kar", "audio/midi"},
        {".latex", "application/x-latex"},
        {".lha", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".lzh", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".m3u", "audio/x-mpegurl"},
        {".m4a", "audio/mp4a-latm"},
        {".m4b", "audio/mp4a-latm"},
        {".m4p", "audio/mp4a-latm"},
        {".m4u", "video/vnd.mpegurl"},
        {".m4v", "video/x-m4v"},
        {".mac", "image/x-macpaint"},
        {".man", "application/x-troff-man"},
        {".mathml", "application/mathml+xml"},
        {".me", "application/x-troff-me"},
        {".mesh", "model/mesh"},
        {".mid", "audio/midi"},
        {".midi", "audio/midi"},
        {".mif", "application/vnd.mif"},
        {".mov", "video/quicktime"},
        {".movie", "video/x-sgi-movie"},
        {".mp2", "audio/mpeg"},
        {".mp3", "audio/mpeg"},
        {".mp4", "video/mp4"},
        {".mpe", "video/mpeg"},
        {".mpeg", "video/mpeg"},
        {".mpg", "video/mpeg"},
        {".mpga", "audio/mpeg"},
        {".ms", "application/x-troff-ms"},
        {".msh", "model/mesh"},
        {".mxu", "video/vnd.mpegurl"},
        {".nc", "application/x-netcdf"},
        {".oda", "application/oda"},
        {".ogg", "application/ogg"},
        {".pbm", "image/x-portable-bitmap"},
        {".pct", "image/pict"},
        {".pdb", "chemical/x-pdb"},
        {".pdf", "application/pdf"},
        {".pgm", "image/x-portable-graymap"},
        {".pgn", "application/x-chess-pgn"},
        {".pic", "image/pict"},
        {".pict", "image/pict"},
        {".png", "image/png"},
        {".pnm", "image/x-portable-anymap"},
        {".pnt", "image/x-macpaint"},
        {".pntg", "image/x-macpaint"},
        {".ppm", "image/x-portable-pixmap"},
        {".ppt", "application/"},
        {".ps", "application/postscript"},
        {".qt", "video/quicktime"},
        {".qti", "image/x-quicktime"},
        {".qtif", "image/x-quicktime"},
        {".ra", "audio/x-pn-realaudio"},
        {".ram", "audio/x-pn-realaudio"},
        {".ras", "image/x-cmu-raster"},
        {".rdf", "application/rdf+xml"},
        {".rgb", "image/x-rgb"},
        {".rm", "application/vnd.rn-realmedia"},
        {".roff", "application/x-troff"},
        {".rtf", "text/rtf"},
        {".rtx", "text/richtext"},
        {".sgm", "text/sgml"},
        {".sgml", "text/sgml"},
        {".sh", "application/x-sh"},
        {".shar", "application/x-shar"},
        {".silo", "model/mesh"},
        {".sit", "application/x-stuffit"},
        {".skd", "application/x-koan"},
        {".skm", "application/x-koan"},
        {".skp", "application/x-koan"},
        {".skt", "application/x-koan"},
        {".smi", "application/smil"},
        {".smil", "application/smil"},
        {".snd", "audio/basic"},
        {".so", "application/octet-stream"},
        {".spl", "application/x-futuresplash"},
        {".src", "application/x-wais-source"},
        {".sv4cpio", "application/x-sv4cpio"},
        {".sv4crc", "application/x-sv4crc"},
        {".svg", "image/svg+xml"},
        {".swf", "application/x-shockwave-flash"},
        {".t", "application/x-troff"},
        {".tar", "application/x-tar"},
        {".tcl", "application/x-tcl"},
        {".tex", "application/x-tex"},
        {".texi", "application/x-texinfo"},
        {".texinfo", "application/x-texinfo"},
        {".tif", "image/tiff"},
        {".tiff", "image/tiff"},
        {".tr", "application/x-troff"},
        {".tsv", "text/tab-separated-values"},
        {".txt", "text/plain"},
        {".ustar", "application/x-ustar"},
        {".vcd", "application/x-cdlink"},
        {".vrml", "model/vrml"},
        {".vxml", "application/voicexml+xml"},
        {".wav", "audio/x-wav"},
        {".wbmp", "image/vnd.wap.wbmp"},
        {".wbmxl", "application/vnd.wap.wbxml"},
        {".wml", "text/vnd.wap.wml"},
        {".wmlc", "application/vnd.wap.wmlc"},
        {".wmls", "text/vnd.wap.wmlscript"},
        {".wmlsc", "application/vnd.wap.wmlscriptc"},
        {".wrl", "model/vrml"},
        {".xbm", "image/x-xbitmap"},
        {".xht", "application/xhtml+xml"},
        {".xhtml", "application/xhtml+xml"},
        {".xls", "application/"},
        {".xml", "application/xml"},
        {".xpm", "image/x-xpixmap"},
        {".xsl", "application/xml"},
        {".xslt", "application/xslt+xml"},
        {".xul", "application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml"},
        {".xwd", "image/x-xwindowdump"},
        {".xyz", "chemical/x-xyz"},
        {".zip", "application/zip"}

