Trusting SSL certs on Pivotal Cloud Foundry

If you run into a scenario where you’re using a temporary SSL cert or a wildcard cert with Pivotal Cloud Foundry you may run into an issue where your cert is not being trusted. This is NOT something you should use in production, but if you’re trying to get things up and running for a proof of concept the solution below should get you past an SSL errors.

Note: the TRUST_CERTS: is indented under the env: and since this would be going into a yaml file the indentation does matter

- name: mbusche
  instances: 1
  memory: 1024M
  disk_quota: 1024M
  buildpack: java_buildpack
  path: target/myapp.jar
  stack: cflinuxfs2
  timeout: 180
  - mbusche-config-server

Count occurrences of string in a return, comma or pipe delimited list

I needed to take a large list of usernames that were return delimited and count how many times each one showed up in that list. Took me about 10 minutes do it manually the first time and after I was asked to do it again I had to write something to make it easier. I couldn’t find something that already existed, so I created something. Presenting Occurrence Counter! Simply paste in a return, comma, or pipe delimited list of strings and it will show you how many times each item was in the list. I’ve put this over on Github in case anyone has any issues or features requests.


Adding rows to an excel spreadsheet using apache poi

In a recent project for a client I was tasked with modifying an existing excel spreadsheet to add data from a query. Being familiar with Java and ColdFusion I assumed this would be a pretty trivial exercise. Read the existing file, get the sheet and then write the data, but I ran into an issue where adding rows using shiftRows didn’t make them writable and/or visible to apache poi. I realized I needed to literally add the rows and the columns to the excel spreadsheet to be able to change the values. Not a big deal code-wise and also really fast to complete, but frustrating to figure out.

currentCharterTemplate = 'existingWorkbook.xlsx';
currentFilePath = getDirectoryFromPath(getCurrentTemplatePath());
javaFile = createObject('java', '').init(currentFilePath & currentCharterTemplate);
excelFile = createObject('java', '').init(javaFile);
xssfWorkbook = createObject('java', 'org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFWorkbook').init(excelFile);

summarySheet = xssfWorkbook.getSheetAt(0);
totalColumns = 12;
rowsToAdd = query.recordCount;
//add enough rows/columns to the spreadsheet to handle the record count of the query and the sort fields
for (rows = 1; rows <= rowsToAdd; rows++) {
  theCurrentRow = summarySheet.getRow(rows);
  for (columns = 0; columns <= totalColumns; columns++) {

Finding the version of a jar file

I needed to find the version of a jar file I was using to help out our middleware team at work and had never needed to do so before, so I went to googling. I figured it would be pretty straightforward and it is, once you find the correct commands. I initially started out unzipping the jar file and found the version that way through the manifest file by looking at the Implementation-Version. It wasn’t too much work, but I knew there had to be a better way and I stumbled upon this stackoverflow answer

If you open a terminal window and cd to the directory with your jar file you can do unzip -p file.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF to view the manifest file without manually unzipping the file.

Filtering Amazon Wishlist items with price drops

Amazon has recently changed their filters on wish list items so you can no longer view items with price drops (useful for books) or sort price from low to high. I wrote up some fairly crappy JavaScript that scrolls to the end of your wish list then removes all the items that don’t have  “Price dropped” in the div. I sometimes need to run the code more than once to get all items to be removed, so this is far from perfect, but works for what I was intending it to do. If you have a few hundred items on your list it will take a few seconds to run the script, but each subsequent run should run pretty quick. wr

Update: I added this to github.

function removeItemsWithoutPriceDrops(){
  var anyRemoved = false;
  var listItems = document.getElementsByClassName('a-section g-item-sortable');

  for (var i = 0; i < listItems.length; i++) {
    var priceDrop = listItems[i].querySelectorAll('.itemPriceDrop');

    if (priceDrop.length == 0) {
      anyRemoved = true;

  if (anyRemoved) {

function loadAllAndRemoveItemsWithoutPriceDrops(){
  window.scroll(0, document.body.scrollHeight);

  if ((document.body.textContent || document.body.innerText).indexOf('End of List') > -1) {
    document.getElementById('profile-list-name').innerHTML = 'Books - ' + document.getElementsByClassName('a-section g-item-sortable').length;
    window.scroll(0, 0);

var interval = window.setInterval(loadAllAndRemoveItemsWithoutPriceDrops, 250);

As a bookmarklet

Drag this to your bookmark bar

ColdFusion and Apache POI modifying an existing file

I was tasked with creating an excel spreadsheet that mimics a template from a vendor and after a couple hours of struggling I realized it was fruitless and it’d be easier to modify the existing file. The existing file had macros that were ran to validate certain things and all I was adding was names, date of birth, weight and gender.

