(As read on full-disclosure )

Subject: Notice to all employees
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 13:06:14 -0500

Dear employees,

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown
of the economy, Management has decided to implement a scheme
to put workers of 40 years of age and above on early retirement.

This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to management to be eligible
for the SHAFT scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination).
Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the
SCREW programme (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers). A person
may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as
Management deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED can only get AIDS (Additional Income
for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired
Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously, persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or
SCREWED any further by Management.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much
SHIT (Special High-Intensity Training) as possible. Management
has always prided itself on the amount of SHIT it gives employees.

The Management

(I hope you enjoyed this :D There is also an USAF version from 1997).

On VisitaCSA we’re using defunkt ’s facebox to show places images at large. Facebox is a great general-purpose lightbox, because it is fast, stable, is based on jQuery and has got a really clean API.

But we needed more than a simple display lightbox, because we wanted our users to navigate easily between all images, possibly without modifying facebox at all. The solution turned out to be pretty simple, thanks also to the will_paginate plugin we were already using. It all burns out to have:

  • A Photo model, instrumented with the has_attachment method
  • Resource routes for photos (map.resources :photos, :only => :show in config/routes.rb)
  • A show controller method in the PhotosController that calls .paginate with a :per_page argument of 1
  • An HTML view for the photo resource, that has pagination controls using the will_paginate helper
  • Some jQuery code hooks onto the pagination links and make the browser load via AJAX the next photo directly into the facebox.

Here is the relevant code, simplified from what’s actually online, because the photo model is actually polymorphic (using STI) and many different collections are handled by the photos controller (photos, flyers, etc) for different models, with different thumbnails :P.

Model [app/models/photo.rb]

class Photo < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_attachment :storage => :file_system, :path_prefix => 'public/photos',
    :processor => 'ImageScience', :thumbs => { :thumb => '600x800' }

Controller [app/controllers/photos_controller.rb]

class PhotosController < ApplicationController
  layout nil
  before_filter :find_place

  # The photo gallery core is here
  def show
    photo = Photo.find(params[:id])
    page = params[:page] || @place.photos.index(photo) + 1
    @photos = @place.photos.paginate(:per_page => 1, :page => page)
    @photo = @photos.first

  def find_place
    @place = Place.find(params[:place_id])

View [app/views/photos/show.html.erb]

<div class="photo">
  <div style="width: <%= photo_width(@photo) %>px; text-align: center;">
    <%= next_photo_link_for @photo, :in => @photos %>
  <p><%=h @photo.title %></p>
    <%= will_paginate @photos, :prev_label => '&nbsp;', :next_label => '&nbsp;' %>

The image_size gem is needed to correctly let facebox align itself to the center of the window.

Helpers [app/helpers/photos_helper.rb and app/helpers/application_helper.rb]

require 'image_size'

module PhotosHelper
  def next_photo_link_for(photo, options = {})
    collection = options.delete(:in)

    if collection && collection.respond_to?(:next_page)
      facebox_image_link_to photo, options.merge(:page => collection.next_page || 1)
      image_tag photo.public_filename(:thumb, :alt => h(photo.title), :title => h(photo.title)

  def photo_width(photo, thumb = nil)
    width = ImageSize.new(File.read(photo.full_filename(thumb))).width rescue nil
    return (width.nil? || width < 370) ? 370 : width

module ApplicationHelper
  def facebox_image_link_to(photo, thumb = nil, options = {})                                           
    link_options = {:page => options.delete(:page)}
    options.reverse_update(:title => h(photo.title), :alt => h(photo.title))                            

      image_tag(photo.public_filename(:thumb), options),
      formatted_photo_path(photo, 'html', link_options),
      :rel => 'facebox'                                                                                 

The scrollTo plugin is used here to scroll the window view to the top of the facebox.

Javascript [public/javascripts/application.js]

$(document).ready(function() {

  if ($('#facebox').length > 0) {
    $('#facebox div.pagination a, #facebox a[rel*=facebox]').live('click', function() {

      $('#facebox .content').html('<div class="loading"><img src="'+$.facebox.settings.loadingImage+'"/></div>');
      $.get(this.href, null, function(data) { $.facebox.reveal(data); });

      $.scrollTo('#facebox', {offset: -10, duration: 500});

      return false;


Well, maybe I should to wrap up all this stuff in a simple-and-nice-to-use plugin, but it’s all built around reusable components, and the effort needed to keep it up-to-date is currently out of order for me because of time constraints. And, sincerely, I see little benefit in it. It’s a “paginate-with-one-item-per-page” hack, after all :).

Have fun!

