I recently had to implement a ticket-based authentication system in Laravel.

It had to be backward compatible with our existing SSO solution, which was based on the venerable auth-pubtkt module in Apache. It wasn’t that hard, but there were a few pitfalls on the way, so I decided to document what I did in case it’s of use to others.

There was an existing auth-pubtkt package available for laravel, but it was over four years since it had last been updated, and Laravel has changed a lot since then, so I decided not to try to use it.

You can…


What is it about humanity which means that when an iconic building is nearly destroyed, millions of Euros are immediately pledged to rebuild it, but when it was merely in desperate need of proper maintenance nobody gave a damn?

And what does that tell us about the way things are going to play out with climate change?


Before you get worried by the title, I should explain that “Sorry!” is the name of a venerable board game of which my family is rather fond. It’s like a more complex version of Ludo if you know that, and there’s a Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorry!_(game) if you want to know more.

I was looking for a reasonable programming challenge to hone my F# and Fable skills, and I decided that a Sorry! program was a good choice.

Well, the project was a resounding success. And the F# / Fable combination worked really well, and gave me a much nicer…


I’ve recently become very interested in Fable which allows you to produce javascript output from F# input. Fable is built on quite an array of other, well-established technologies — a good thing, don’t reinvent the wheel — but as a result, it can be quite daunting to get what’s going on into your head.

It’s also evolved quite rapidly and continues to do so, which means that quite a lot of what’s out there about it is out of date to some degree, and it is, in my view unfortunate that the project name is a normal English word, making…


I was reading two different stories this week. One of them was about the latest plans by the UK government to allow it to see and control what people are doing online or on their devices. The other was about the latest ransom ware scams in which people’s computers or data are hijacked by criminals until they pay to have it unlocked.

I realized that my “reasonable and balanced” instinctive reactions contradicted each other.

On the one hand, I get very uncomfortable at the thought that Big Brother might be watching me. Not because I necessarily believe that the current…

Gary Bilkus

Mathematician by training. IT consultant by trade. I sing, I walk, I read lots of SF and detective novels. I still write code for fun and profit.

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