Pitfalls in Using a Standard “Global” C++ Function: Its C Counterpart May Be Camouflaging

A large number of C++ functions in the standard library are extended from standard C functions, such as qsort(), memcpy(), etc. Among these functions, many have overloaded their C counterparts. For example, abs() in C++ is overloaded for both integral and floating-point types, while it is only defined for int in C. These functions, however, are often unwittingly misused as global functions and produce unexpected results.

Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Automated Machine Learning

Machine Learning is nothing but one of the subdomains of science that deals with computers or applications that are not explicitly coded to perform the task. The combination of machine learning, cognitive technology, and AI will make a lot more smooth the processing of big chunks of data and information.

Machine Learning is an application of AI (Artificial Intelligence) which ables the machines or software to adapt, learn from itself, provided the data is resourceful and sensible. Simply saying the efforts are implying to develop expert systems.

Mainly we have three categories of machine learning: Supervised Learning, unsupervised learrning, reinforcement Learning.

Since it delivers at a faster rate with better and more accurate results, machine learning is brought into practice. The engineers work day and night to predict, classify, cluster the data. The player Machine Learning is sent on the pitch of data, and Big Data to handle the problems.

Continue reading

Automatically Conceal Sender’s IP Address in Email Clients via SSH Tunneling

Last updated on November 22, 2018

Desktop email clients, such as Thunderbird and Claws Mail, are preferred over their web counterparts by many professionals and power users due to their additional convenience and security. However, one big downside is that they often expose the sender’s IP address to the receivers, since many SMTP servers record the sender’s IP address and put it in the header, something similar to Received: from [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx] (my.example.com. [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]). This, unfortunately, puts the sender’s privacy in great jeopardy, as an IP address can reveal so much information including location, ISP, and institution names.

To address this issue, one simple solution is to let the email client connect via a proxy. While a system-widely available proxy works for many users, some of us just want our email clients, but not other programs, to go through a specific proxy. In this post, I’ll demonstrate how to use an email client automatically via SSH tunneling. The instructions are specifically tailored for GNU/Linux and MacOS users, as it involves some uses of UNIX commands and bash scripts; if you are on Windows, you can still follow the instructions with the help of Cygwin.

Continue reading

Nikola: How to Deploy Compiled Webpages to a Different Git Repository

Last updated on November 18, 2018

Nikola is one of the most popular static website generators. It compiles source files into final publishable webpages offline and then uploads those files to a web host. Compared to dynamic websites such as those powered by PHP or Ruby on Rails, static websites offer better security and faster page loading.

Nikola provides some utilities to ease the deployment procedure (i.e., uploading compiled webpages), especially for deploying as GitHub pages. Unfortunately, Nikola does not (and its team does not plan to) provide a direct way to deploy the compiled webpages to a git repository that is different from the one that hosts the source files. This is often useful when you want to hide the source files in a private git repository and leave the git repository that hosts the compiled webpages public. Luckily, Nikola provides customizable deploying commands. Assuming output is the directory where the compiled webpages are located, change the value of DEPLOY_COMMANDS using the following in conf.py (replace me@example.com with your email address, https://xuhdev@github.com/xuhdev/xuhdev.github.io.git with your designated git repository on GitHub/GitLab/BitBucket/etc., and master with your designated branch):

DEPLOY_COMMANDS = {
    'default': [
        "cd output && git init && git config user.email me@example.com && touch .nojekyll && git add .",
        "cd output && git commit -a -m 'Nikola'",
        "cd output && git push -f https://xuhdev@github.com/xuhdev/xuhdev.github.io.git master",
    ]
}

Now running nikola deploy should deploy the compiled webpages to your designated git repository and branch.

Technology is not Everything: Non-Technical Aspects to Consider for Open Source Projects

Last updated on November 21, 2018

Open source software, also known as free and open source software (FOSS), free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS), and free software, has become more and more popular these days. When starting a new open source software project, we developers tend to think mostly on the technical side of this project, e.g., what programming languages and frameworks to use, how to design the architecture of the software, what platforms to target at, etc. We not only think, we actually think about these really carefully: We look around for advice, struggle in our mind, and, sometimes, even after years, we still argue that we should rewrite the software in a different programming language. On the other hand, we often take the non-technical side too light without much thinking: We use a specific source code hosting service simply because everyone else uses it, we use a specific license simply because this is the only license that we are able to read through once and (vaguely) understand, etc. These decisions, however, will heavily affect the style, the advancement´╝îor even the survival of our open source software projects.

This post aims at draw developers’ attention to non-technical aspects of open source software projects. We will have a brief overview of some non-technical aspects that can be important in open source software projects (while more aspects and details can be further discussed in the future).

Continue reading