The following is the gist of what I ended up doing. This is 100% using the poi built into ColdFusion and does not require extra jars or adding anything to the classpath.

  currentTemplate = 'filename.xlsx';
  currentFilePath = getDirectoryFromPath(getCurrentTemplatePath());
  javaFile = createObject('java', '').init(currentFilePath & currentTemplate);
  excelFile = createObject('java', '').init(javaFile);
  xssfWorkbook = createObject('java', 'org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFWorkbook').init(excelFile);

  // get the first sheet index is 0 based in Java
  sheet1 = xssfWorkbook.getSheetAt(0);
  rowIterator = sheet1.iterator();
  while (rowIterator.hasNext()) {
    currentRow =;

    // row 8 is where we want to start writing the names
    if (currentRow.getRowNum() > 7) {
      cellIterator = currentRow.iterator();

      while (cellIterator.hasNext()) {
        //1 - last name, 2 first name, 3 middle, 4 DOB, 5 Gender, 6 Weight
        currentCell =;
        //when in doubt of methods dump out the whole java object
        //writeDump(currentCell); abort;
        currentCellNumber = currentCell.getColumnIndex();
        currentQueryRow = currentRow.getRowNum() - 7;
        // writing an empty row made the macro think I was adding a user
        if (len(trim(getTravelers['lastName'][currentQueryRow]))) {
          if (currentCellNumber == 1) {
          if (currentCellNumber == 2) {
          if (currentCellNumber == 3) {
          if (currentCellNumber == 4) {
            currentCell.setCellValue(dateFormat(getTravelers['dob'][currentQueryRow], 'mm/dd/yyyy'));
          if (currentCellNumber == 5) {
            currentCell.setCellValue(left(getTravelers['gender'][currentQueryRow], 1));
          if (currentCellNumber == 6) {

  // need to force formulas to be recalculated once the file is written
  formulaEvaluator = createObject('java', 'org.apache.poi.xssf.usermodel.XSSFFormulaEvaluator');
  // and once the workbook is opened

  // close the file input stream
  // create a new excel file
  newFileName = 'roster.xlsx';
  newFile = createObject('java', '').init(currentFilePath & newFileName);
  newExcelFile = createObject('java', '').init(newFile);

Spring Escape HTML and prevent XSS attacks

TL;DR – If you think the context-param isn’t working, make sure you’re not outputting the value on the page somewhere not inside a spring form.

I ran into an issue recently where after a security scan was ran we were told when you enter a variable into the URL i.e. ?endDate=someJavaScript it was being executed on the page. Assumed it was an easy enough fix, so googled around and found, this solution for Spring Framework


I put that into the web.xml, restarted and it didn’t work, so I tried adding the page level and form level tags, but those didn’t work either. After messing around for a few hours I realized there was another place on the page where we were outputting the variable endDate, and it wasn’t inside a spring form.

What defaultHtmlEscape does is add that parameter to every spring tag in your application, pretty obvious in hindsight, but what I needed to do was make sure everywhere those values were displayed that they were displayed using a jstl c:out tag, i.e. <c:out value="${endDate}"></c:out> which also defaults to not allowing HTML to be rendered.

ESPN FantasyCast broken in Chrome

Once again ESPN FantasyCast is broken in Chrome. If you’re using Chrome and are seeing the game score and stats on two separate lines. Hit F12 and copy the following into the Console and press enter

$('#real .progame').css('width', '101%')

This increases the container for the game by 1% and allows the page to be fully functional again.

Java Format date with 4, 5 or 6 milliseconds

The title of this is wrong as far as terminology, but that’s what I was googling when trying to figure out my issue, so hopefully someone is helped by my struggles. I had a date 2016-06-01 13:20:24.60807 that I was trying to format into mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss aa and the time was not accurate. I was using yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSSSSS as the format for SimpleDateFormat.

Date date = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSSSSS").parse(2019-06-01 13:20:24.60807); Was my exact Code and it kept outputting 06/01/2016 01:21:24 PM which was mostly accurate but not rounding up. I tried every variation of .* including just a dot and 1-6 S’s, but couldn’t get the value to work. The fewer S I tried the more off the result was. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon this StackOverflow question that I found out the issue. In Java 7 and below Date does not have enough precision to handle nanoseconds which is what the 4th, 5th and/or 6th digit after the period was, so rather than just truncating nano seconds it was adding 60,807 ms to my current time. Makes sense once you know the issue, but this data was coming from a stored proc and I could just truncate off the nanoseconds, so I ended up taking the left 23 characters of the current Date and then applying a pattern of “yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSS” and then using DateUtils.round to get the correct result. The resulting code, absent my try/catches is below.

public static String parseDate(final String currentDateStr, String currentFormat, String expectedFormat) {
    String currentDate = StringUtils.left(currentDateStr, 23);
    Date date = DateUtils.round(date, Calendar.SECOND);
    return new SimpleDateFormat(expectedFormat).format(date);
parseDate(processDate, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSS", "MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss a");

Finding data that falls within a date range for a date range

The title of this is horribly confusing, but hopefully this is helpful for some people. The problem I was trying to solve is I have a report that shows where travelers are based on certain dates. For example a client requests a report to know where all of their travelers are that are traveling 9/1 – 9/2. Given that we know the departure and arrival dates of their trip this is pretty straightforward.

Given that their departure date is stored in depDateTime and their return date is stored in arvDateTime and startDate and endDate are timestamps then this will return all users who are traveling during 9/1 – 9/2

WHERE ((depDateTime BETWEEN #startDate# AND #endDate#)
    OR (arvDateTime BETWEEN #startDate# AND #endDate#))

This works great for most trips, but what if the person departs on 8/31 and returns on 9/3? The current WHERE statement will not return them as a result. I fiddled with dozens of scenarios until I realized it’s pretty simple. For the user to not show with the current logic their trip needs to begin before the startDate and end after the endDate, so it required one additional OR statement

WHERE ((depDateTime BETWEEN #startDate# AND #endDate#)
    OR (arvDateTime BETWEEN #startDate# AND #endDate#)
    OR (depDateTime < #startDate# AND arvDateTime > #endDate#))