Polish translation for Ambrosia wordpress theme.

Ambrosia theme is the one you are looking at right now. I’m really happy with it and just today there was an 1.3.4 update with a couple of additional languages so I wanted to contribute.
You can get this theme from here or by searching the wordpress repository.

I have created the polish translation for this theme. You can download the language files from here: Ambrosia theme polish language files.

Simply install the Ambrosia theme and upload pl_PL.mo and pl_PL.po files to wp-content/themes/ambrosia/lang directory on your server.

WordPress GeSHi plugin optimization and modification.

Download link at the bottom.

Yesterdays research has pointed me one important issue – the WP-syntax plugin was taking way too long to process the homepage. And it wasn’t only the WP-Syntax but also other syntax-highlighting plugins including WP-GeSHi-highlight and Better WordPress Syntax Highlighter.
From few tested I found that WP-GeSHi-Highlight has the best performance but still – it wasn’t so great.
I was thinking – is there any way to speed up this plugin (or at least minimize the “damage”)?

The plugin itself is very well commented and is very simple, this is the simplified flow of the script:

  1. Plugin init
  2. Loop through posts to display and parse full text looking for <pre lang=”> tag
  3. If found – mark the place with unique identifier
  4. Replace every unique identifier with the GeSHi output

What if one of the posts doesn’t contain <pre lang=”> tag? The plugin still has to parse whole text to look for it. This doesn’t sound good if you want to highlight code only in a fraction of your posts.

Before I did anything else I wanted to run a couple of tests:

WP-GeSHi-Highlight disabled, didn’t parse anything – only initialization.

WP-GeSHi-Highlight enabled, parsed 3 posts.

WP-GeSHi-Highlight enabled, parsed all 10 posts.

After done with the profiling I decided it is worth to modify the plugin.
The new feature works in a very simple way, go to your dashboard and under Settings->WP-GeSHi-Highlight you can set the tag with which posts will be parsed.

The last thing you need to do is to tag all the posts with the code snippets and the plugin will do all the rest for you.

Keep your load times low and your wordpress will love you forever!

You can download the modified plugin here.

WordPress security with PHPIDS – plugin benchmark.

PHPIDS logoPHPIDS (PHP-Intrusion Detection System) is a simple to use, well structured, fast and state-of-the-art security layer for your PHP based web application. The IDS neither strips, sanitizes nor filters any malicious input, it simply recognizes when an attacker tries to break your site and reacts in exactly the way you want it to.

Security of your blog is very important and to keep your blog safe you must be very careful when installing new plugins. Even when you take all precautions you can never be sure that the plugin you have just installed is secure.
If you are worried about security there is a hope – Mute Screamer plugin. It’s very simple to use. Just install it and set few simple options to suit your needs and you’re done. From now on PHPIDS system will make sure that any input from your visitors will be stripped of any malicious code like SQL Injection or XSS attack.

Sounds good but you may ask – will it slow down my blog?
Well, it’s time to try it!

This is my test setup:

  • WordPress 3.3.2
  • P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) – to profile wordpress installation
  • Akismet
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Better WordPress reCAPTCHA
  • Piwik Analytics
  • WP-Syntax
  • WP Super Cache
  • Mute Screamer

There were 5 main scenarios:

  1. No plugins – all plugins disabled
  2. IDS only idle – only Mute Screamer enabled at normal operation
  3. IDS only attack – only Mute Screamer enabled with attack detected
  4. All plugins – no cache – all plugins except cache enabled
  5. All plugins – with cache – all plugins including cache enabled

Each scenario was run 20 times on different parts of the blog each time.

Detailed results can be found in the following table:
[table id=1 /]
Nothing spectacular, right?
The following graph represents loading time of each wordpress segment in each scenario:

PHPIDS (via Mute Screamer plugin) doesn’t introduce any major weight to your blog as opposed to what you would think.
This breakdown proves the point, Mute Screamer is only a fraction of code needed to display the blog, the core still takes about 70% of resources:

Let’s look at the memory usage and execution of the plugins:

This also proves that the additional security layer will not slow your blog more that any other ordinary plugin (please note that left axis is in logarithmic scale) and even under attack conditions the script doesn’t introduce any significant stress on the system (this can be very important if you want to hide the fact you are using IDS).

