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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘Java’ Category

Still unsolved since 2015 NetBeans: Bug 251538 – Your Installer is Creating Invalid Data for the NoModify DWORD Key which crashes enumeration of the Uninstall Key in at least PowerShell

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/03/23

Lovely. Having a bug reported to you in 2015, and acknowledged, that makes software crash and not fixing it.

 

For NetBeans (still one of the major IDEs) and related stuff like GlassFish, this is too true (a workaround is in the Solution steps) below: [WayBack] Bug 251538 – Your Installer is Creating Invalid Data for the NoModify DWORD Key which crashes enumeration of the Uninstall Key in at least PowerShell, and copied to [WayBack] [NETBEANS-2523] Netbeans 64-bit creates invalid nomodify value in windows registry for years – ASF JIRA.

This one appears for instance when running choco install --yes jre8 (but is certainly not limited to it) as it inspects uninstall registry values which have been corrupted and resulted into [WayBack] “Specified cast is not valid” on jre8 upgrade · Issue #18 · proudcanadianeh/ChocoPackages · GitHub.

Anyway: back to the NoModify issue:

phansson 2015-06-23 13:35:00 UTC
Yep, I can see this problem as well. I believe the problem (bug) has indeed always existed.

What happens is that someone (in this case NetBeans Installer) has put an 8-byte value into a Registry field that should only contain a 4-byte value. DWORDs are 4-byte.

If you use Registry Editor you can clearly see the problem if you look at something NBI has installed. You must look under either
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall (64-bit installers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall (32-bit installers). For some reason I don't see the problem for those NBI applications installed with a 32-bit installer, meaning the stuff in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall. This can probably be explained when you read the next bit.

NBI actually sets a number of Registry key values but all of them are strings, with the exception of NoModify value. As far as I know this value already defaults to true (=1) if not present so the fact that Windows cannot interpret what NBI has put into the Registry does not have much effect .... until all other kinds of tools will start to explain as you've encountered.

So, what's the problem?  As far as I can see this is really just a very simple bug. In the NBI project (NetBeans Platform source) you have a file called jni_WindowsRegistry.c which defines various JNI methods that can then be used from within Java. One of these is called 'set32BitValue0(....)'.

It looks like this:

JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_org_netbeans_installer_utils_system_windows_WindowsRegistry_set32BitValue0(JNIEnv *jEnv, jobject jObject, jint jMode, jint jSection, jstring jKey, jstring jName, jint jValue) {
    unsigned short*  key       = getWideChars(jEnv, jKey);
    unsigned short*  name      = getWideChars(jEnv, jName);
    DWORD  dword     = (DWORD) jValue;
    LPBYTE byteValue = (LPBYTE) &dword;
    
    if (!setValue(getMode(jMode),getHKEY(jSection), key, name, REG_DWORD, byteValue, sizeof(name), 0)) {
        throwException(jEnv, "Cannot set value");
    }
    
    FREE(key);
    FREE(name);
}

One of the parameters passed to the setValue() function is the size (bytes) of the value. Unfortunately whoever made this has made a blunder by using 'sizeof(name)' for that parameter. It should have been the size of the value, not the size of the name, meaning sizeof(dword) or just a hard-coded value of 4.  Just imagine what sizeof(name) will give you if name happens to be 'NoModify'. Yep, that's right: It will be 8.

As I said, I believe this blunder has been in the code from the very beginning. It just hasn't had much effect until now.
Comment 3phansson 2015-06-24 22:12:06 UTC
See https://bitbucket.org/phansson/nbi-native-jnilib-windows
for a fix to this problem. 

Honestly the sole reason why that project exists was that I had to have this problem fixed as our corporate customers were complaining about our software "messing up their Registry" and we could not wait for NetBeans team to fix the problem.
Comment 4oldium 2017-03-03 21:28:13 UTC
Any update on this? I lost 1 hour finding why the Get-ItemProperty of Chocolatey failed and found this. Then I remembered that I had the same issue one year ago...

This issue is now 2 years old, the fix is a one-liner. Is there any plan to fix this or (I am just curious) is Netbeans project dead?
Comment 5scott.fagg 2018-04-27 03:13:04 UTC
We encounter this too. Machines with Netbeans installed on our network often encounter issues when IT roll out software installs. Fix has been to remove and recreate the offending key.

If this has been known since 2015, is there any intention of fixing it ?

I encountered it in 2019, when switching my JRE installations to become chocolatey based.

Solution steps

  1. Run the script mentioned in [WayBack] powershell – How to resolve “ERROR: Specified cast is not valid.” error during installation? – Super User:

    Run the below:

    Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | % { write-host "Key Name:" $_.PSChildName }
    

    This should return some results, then, will return the Specified cast error. The error will occur on the key harboring the invalid subkey.

  2. Then inspect the keys after that in regedit, and watch for any value of type REG_DWORD with a value (invalid DWORD (32-bit) value) (usually named NoModify
  3. Note those keys, and find them in appwiz.cpl
  4. Uninstall the accompanying software

On my systems

Delete the below pieces of crap.

Then run choco install --yes jre8 again.

  • Glassfish

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\nbi-glassfish-mod-3.1.43.0.0

  • NetBeans IDE

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\nbi-nb-base-7.0.0.0.0

Luckily, the NetBeans uninstaller can uninstall GlassFish at the same time:

Do not re-install, as they re-insert the corrupt data.

