Simon Willison’s Weblog


Thursday, 13th November 2003

The good and the ugly has a new feature on their search page—a really nice implementation of an auto complete text widget in Javascript. Even better, the search page is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict and uses CSS for the layout. Let’s hope this is an indication of things to the come for the rest of the site, which still mostly consists of tag soup.

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Extracting EXIF data with Python

I’ve been rewriting the photo gallery management system for in Python. One of the new features is that the system can automagically extract caption and photographer information from the photos, provided the information has previously been added to the jpeg file as EXIF data. I tried several methods of doing this but eventually settled on because it worked straight away using a simple process_file() function and doesn’t require any additional software. Recommended.

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Easy installers for PHP scripts

I tried out FUDforum last night, after Rasmus Lerdorf recommended it in a comment on Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Feature wise, it’s pretty impressive but still doesn’t quite do it for me—I want something that’s trivial to integrate with an existing authentication system and outputs valid HTML (or XHTML) out of the box. Rasmus says it’s the only board he’s seen that doesn’t have obvious security holes though so it’s probably worth checking out if you need to set up a forum of that kind.

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The little things

We put together a bookmarklet today that allows our editing staff to jump instantly from looking at a story on one of our web sites to the interface for editing it within our current content management system. It took about 5 minutes development time, plus an extra 15 minutes spent showing it to people, setting it up on machines and demonstrating how it works. It’s hard to over state how well this new shortcut was received by the people who spend hours every day using the system. For end users, a little feature can sometimes go a very long way.

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2003 » November