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This is the Bertrand Florat's personal page. You will find here some links to articles or projects I'm involved in and few thoughts (mainly about IT). Use the contact page if you want to discuss about an article, I once activated some comments plugin but I had to close it due to massive spam attacks.

Technology blog

Dashboard under XFCE real howto

If like me you like both XFCE and Gnome-shell dashboard/ window picker, here's how I configured my desktop for the nearest most Gnome-like experience (I use here a xubutu, adapt if required) :

1) Install xfdashboard (the dashboard itself) and xdotool (for hot corner). Note : I also tried Brightside but it is less flexible, for ie we can't set a delay)

2) Add or enable these commands to be run at X startup (in XFCE Settings / Sessions and startup / application autostart ) :

  • xfdashboard -d (deamon mode for a faster display)
  • xdotool behave_screen_edge –delay 0 top-left exec xfdashboard (to start the hotcorner detector, note that we set delay to zero to make it as fast as possible.

3) Add the preferred applications into the vertical side bar (no GUI, xfce4-settings cannot edit arrays), here's a sample command : xfconf-query -c xfdashboard -p /favourites -n -t string -s “exo-file-manager.desktop” -t string -s “exo-terminal-emulator.desktop” -t string -s “jetbrains-idea-ce.desktop” -t string -s “owncloud.desktop” -t string -s “simple-scan.desktop” -t string -s “gnome-calculator.desktop” -t string -s “firefox.desktop” -t string -s “thunderbird.desktop” -t string -s “zim.desktop” -t string -s “libreoffice-writer.desktop”

4) If you are in multi-monitors mode and you want to see all windows on the primary display and not spread on several monitors, see my workaround at

TODO : I didn't figure out out to hide the dashboard when moving the mouse cursor into the corner a second time. We have to select a window or to press ESC to leave the dashboard unlike Gnome-shell dashboard.

· 2016/10/24 18:12 · 2016/10/24 18:16 · bflorat

Benefits of Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption and sedutil

sedutil.jpg We need to protect our personal or professional data, especially when located on laptops that can easily be stolen. Even if it is not yet fully widespread, many companies or personal users encrypt their disks to prevent such issues.

They are three major technologies to encrypt the data (most of the time, the same symmetric cipher is used:AES 128 or 256 bits) :

  • Files-level encryption tools (7zip, GnuPG, openSSL…) where we encrypt one or more files (but not a full file system)
  • Software FDE = Full Disk Encryption (dm-crypt, encfs, TrueCrypt under Linux ; BitLocker, SafeGuard under MS Windows among many others) where a full file system is encrypted. Most of these softwares map a real encrypted file system to a in-memory clear filesystem. For instance, you open an encrypted /dev/sda2 filesystem with dm-crypt/Luks this way :
sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 aClearFileSystemName  
<enter password>
mount /dev/mapper/aClearFileSystemName /mnt/myMountPoint
  • Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption (also named SED = Self-Encrypting Disk) where hard disk encrypt themselves in their own build-in disk controller. We'll focus here on this technology.

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· 2015/11/03 22:26 · 2016/06/23 22:26 · bflorat · 2 Comments

The IT crowd, entropy killers

I once asked myself “how to define our job in the most general sense of the term, we, computer scientists ?”.

Our fields are very diverse but according to me, the greatest common divisor is “entropy hunter”.

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· 2015/03/02 22:23 · 2016/07/17 01:02 · bflorat

Deployment scripts gain should always be refreshed from VCS prior execution

After few months of continuous deployment scripts writing for a pretty complex architecture (two JBoss instances, a mule ESB instance, one database to reset, a BPM server, each being restarted in the right order and running from different servers), I figured out a good practice in this field : scripts have to be auto-updated.

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· 2015/02/12 21:30 · 2016/06/12 15:50 · bflorat

Retours Eclipse DemoCamp 2015 Nantes

J'ai eu le plaisir de me rendre à l'Eclipse DemoCamp Nantes jeudi dernier au Hub Creatic (il est difficile à trouver car pas encore indiqué, c'est le bâtiment jaune vif à coté de l'école Polytech Nantes. C'était la première fois que je m'y rendais et je dois dire que j'ai été impressionné, dommage qu'il ne soit pas en centre ville).

Nous avons eu un panorama extrêmement éclectique mais passionnant du monde Eclipse en 2015, de l'internet des objets (IOT) à l'usine logicielle de grands groupes en passant par l’informatique pour les enfants. Ceci montre, si besoin était, la force de traction du monde Eclipse en tant qu'IDE bien sûr mais surtout en tant que plate forme.

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· 2015/02/09 21:55 · 2015/04/06 21:11 · bflorat · 10 Comments

Programming is craftsmanship and requires skills

Many managers think that programming is easy, it's just a bunch of for, if, else and switch clauses after all, isn't it ?

But coding is difficult because it is mainly about TAKING DECISIONS ALL THE TIME.

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· 2015/01/02 12:11 · 2016/06/12 16:16 · bflorat · 33 Comments

Undocumented PreparedStatement optimization

We just get a 20% response time gain on a 600+ lines query under Oracle. Our DBA noticed that queries were faster when launched from SQLDeveloper than from our JEE application using the JDBC Oracler 11g driver. We looked at the queries as they actually arrived to the Oracle engine and they where under the form : SELECT… WHERE col1 like ':myvar1' OR col2 LIKE ':myvar2' AND col3 IN (:item1,:myvar2,…) and not 'SELECT… WHERE col1 LIKE ':1' OR col2 LIKE ':2' AND col3 IN (:3,:4,…) like usual when using PreparedStatement the regular way.

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· 2014/12/18 21:06 · 2015/04/06 21:11 · bflorat · 12 Comments

Retour sur l'Agile Tour 2014 Nantes

J'ai eu la chance d'assister à la journée Agile Tour 2014, version nantaise, à l'école des mines. Bien organisé, riche en rencontres et retours d’expériences, comme tous les ans…

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· 2014/12/15 21:14 · 2015/11/03 22:52 · bflorat

How to get bind variables values from Oracle

If you already used JDBC prepared statement, you know what are bind variables : the '?' in the query, like in : SELECT col1,col2 from t_table where col1 in (?,?,?) AND col2 = ? For the record, all compiled queries with the same number of '?' are cached by Oracle, hence (most of the time) faster to execute. But how to debug passed values ? This is often valuable like yesterday where one of our services tried to insert value too large for a column (a 4 digits integer into a NUMBER(5,2)).

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· 2014/12/10 23:05 · 2015/04/06 21:12 · bflorat · 1 Comment

Move to Github done smoothly

The Jajuk issue tracker and the Git repository are now moved to GitHub (see previous article for the context).

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· 2014/12/09 23:21 · 2014/12/10 14:30 · bflorat · 12 Comments

BitBucket vs Github issue tracker choice for Jajuk

We are currently moving our Jajuk Trac issue tracker to a better place, mainly for spam reasons. A developer suggested BitBucket, others (me included) GitHub which I already use. I cloned our secondary project QDWizard on a private BitBucket repository to make an opinion. I have to say BitBucker is really good too.

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· 2014/11/25 23:39 · 2015/11/03 22:50 · bflorat
start.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/24 17:55 by bflorat