–jeroen

Posted in Development, Java, Java Platform, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Android passwords: store as transient as possible using arrays in stead of strings

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/08/06

Sometimes you cannot avoid handling passwords in your application. When you do,

  • keep them around as short as possible
  • store them in data types that are not garbage collected
  • wipe the storage as soon as you are done

In practice, this usually comes down to storing them as arrays (character or byte arrays), not strings.

This holds for many other platforms outside Java as well: strings are usually managed in one way or the other, so they cannot be wiped

References:

For actual storage of passwords, you always have the risk of retrieval: when a “bad guy” gets physical access to a device, it is basically hosed.

A KeyStore can only do so much against it: if your APK can be downloaded, it can be reverse-engineered revealing the exact steps how the store is accessed, reproducing the steps needed to hack into the underlying protected data/functionality.

The keystore can be forgetful…

You’ve just moved in to a new house and have been given the master key for the front door. You only have one of these so you know you need to keep it safe. Your really paranoid so you hire an armed guard, whose sole job is to protect this key, in fact, this is all he has been trained to do and has a catchy slogan of “need to protect a key, its what I was born to do!”. You install an extra lock on your front door as you feel the bodyguard isn’t enough, this is a rough area anyway and who’s going to make sure no-ones about to break in and steal all your crap. You return to your key guard only to be informed he has thrown the key away. You shout and scream at him but he just blankly says “I don’t have it anymore, I didn’t think it was important”. You can’t contain your anger “What the hell, your a jerk! You had one thing to do and you failed, this causes me a lot of problems, why didn’t you tell me you might do this?! What do I do now?!”

[WayBack] Android Security: The Forgetful Keystore – SystemDotRun – Dorian Cussen’s Super Blog

–jeroen

Posted in Android, Development, Java, Java Platform, Mobile Development, Power User, Security, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Men’s Java is not JavaScript Annoyed Programmer/Developer T-Shirt

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/05/13

Though the shirt is not available on Amazon [WayBack] any more, still – after 25 years – so many recruiters still get it wrong.

Not just recruiters, so: [WayBack] Why is JavaScript called JavaScript, since it has nothing to do with Java? – Stack Overflow, thanks to CMS [WayBack]:

From an interview made to its creator Brendan Eich:

InfoWorld: As I understand it, JavaScript started out as Mocha, then became LiveScript and then became JavaScript when Netscape and Sun got together. But it actually has nothing to do with Java or not much to do with it, correct?

Eich: That’s right. It was all within six months from May till December (1995) that it was Mocha and then LiveScript. And then in early December, Netscape and Sun did a license agreement and it became JavaScript. And the idea was to make it a complementary scripting language to go with Java, with the compiled language.

he continues on the relation of ECMAScript based languages:

JavaScript, was originally named Mocha, later it was renamed to LiveScript, and then to JavaScript.

The LiveScript to JavaScript name change came because Netscape and Sun did a license agreement.

The language was then submitted for standarization to the ECMA International Organization. By that time, Netscape didn’t allow the use of the “JavaScript” name, so the standarized language is named ECMAScript.

JavaScript isn’t actually an open name. Now it’s a trademark of Sun (now Oracle).

There still a lot of confusion, some people still think that JavaScript, JScript, and ECMAScript are three different languages.

ECMAScript is the “standards” name for the language.

JavaScript is technically a “dialect” of ECMAScript, the Mozilla Foundation can use “JavaScript” as the name of their implementations (currently present on the Rhino and SpiderMonkey engines).

In the early days, Microsoft decided also to do what Netscape was doing on their own browser, and they developed JScript, which is also an ECMAScript dialect, but was named in this way to avoid trademark issues.

–jeroen

via: [WayBack] Does it bug you when people say Java when they actually mean JavaScript? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y3XK69B – Jeroen Wiert Pluimers – Google+

 

Posted in Development, History, Java, Java Platform, JavaScript/ECMAScript, Scripting, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

Not all XSD mappings to programming language constructs are possible

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/02/26

This post is a reminder to myself that not all mappings from XSD to programming languages are possible.

There are many impossible cases, so this is just a general reminder.

A Delphi specific case for instance is the mapping of enumerations: one reason is that XSD enumerations are case sensitive, but the Delphi language is not: [WayBackUsing XML Enumerations with Delphi XML Data Binding Wizard – Stack Overflow.

More generic examples from my answer to the above question:

  • In XSD you can derive from an existing type in two ways: extending it and limiting it. Object Oriented languages only allow you extend when deriving.
  • Delphi is not alone in these kinds of limitations. Generating wrappers from XSD schema’s is the field of specialized tools, even in the Java or .NET world.

I’ve seen horrible things with wildcards that are sort of mappable to Java, but not to C#. This could likely go on for much longer…

–jeroen

Posted in C#, Delphi, Development, Java, Java Platform, Software Development, XML, XML/XSD, XSD | 2 Comments »

More on new .NET path handling – Jeremy Kuhne’s Blog

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/08/07

When it was at the age natural people are allowed to drive in the USA, the .NET framework behaved far less brain dead handling various (especially long or strange) paths: [WayBackMore on new .NET path handling – Jeremy Kuhne’s Blog.

Path handling has frustrated me in many development environments, so I wonder if ones that are beyond the (USA) legal age of drinking follow.

–jeroen

via: [WayBack] Some time ago, the .net developers finally saw sense and removed path normalization and long path limit code in System.IO… Does anybody know if Embarcadero have come to their senses… – David Heffernan – Google+

Posted in .NET, Delphi, Development, Java, Java Platform, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

 
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