Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

Open Source Service Updates: Google Code’s New Project Page

January 13th, 2011
Github or Google Code Source Code Repository Project Badge

My Open Source Service is fixed. The problem being that Google Code’s profile page changed and the project list wasn’t being populated – man, I wish Google Code had an API. Anyhow; I added more tests, reduced some technical debt, cleaned up my page sniffer / scraper and things are working again. The Open Source Service is consumed by my Project Badge (image on the right). Check out the source code updates.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Services, Open Source, RESTful, Services, WCF, XML Tags:

Whois Service Updates: ARIN’s New RESTful API

December 7th, 2010

My Whois Service is fixed. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) released a fantastic new RESTful API which meant my old text parsing code (dependent on their old service) was broken for a couple weeks. Check out the new ARIN RESTful API and my service source code updates.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Services, Open Source, RESTful, Services, WCF, XML Tags:

The Same Origin Policy: JSONP vs The document.domain Property

March 18th, 2010

The Same Origin Policy ensures that the client-side code (JavaScript) running on a website originated from that website. This prevents website from accessing resources (via client-side code) on website or website from executing resources from - note that the sub-domains differ, one being, the other being

In most cases The Same Origin Policy is desirable. It helps to prevent malicious code that could potentially reveal sensitive information from being run on arbitrary website. However, the same origin policy also makes it difficult to share resources within a common root domain, or run external widgets on your site (like displaying The Project Badge within your site). There are a couple ways to circumvent The Same Origin Policy, but I focus on JSONP and the document.domain property in this post.

Ways to circumvent the Same Origin Policy

  1. JSONP
  2. Modifying the document.domain property
  3. Creating a server side web proxy

JSONP (JSON with padding)

How it works: JSONP dynamically creates a script element in the head of your HTML document which then requests data from outside your domain. JSONP exploits a loophole in the Same Origin Policy that allows JavaScript from an external sites to be run within your site (much like how web analytic tracking works). The JSON response, when returned, is executed within your browser at which time the JavaScript can manipulate your HTML page / DOM.

An Example Using JSONP with jQuery:

  1. (function(){
  2.   $.getJSON('', function(data) {
  3.     alert(data);
  4.   });
  5. })();

Note the callback=? at the end of the URI, in jQuery this indicates a JSONP call.


  • Lets us make external calls to any endpoint that supports JSONP
  • Lets us make external calls from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Supported by all major browsers


  • A bit more complex upfront, but most server side technologies support JSONP, browsers are natively supporting JSON, and JavaScript libraries like jQuery continue to abstract away most of the complexity.

The document.domain property

How it works: the document.domain property contains the domain of the server from which the page was loaded. For example, the domain for would be whereas the domain for would be The Same Origin Policy restricts resource access from to unless we set the document.domain property to the root domain (in this case I'd want it set to to share resources with

An Example using the document.domain property:

  1. (function(){
  2.   document.domain = '';
  3.   $.get('', function(data) {
  4.     alert(data);
  5.   });
  6. })();


  • An easy way to access resources within our root domains
  • Supported by all major browsers


  • Prevents us from making external calls outside a root domain
  • Prevents us from switching between HTTP and HTTPS
  • Kind of a hack - technically, the document.domain property is supposed to be a read only property, but most browsers also provide set access

JSONP vs document.domain isn't a cut and dry comparison. JSONP lets anyone consume and share data, whereas overriding the document.domain lets you share resources within a common root domain. In simple cases where your only concern is sharing data within a single domain (exclusively on HTTP or exclusively on HTTPS), then overriding the domain works well, but in cases where you want to share or consume external data that may be passed over HTTP or HTTPS you'd probably want to stick with JSONP.

The Project Badge makes use of JSONP so it can work on your website. Most of my publicly available web services also make use of JSONP through a WCF JSONPBehavior.