This is the obfuscated piece of Javascript code that implements the red border and loads Google Analytics on the Segmentation Fault site :

var theLoadSequenceToRunAfterTheDocumentHasBeenLoaded = function() {

  // The blinking border
  (function(t){// (C) 2009 vjt <segmentation-fault@core-dumped.info>
    var $=function(_){return(document.getElementById(_));};var ee =[
    (var i=ee.length;i&&(e=ee[--i]) ;_) {e.className=e.className?'':
    'b';}},t*08); /* .oOo.oOo.oOo. ^^^^^ -*** * *** *** *******- **/
  })((4 + 8 + 15 + 16 + 23 + 42) * Math.PI / Math.E + 42/*166.81*/);

  // Google analytics
  try{var pt=_gat._getTracker("UA-1123581-3"); pt._trackPageview();}

}// end of theLoadSequenceToRunAfterTheDocumentHasBeenLoaded routine

To me, it looks like a contrived melody, or complicated poetry. It’s evil engineering, I know. But when I was writing it, I felt exactly the same I did while writing verses with rhymes. _why ’s words are absolutely pertinent here:

until programmers stop acting like obfuscation is morally hazardous, they’re not artists, just kids who don’t want their food to touch.”.

You can view the code with syntax hilighting on github , or with the “View source” function of your browser while you’re on the segfault site . :)

I currently maintain the italian mirror of the Open Source Initiative web site, and today I realized that the script I wrote some months ago wasn’t doing its job well.. because the CSS files weren’t downloaded at all, causing a rather unpleasant rendering of the site.

To mirror opensource org I’m currently using the plain’ol GNU Wget -r –mirror and so on. While the good’ol wget downloads each page prerequisite defined in the HTML source, it doesn’t support @import CSS rules, and doesn’t download images referenced in CSS with url() rules.

BTW, nothing that can’t be resolved with some regex-fu: that’s why I’m sharing the script I’m currently using to mirror the opensource.org web site, hoping it will generate either a new mirror or some insights on how to do this job better :).

The script: update_opensource_mirror.sh

Enjoy! :)

releases$ du -sch *
7.6M    20081209132347
7.0M    20081209133350
7.6M    20081209144343
7.1M    20081209145133
7.1M    20081209151843
7.1M    20081209163013
7.1M    20081209175506
7.1M    20081209183553
7.1M    20081211122939
8.6M    20081212190026
8.3M    20081212201852
8.3M    20081212203943
8.3M    20081212205430
8.3M    20081213014847
8.3M    20081213020357
8.4M    20081213163428
8.4M    20081213173633
8.4M    20081213184749
8.5M    20081214171239
8.5M    20081214174058
8.5M    20081215122638
8.5M    20081215152408
8.5M    20081215171627
8.5M    20081215200430
8.5M    20081215205042
8.5M    20081215235659
8.5M    20081216000247
8.5M    20081216164820
8.6M    20081216200524
8.6M    20081216203210
8.6M    20081216210540
8.6M    20081217193227
8.6M    20081218174354
8.6M    20081218191803
8.6M    20081219152005
8.6M    20081219152907
8.6M    20081219155519
9.0M    20081219193433
8.6M    20081221173121
8.6M    20081221174616
19M    20081222035552
17M    20081222040347
17M    20081222055349
11M    20081222055633
14M    20081222055923
16M    20081222142851
11M    20081228152551
60M    20081228163752
11M    20090105191748
11M    20090106064448
11M    20090106184425
11M    20090106185528
11M    20090106204053
11M    20090106230526
14M    20090107001206
11M    20090107175246
11M    20090107175846
11M    20090107193832
11M    20090107194313
11M    20090107204045
11M    20090107204438
12M    20090109164048
11M    20090109185118
11M    20090112031351
11M    20090113104259
12M    20090113152213
12M    20090113171628
12M    20090113194223
12M    20090113194415
20M    20090113201919
12M    20090114180311
12M    20090114185735
12M    20090115071510
12M    20090115102500
12M    20090115131810
12M    20090115155944
12M    20090115183612
12M    20090116121148
12M    20090116125514
12M    20090116131343
12M    20090116170318
12M    20090116171428
24M    20090116173349
16M    20090118204113
14M    20090120151836
12M    20090122150700
12M    20090122155359
18M    20090122160455
78M    20090125055603
48M    20090126114022
14M    20090126143048
12M    20090126160105
12M    20090126160400
12M    20090126165339
22M    20090126170159
12M    20090126193506
12M    20090126194637
12M    20090126194859
12M    20090127142057
14M    20090127155906
52M    20090127180739
13M    20090129144356
12M    20090201141300
12M    20090201151016
13M    20090202114805
12M    20090203113750

Fascinating, nonetheless.