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the Dictionary entry that matches the Extension.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="Extension"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static KeyValuePair<string, string> FindByExtension(string Extension)
        return MimeTypeDictionary.SingleOrDefault(oo => oo.Key.ToLowerInvariant() == Extension.ToLowerInvariant());

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the MimeType that matches the Extension. If no match is found an error is thrown.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="Extension"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static string GetMimeType(string Extension)
        var rslt = FindByExtension(Extension);
        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(rslt.Value))
            return rslt.Value;
            throw new ApplicationException("Unknown Extension.");

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the MimeType that matches the Extension. If no match is found the default value is returned.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="Extension"></param>
    /// <param name="Default"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static string GetMimeTypeOrDefault(string Extension, string Default)
        var rslt = FindByExtension(Extension);
        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(rslt.Value))
            return rslt.Value;
            return Default;

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the Dictionary entry that matches the MimeType.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="MimeType"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    private static KeyValuePair<string, string> FindByMimeType(string MimeType)
        return MimeTypeDictionary.SingleOrDefault(oo => oo.Value.ToLowerInvariant() == MimeType.ToLowerInvariant());

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the Extension that matches the MimeType. If no match is found an error is thrown.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="MimeType"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static string GetExtension(string MimeType)
        var rslt = FindByMimeType(MimeType);
        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(rslt.Key))
            return rslt.Key;
            throw new ApplicationException("Unknown Mime Type.");

    /// <summary>
    /// Returns the Extension that matches the MimeType. If no match is found the default value is returned.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="MimeType"></param>
    /// <param name="Default"></param>
    /// <returns></returns>
    public static string GetExtensionOrDefault(string MimeType, string Default)
        var rslt = FindByMimeType(MimeType);
        if (!string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(rslt.Key))
            return rslt.Key;
            return Default;

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ruby Cheat Sheet for .NET Developers

....or anybody who sucks at OSX/Linux.

I've been learning Ruby on Rails over the last couple of months and when you've been programming on Windows with Visual Studio for as many years as I have it's a major learning curve to switch to programming Ruby on OSX or Linux. So I've created a cheat sheet to help me with all the little details I routinely have to look up.

Ruby on Rails Command Line

Preview Site:
rails server
Preview Site as Production:
rails s -e production
Test DB and be able to rollback changes:
rails console --sandbox
Reset DB:
rake db:reset
Modify DB for real:
rails console
View ActiveRecord Raw SQL:
tail -f log/development.log
Migrate Development DB
rake db:migrate (DEV)
Migrate Test DB
rake db:test:prepare
Migrate Production DB
rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production
Create a New DB Migration:
rails generate migration [MIGRATION NAME] 
rails generate migration add_email_uniqueness_index
View Routes:
rake routes
Start Autotest:

Output debug info in Model:
logger.debug @user.attributes.inspect
Add Debug info to Layout:
<%= debug(params) if Rails.env.development? %>
users_path             /users
user_path(@user)       /users/1
new_user_path          /users/new
edit_user_path(@user)  /users/1/edit
users_url              http://localhost:3000/users
user_url(@user)        http://localhost:3000/users/1
new_user_url           http://localhost:3000/users/new
edit_user_url(@user)   http://localhost:3000/users/1/edit

GET      /photos           index     display a list of all photos
GET      /photos/new       new       return an HTML form for creating a new photo
POST     /photos           create    create a new photo
GET      /photos/:id       show      display a specific photo
GET      /photos/:id/edit  edit      return an HTML form for editing a photo
PUT      /photos/:id       update    update a specific photo
DELETE   /photos/:id       destroy   delete a specific photo