The Project Badge: Show The World Your GitHub and Google Code Projects On Your Blog

February 24th, 2010

The Project Badge displays your GitHub and Google Code projects in a badge that can be displayed on your site. This widget was built on the data being returned from my Open Source Service.

View this post outside your RSS reader to see it in action or view it here.

The source for the Project Badge can be found here and the source for the accompanying service can be found here. A list of all my publicly available web services can be found here.

Using The Project Badge On Your Website or Blog

1. Add The Asset References

Add the following asset references, and a reference to jQuery (if you don't have one already).

  1. <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="" />
  2. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

2. Configure Your Accounts

Set your project accounts (it's OK if you only use one host) then optionally set the appropriate filters - in my case my Google Code projects were prefixed with adamdotcom and I had duplicate projects on both GitHub and Google Code. By specifying remove:adamdotcom,remove:duplicate-items in my filters I filter out the duplicates and removed adamdotcom from the project name.

  1. <script type="text/javascript">
  2.   projectBadge.load({
  3.       gitHub: 'AdamDotCom',
  4.       googleCode: ''
  5.     },{
  6.       filters: 'remove:adamdotcom,duplicate-items,-,empty-items'
  7.     });
  8. </script>

3. Add The Widget Hook
Add an element to your site or blog with the id of project-badge.

  1. <div id="project-badge">
  2.   Loading...
  3. </div>

That's it!
If you have any issues, use the the working example as a reference, or send me a message.

Introducing my Open Source Projects Service: Grab Your Project Details From GitHub or Google Code

February 11th, 2010

Say hello to the newest member of my service family; the Open Source Project Service. This service lets me (and you too my friends) grab our project details from either Google Code, or GitHub.

How it works

If you have a project on GitHub or Google Code, you can retrieve your project details.

Single project host retrieval URI:{project-host}.{xml|json}?user={username}

Multiple project host retrieval URI:{xml|json}?project-host:username={project-host1:username1,project-host2:username2}

Example, requesting projects from Google Code in XML format:



  1. <Projects xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
  2.   <Project>
  3.     <Description>The site source in use on / (</Description>
  4.     <LastMessage>More code coverage on controllers required!! :)</LastMessage>
  5.     <LastModified>2010-02-26</LastModified>
  6.     <Name>website</Name>
  7.     <Url></Url>
  8.   </Project>
  9.   ...
  10. </Projects>

Example, requesting projects from GitHub in JSON format:



  1. [
  2.   {
  3.     "Description":"A collection of my etcetera, so forth, and so on. Contains a PowerShell script for Twitter, a programming exercise in Ruby, a programming exercise for Google done in JavaScript.",
  4.     "LastMessage":"Bing-bing, changing filenames",
  5.     "LastModified":"2009-06-08",
  6.     "Name":"scripts",
  7.     "Url":"http:\/\/\/AdamDotCom\/scripts"
  8.   },
  9.   ...
  10. ]

Example, requesting projects from both GitHub and Google Code in a single request in XML form:



  1. <Projects xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
  2.   <Project>
  3.     <Description>Displays your public source code repositories from Google Code and GitHub.</Description>
  4.     <LastMessage>Added link</LastMessage>
  5.     <LastModified>2010-02-23</LastModified>
  6.     <Name>project badge</Name>
  7.     <Url></Url>
  8.   </Project>
  9.   ...
  10.   <Project>
  11.     <Description>The site source in use on / (</Description>
  12.     <LastMessage>More code coverage on controllers required!! :)</LastMessage>
  13.     <LastModified>2010-02-26</LastModified>
  14.     <Name>website</Name>
  15.     <Url></Url>
  16.   </Project>
  17.   ...
  18. </Projects>

And Now What?

View my sidebar widget that uses this service to display the latest updates from my source code repositories here.

Contribute, view, or download this openly available source code here.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Services, Open Source, RESTful, Services, WCF, XML Tags:

Site Update: New Resume, Contact, Reviews, and Reading Lists Sections

November 8th, 2009

This site now sports a ResumeContact MeReviews, and Reading Lists section.