Before running those benchmarks I’ve been very skeptical about this plugin but now I’m pretty sure the profit from the increased security costs me only a fraction of what I thought it would.

(During the tests and writing this post the PHPIDS has blocked 6 XSS attacks from the automated bots from all around the world)

Gnome terminal embedded into desktop.

This is the last part of the Ubuntu desktop customizing, in this post I will cover embedding gnome terminal into your desktop and the simple autostart script for all of those features.

Before we start: Make sure you have CCSM (if you have not had one you can get it with sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager).

First important thing is to set up a new gnome terminal profile. To do so start terminal and select Edit->Profiles menu item. In the profile selection window select New and set a few key options:

(this screenshot can be your guide)

You must choose an unique name for your terminal window – I have chosen gnome_terminal and make sure to select option to keep the title unmodified. Second option to change is to remove the scroll bar completely – you will still be able to scroll the window with PgUp/PgDown keys.
After saving changes and selecting this profile for the current terminal leave it open and see, if everything is ok.

Now it’s time for some compiz fun!
Start CCSM and go to Window decoration setting and in the decoration_match input insert the following value:


Now go to Place windows and input the following settings as in the following screenshot:

The last rule to configure is in the Window rules tab. Similarily to the first option you ahve to fill it with the following value:


Note lack of ! sign

After all of this poking around close CCSM and take a look at your gnome terminal you set up at the beginning – from now on it should be sticking to the background with no window decoration at all!

Finally you have to correct the terminal position and start everything at system startup. For this task I wrote very short script:

sleep 5
conky -c ~/conky/right
conky -c ~/conky/left
gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=desktop_terminal --geometry=110x40+95+20

Probably you will have to correct geometry parameter few times (took me quite a long time) before it will work for you. Save the script in your home directory and run at startup!

If you did everything as I wrote for you, you will get a nice desktop in no time. Now include own window selector (my preference is cairo dock) and you’re done.

Last note about why I have chosen Compiz and not Devil’s Pie for this task – the Devil’s Pie have some problems with disappearing terminal when you hit “show desktop” button, after trial end error I have forgot about it and made everything with compiz in much less time.
If you have any problem or want to point me out that I have forgotten about anything – let me know in the comments!

Conky setup with custom gauges, twitter and wlan status.

This is a follow-up of previous posts about conky and a summary.
Full source of the conky setup can be downloaded from here.

The full twitter script can be found in the previous post and along other important files in the archive.

The directory structure I am using is the following:

     |- left
     |- right
     |- /scripts
         |- twit.py
         |- conky_lunatico.lua

It’s a simple structure using two conky instances for both sides of the screen with separate configuration files.
The most important bits of the left part are the following:

maximum_width 270
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorate,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager,below
border_inner_margin 0
border_outer_margin 0
alignment top_left
//to set up the window properly and
${color1}${execi 60 python ~/conky/scripts/twit.py | fold -w45}

to include the twitter script.

Configuration of the right side has the following key items:

minimum_size 180 500
maximum_width 180
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorate,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager,below
border_inner_margin 0
border_outer_margin 0
alignment tr
//as previously - setting up the window on the top-right side of the screen and
lua_load ~/conky/scripts/conky_lunatico.lua
lua_draw_hook_post main

To display the nice looking graphs.

And that’s pretty much of it!
For the graph position you will have to edit conky_lunatico.lua script to change values or change the data you are trying to display (I’m showing 7 separate graphs for each value, probably you will want to remove second WLAN graph from the script and config or change the name of your wireless adapter, it’s up to you.

To see it in action simply run conky -c ~/conky/right && conky -c ~/conky/left. For the how-to run this no your system startup and the last post of the overall desktop setup please take a look at the next post explaining Compiz and terminal setup.