Java 9 Gets an Interactive Shell

With the release of Java 9, an interactive shell (otherwise known as a REPL – read, eval, print loop) is now available. Many languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, and MySQL have had interactive shells since their inception. Javascript got a REPL with the introduction of node (although the developer consoles in browsers have offered a

Saving and Restoring JSON Data in Python

I recently had a need to save some data off to be used (and augmented) each time a python script was run. Python offers a very simple-to-use API to save data in JSON format. JSON stands for “Javascript Object Notation”. Originally developed for Javascript, writing and reading JSON is supported now in a wide variety

Developing a Minimum Viable WordPress Plugin

What is the minimum amount of coding required to create a new plugin that shows up in the WordPress dashboard? How much code has to be written to get the plugin to do something minimally interesting? It’s really pretty easy to create a minimal WordPress plugin to experiment with. Simply create a .php file under

Bad Passwords Seen in the Wild

I noticed another “brute force” attack on my site recently, trying username and password combinations repeatedly to try to break in. There were 130 attempts made, starting November 27th and continuing through the 30th. The username used in these attempts was always “admin”; 116 unique passwords were tried with it. [Update, February 2018: in a

Running PHP on the Command Line

I’ve been exploring PHP recently and wanted to test some simple code in the PHP interactive shell. I was puzzled to find that I couldn’t seem to make anything work in the shell – I could enter commands, but didn’t see any output from them. You can run php interactively by entering “php -a” in

Fixing “Verification Failed” errors in Google Search Console

Recently I set up my WordPress site as a “property” in Google Search Console. It was fun (and informative!) to watch the “position” feature in search analytics, listing what search terms found my page and what position each hit was in the search results (for a few results, the position of one of my posts