Assign if variable is undefined:
@current_user ||= user_from_remember_token
Variable Scope:
$            A global variable
@            An instance variable
[a-z] or _   A local variable
[A-Z]        A constant
@@           A class variable 

Upgrade to the latest version of rvm
rvm update --head
Install a version of Ruby
rvm install 1.9.2
Working with gemsets
rvm info                        # show the current environment
rvm 1.8.7                       # use the ruby to manage gemsets for
rvm gemset create project_name  # create a gemset
rvm gemset use project_name     # use a gemset in this ruby
rvm gemset list                 # list gemsets in this ruby
rvm gemset delete project_name  # delete a gemset
rvm 1.9.1@other_project_name    # use another ruby and gemset
Default for Project:
echo "rvm 1.9.1@MyProject" > ~/projects/MyProject/.rvmrc

Add gem to Gemfile
bundle install
bundle update
or (for self contained)
bundle pack

Extract tar.gz:
tar -zxvf yourfile.tar.gz
Find a file:
find . -name "controller.rb"
Delete Folder:
rm -rf
Add JPG File Extension to Multiple files:
for f in *; do mv "$f" "$f.jpg"; done

Remove file from repo:
git rm --cached


git clone git://
git push origin master

Enable Git Flow
git flow init
Start a Feature
git flow feature start myfeature
Finish a Feature
git flow feature finish myfeature

Create App:
heroku create
git push heroku master
Migrate DB:
heroku rake db:migrate
View Logs:
heroku console'log/production.log', 'r').each_line { |line| puts line }

Compile CSS:
compass compile
Watch project for changes and compile whenever it does:
compass watch

New site:
staticmatic setup my_site
staticmatic preview my_site
staticmatic build my_site


Screen Capture:

Full Screen:
Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3 and release all
Portion of your screen:
Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 and release all key
Application window:
Hold down Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 and release all key
Now, You will see the mouse cursor will change to +
Press the space bar once

This list is far from comprehensive, but it's pretty much everything I've had to google at least once to figure out and I plan to keep adding to it as I progress.

If you have some nuggets to share add them to the comments.

If lots of people want to contribute we should probably move this to a different format (Wiki, Markdown?) but until then I'll keep maintaining it here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Make reCAPTCHA Smaller

I don't recommend this solution BUT if it's your only option he's how to make reCAPTCHA smaller.

First you'll need to use a custom theme. Add the following before the form element:

<script type="text/javascript">
var RecaptchaOptions = {
    theme : 'custom',
    custom_theme_widget: 'recaptcha_widget'

Next add the HTML for the custom widget where you want it to show up inside the form.

<div id="recaptcha_widget" style="display:none">

   <div id="recaptcha_image"></div>
   <div class="recaptcha_only_if_incorrect_sol" style="color:red">Incorrect please try again</div>

   <span class="recaptcha_only_if_image">Enter the words above:</span>
   <span class="recaptcha_only_if_audio">Enter the numbers you hear:</span>

   <input type="text" id="recaptcha_response_field" name="recaptcha_response_field" />

   <div><a href="javascript:Recaptcha.reload()">Get another CAPTCHA</a></div>
   <div class="recaptcha_only_if_image"><a href="javascript:Recaptcha.switch_type('audio')">Get an audio CAPTCHA</a></div>
   <div class="recaptcha_only_if_audio"><a href="javascript:Recaptcha.switch_type('image')">Get an image CAPTCHA</a></div>

   <div><a href="javascript:Recaptcha.showhelp()">Help</a></div>


 <script type="text/javascript"
   <iframe src=""
        height="300" width="500" frameborder="0"></iframe><br>
   <textarea name="recaptcha_challenge_field" rows="3" cols="40">
   <input type="hidden" name="recaptcha_response_field"

This is standard code from the reCAPTCHA documentation up to this point. The trick I used to make the img and div tags smaller is to set the width in CSS with the !important flag. Add this CSS to your page.

    #recaptcha_image img 
        width: 200px !important;
        cursor: pointer;
    #recaptcha_image img:hover
        position: absolute;
        width: 300px !important;
        display: block;

This will make the reCAPTCHA fit in a space a little over 200px wide. I've added an img:hover style to make the image full size when the mouse rolls over it. The :hover style doesn't work on older browsers though so the next step would be to use jQuery to make the image bigger on hover or click. I'll leave that up to you to figure out. ;)