If you're reading this from an RSS feed, then the changes looks like this:

Navigation changes on my site

These new sections make use of the services I created earlier - my resume content is pulled directly from LinkedIn via my Resume service, the Reading Lists and Reviews are being pulled from Amazon via my Amazon service, and I'm still working on a personalized greeting module which will make use of my Whois service.

Now, when I update my resume on LinkedIn, add a new item to my Amazon wishlist, or write a new Review on Amazon the content is updated within this site and indexed by the Google.

It took longer than expected to get these new pages up and running - mostly due to a couple false starts. You see, I'm running this site on Windows shared hosting which unfortunately doesn't give me many options - sure, sure, I could purchase another hosting account, but developers are like freak'n MAcGyver we like working within ridiculous constraints. It's all about the challenge! Anyways, I first tried using Ruby on Rails on shared hosting (fail), then tried using PHP on Trax (fail), and finally reverted to ASP.NET MVC. While ASP.NET MVC is heads and tails more fun than Web Forms / Classic ASP.NET, the impedance mismatch between strongly typed objects and web languages (JavaScript, CSS, XHTML) is still annoying. Thankfully the MVC Contrib project solves some of these pains, however it can't solve them all.

My next steps with this site are to: finish the greeting module, update the layout (drop the WordPress theme), and finish a Github / Google Code repo widget (kind of like this one) for the sidebar.

Contribute, view, or download the openly available source code here.

Introducing my Whois Service: Customize Your Site Content Based On Referrals, Location, and More

September 30th, 2009

Services-services-services! Enough already! Today I introduce my Whois and Enhanced Whois Web Service.

The Enhanced Whois web service lets me know where my visitor are geographically located, provides filtering capabilities, and can act on referrals. This will allow me (or you) to personalize site greetings, hide my email address (or content) based on the visitor, and provide a unique personal experience. Alternately I can use this service as a classic Whois service.

How it works.

We're not anonymous on the internet and IP addresses are what uniquely defines your internet existence. Whois services let us determine the registrant of internet resources.

Using my Whois service you can:

View your enhanced whois record.

By the visitor's IP address (your IP) URI:{xml|json}



Response (using my IP):

<WhoisEnhancedRecord xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
  <FilterMatches i:nil="true"/>
  <FriendlyMatches i:nil="true"/>
  <Organization>Shaw Communications Inc.</Organization>

By the visitor's IP address specifying a referrer, and a filter URI:{xml|json}?filters={filters,filters,...}&referrer={referrer}



Response (from an IP owned by Google, with a filter for California, and a referrer of Twitter specified):

<WhoisEnhancedRecord xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
  <City>Mountain View</City>
  <Country>United states</Country>
  <Organization>Google Inc.</Organization>

View your classic Whois record.

By the visitor's IP address (your IP) URI:{xml|json}



Response (using my IP):
<WhoisRecord xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
  <AbuseContact> ... </AbuseContact>
  <AdministrativeContact i:nil="true"/>
  <BillingContact i:nil="true"/>
  <RawText> ... </RawText>
    <Address>Suite 800630 - 3rd Ave. SW</Address>
    <Name>Shaw Communications Inc.</Name>

So... why is this useful?

This is the first step for this site's personalization - if I know where the user came from, where the user is geographically located, and have the capabilities to filter their Whois responses, then I can tailor my content to the user. For example: if someone from Google landed on my site I could mention that I'd love to work there and provide my email address and phone number, similarly if someone from Calgary landed on my site I could provide my public calendar of local events. The possibilities are endless.

This service will be wrapped by a JavaScript widget that will take care of the asynchronous service polling, but that sounds like another post.

Contribute, view, or download the openly available source code here.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Services, Open Source, RESTful, Services, WCF, XML Tags:

Introducing my LinkedIn Resume Service: View Your Resume

September 24th, 2009

In my last post I mentioned that I was creating a couple web services that would hopefully bring together my online portfolio. Today I introduce my LinkedIn Resume Web Service.

