Introduction to C++ CGI

In this post and its follow ups I intend to cover the basics of CGI programming in C++. There are great performance gain in writing CGIs in C++ compared to interpreted languages such as PHP and it’s usually it’s even faster than PHP scripts which are interpreted via mod_php. On the other hand PHP and other traditional web development languages are well suited for the task, by means of libraries and development time. However developing small highly efficient CGI scripts in C++ is easier than you think.
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Convert KDevelop’s Source Archive to Source Package

I use KDevelop as my main IDE and I’m pretty satisfied. KDevelop can create a source archive of the project’s source code automatically for you which simplifies the distribution of the project. Unfortunately the archive created isn’t ready for distribution. The user can’t just run ./configure ; make as he needs to run all the automake tools before. Not ideal for distributing. So you need to convert this source archive to a source package which is ready for the user to compile immediately

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Tracking MediaWiki External Links Statistics using Google Analytics

When you track MediaWiki statistics, you usually track only internal page statistics, but tracking external links which leads out of your site is not some thing you can ignore. Unfortunately we probably can’t put actual tracking code in the pages linked to by our site’s external links. Fortunately we can track the actual clicks on those links that lead out of the site, and it’s quite easy to do when tracking statistics with Google Analytics. If you don’t already use Google Analytics with your MediaWiki site, open a new account in Google Analytics and see my previous post: Track MediaWiki Statistics using Google Analytics.

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Track MediaWiki Statistics using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the best free web-statistics services available. It’s also quite easy to use with MediaWiki. To install Google Analytics in you MediaWiki you should put the tracking code, which is something that looks like:

<script src="" type="text/javascript">
<script type="text/javascript">

in every page, preferably just above the </body> tag. The best way to do so will be to put the tracking code inside the base skin php file. That means that unless you changed the default skin for MediaWiki you need to edit /wiki/skins/MonoBook.php. In this file you will find the </body> tag towards the bottom of the file. Insert the tracking code just above it, save the file, and you’re done, as all pages will now show the script. Google Analytics will start gathering statistics usually in about 24-28 hours.

Update: If you also want to track external links to files and other websites take a look at Tracking Mediawiki External Links Statistics Using Google Analytics.

Installing IvriTex-1.2.1 on teTex-3.0

Few days ago I finally decided to install Ivritex-1.2.1 on my system. I’m running a tetex-3.0. The new version of Ivritex includes some very important improvements and, at least for me, the most important thing is support for the Culmus fonts. tetex-3.0 introduced a major directory change which cause many problem with installing packages which are unaware of the changes. In this post I will try to walk through the installation process.

TEXMF will be the directory of you local TeX tree (usually /usr/share/texmf). Before Begining the installation process make sure you have the Culmus fonts installed. Apparently Culmus is not optional it’s a requirement. I’ll assume that your Culmus fonts are installed in /usr/share/fonts/culmus.

  1. Download the ivritex-1.2.1 source-code from here .
  2. Extract the archive into a temporary directory.
  3. Save the diff file below a file named “Makefile_patch” and save it inside ivritex-1.2.1/fonts/culmus .
  4. Apply the patch by going to the ivritex-1.2.1/fonts/culmus directory (under the directory where you extracted the source archive) and executing “patch Makefile_patch. The patch will alter the places where some file will be installed.
  5. As root execute “updmap –enable Map”.
  6. Still as root execute “mktexlsr”.
  7. Ivritex 1.2.1 should be installed now.
--- Makefile    2007-02-14 19:59:52.000000000 +0200
+++ Makefilenew 2007-02-16 10:11:07.000000000 +0200
@@ -20,8 +20,8 @@
 vf_target     = $(TEX_ROOT)/fonts/vf/culmus
 # this is where ivritex will eventually be:
 tex_target    = $(TEX_ROOT)/tex/generic/babel
-encode_dir    = $(TEX_ROOT)/dvips/base
-dvips_cfg_dir = $(TEX_ROOT)/dvips/config
+encode_dir    = $(TEX_ROOT)/fonts/enc/dvips/base
+map_dir       = $(TEX_ROOT)/fonts/map/
 sysconf       = $(DESTDIR)/etc
 updmap_dir    = $(sysconf)/texmf/updmap
 #culmus_target = $(PREFIX)/fonts/culmus
@@ -137,11 +137,11 @@
    mkdir -p $(sysconf)/texmf/updmap.d
    echo &quot;Map; &gt;$(sysconf)/texmf/updmap.d/10culmus.cfg
-   mkdir -p $(dvips_cfg_dir)
-   cp $(dvips_cfg_dir)/
+   mkdir -p $(map_dir)
+   cp $(map_dir)/
   ifeq ($(tetex_ver),2)
    # this should run mktexlsr as well
-   $(updmap) --enable Map $(dvips_cfg_dir)/
+   $(updmap) --enable Map $(map_dir)/
   else # for tetex-1
     ifeq ($(tetex_ver),1)
    # TODO: fill in sed line here

Samba and Firewall Configuration

I’ve been using Guarddog as a GUI for iptables for some time. I’ve configured it to allow to connect to samba network shares but for some reason it won’t allowed me connect to the shares without the disabling the firewall first. The blockage happened despite the proper configuration in Guarddog. So today I decided to look again at the problem and fix it.

After inspecting the output of ‘dmesg’ I found out that it tries to connect to (192.168.2.* is my network), which is the broadcast address for the network. I tried enabling connection to the address and to my surprise this fixed the problem. I guess samba for some reason requires access for the broadcast for some name/address lookup of hosts in the network.

Prevent Line Breaking Inline Formula in Tex/Latex

If you ever wrote a document in latex (or tex) that used inline formulas you know how frustrating it is when latex insists on breaking you inline formula across two lines. The easiest solution to this problem, in my opinion is to prevent line breaking inline formulas at all except under extreme cases. To prevent line breaking inline formulas just add the following two lines into your preamble:


Now I will explain what we did. \relpenalty=[number parameter] the parameter specifies the penalty for breaking a math formula after a relation when the formula appears in a paragraph. Plain TEX sets \relpenalty to 500. \binoppenalty=[number parameter] the parameter specifies the penalty for breaking a math formula after a binary operator when the formula appears in a paragraph. Plain TEX sets \binoppenalty to 700. Both parameters can be set anywhere from 0 to 10000. If set to 10000 the inline formulas will never break even in extreme cases. Setting it a bit lower would prevent line breaking except where tex would encounter extreme cases which must have a line break because of the situation.

Using Hebrew TrueType fonts with pdfTeX

This guide is base on a guide published by Dekel Tsur that can be found here. Dekel Tsur’s guide was very good but now it is outdated since it doesn’t work with teTex 3.0. In this guide I addressed this issue and updated the instructions and scripts so it will work with teTex 3.0.Since the quality of the Hebrew metafonts that comes with the Hebrew LaTeX is quite poor, alternative fonts are needed. The best quality free Hebrew fonts are TrueType fonts (for example, the times new/arial/courier new fonts). Using TrueType fonts with TeX is somewhat complicated, but it is quite easy with pdfTeX, as pdfTeX has native support for TrueType fonts. This document explains how to use TrueType fonts with pdfTeX. Since Hebrew requires the use of the eTeX engine, you need to have the pdfelatex program. It is available in teTeX 1.0 (which comes with recent Linux distributions). The instruction below allows using nikud, although the result is quite poor as the nikud glyphs are not aligned correctly (but it is better than nothing).

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