How it works.

If you have a resume on LinkedIn and you've added as a contact then you can:

View your resume - retrieve your Resume by first and last name.

By first and last name URI:{firstName-lastName}.{xml|json}




<Resume xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
      <Certificate>Computer Programming and Analysis</Certificate>
      <Institute>Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology</Institute>
      <Certificate>Bachelor of Science (Honours), Computer Science</Certificate>
      <Institute>Trent University</Institute>
      <Company>Corbis ...

Wow that was exciting, so now what?

Well.. Head on over to my resume page. My resume is being pulled from LinkedIn through this very service.

Contribute, view, or download the openly available source code here.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Services, Open Source, RESTful, Services, WCF, XML Tags:

Introducing my Amazon Web Service: Find Your Profile, View Your Wishlist or Reviews

September 15th, 2009

My online portfolio is increasingly scattered through the internet (reviews and wishlist are on Amazon, source code on github / Google Projects, resume on LinkedIn, and so on). I've been working on a couple services that will eventually pull my portfolio together while keeping a single point of reference, and... I'm sharing these services.

Introducing my Amazon Web Service.

How it works.

Basically if you have a Wishlist or a Review list on Amazon you can:

Discover your profile - retrieve your ListId (for WishLists) or CustomerId (for Reviews):

Discovery URI:{user-name}.{xml|json}




<Profile xmlns="" xmlns:i="">

View your Reviews - retrieve your Reviews by username or Amazon CustomerId.

By customerId URI:{customerId}.{xml|json}

By username URI:{user-name}.{xml|json}




<Reviews xmlns="" xmlns:i="">
    <Authors>Eric Evans</Authors>
    <AuthorsMLA>Evans Eric.</AuthorsMLA>
    <Content>Through this book Evan's ...

View your Wishlist - view your Wishlist by username or Amazon ListId.

By listId URI:{listId}.{xml|json}

By username URI:{user-name}.{xml|json}




[{"ASIN":"0471467413","Authors":"Mostafa Abd-El-Barr, Hesham El-Rewini", ...

So now what?

Head on over to my Reviews and Reading List pages. These pages make use of the data from this service. I should also mention that, this service was built on a previous iteration of my Amazon Web Service (How To Display Your Amazon Reviews and Wish List Using Amazon’s Web Services).

Contribute, view, or download the openly available source code here.

Big Changes In The Works: Update My RSS Feed URL

May 18th, 2009

Things have been quiet for the past couple weeks, but an undercurrent of change has been happening within. My hosting account expired this month - which also marks 3 years of yammering (err... blogging) - I switched accounts, changed blog engines, migrated the content, and tried to resolve all existing links to the new engine.

I've joined the millions of a happy WordPress users. This site was running dasBlog - now dasBlog was pretty swell 4 years ago, but so was PHP-nuke, DotNetNuke, table-based-design, ASP.NET Themes & Skins, and ASP.NET AJAX. :) Web technology changes at an accelerated pace, and some software / technologies / frameworks need to run their inevitable natural evolutionary course (extinction). dasBlog did its job, but it's time to move on - not to mention I'll sleep easier knowing that Rhett won't be taunting me about how my blog reminds him of SharePoint. Adios dasBlog! :)

The new digs:

  • WordPress running on IIS 7 hosted by GoDaddy's shared hosting plan ($203 for 4 years!!)
  • Redirections by ManagedFusion Url Rewriter
  • WordPress plug-ins installed:
    • FeedBurner FeedSmith - uses feedburner feeds in place of the WP vanilla feeds
    • Google Analytics for WP
    • Google XML Sitemaps
    • WP More Feeds - generates feeds for categories like musings (this feature was native to dasBlog, but not to WP)

Be sure to update this blog's RSS feed to: Old feeds will continue to work, but you may experience some oddities.

Author: Adam Kahtava Categories: .NET, ADC Website, Open Source Tags: