Simon Willison’s Weblog

Monday, 11th October 2010

Why, for a decade of experience, can we not seem to see the IE 8 zombie coming? It’s not like it’s going to be some big surprise that unless we do something different, we’ll still be supporting it in 2015. That’s right: in 2015, you’ll still be thinking about a browser that doesn’t support canvas or video and doesn’t even have a JITing JS engine.

Alex Russell # 11:01 pm

Why do so few companies use the Dojo Toolkit?

Dojo is fantastic software, but it does a lot more than the other libraries and consequently has a much higher learning curve. It’s advanced features may serve as something of a disadvantage for achieving more widespread adoption—most developers don’t need the more advanced abstractions provided by Dojo when they start their projects, and by the time they DO need that stuff they’ve already written a ton of code using another library!

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What does the key word “yield” in Python do?

The best documentation I’ve seen on generators is this: http://www.dabeaz.com/generators/

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Is the 90-9-1 rule of user participation a myth?

Anecdotal evidence from crowdsourcing style projects I’ve worked on tend to support the basic principle (if not the exact ratios). The vast majority of the work on projects I have been involved with ends up being performed by a tiny subset of highly active users.

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What company had the first API?

They weren’t the first to have an API, but Flickr were the first consumer web site that really pushed the concept in my opinion. They originally promoted it as “you can always get your data back if you want to”, but they then greatly benefited from the ecosystem that grew up around it.

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Why is it hard to see who the poster of a question is on Quora?

This is probably my favourite thing about Quora, and one of the reasons I think it’s so much more interesting than other Q&A sites.

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What is the best way to list every key stored in memcached?

Redis might be a better bet for this—it has a “KEYS *” command which can return every key in the dataset, and its GET and SET performance are comparable to memcached.

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JSON sucks. [...] Every time I need to (correctly) represent a large integer such as 4611686018427387900, I’m forced to do so in a string. It causes me to throw up in mouth a little.

Theo Schlossnagle # 11:06 am

Does Quora have the same problem as Stack Overflow?

Quora isn’t one community, it’s thousands of separate communities—a community for each tag, and then a community for each user comprising their followers. As such, I think it will scale much better than the Stack Overflow community did, without needing to split out in to separate verticals.

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What are the best places to visit in Morocco?

We just spent six weeks travelling around Morocco. Our favourite town was Chefchaouen, up in the mountains—it has an incredible medina (walled city center) painted in different shades of blue. It’s a lot more relaxed than other parts of Morocco, though if you got there first (as we did) you may not appreciate it as much. It’s a three hour bus journey from Fez, so I’d suggest visiting Fez first.

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Are there any web design conferences in Southeast Asia?

Our site, Lanyrd, lists a few:

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Who are the best Python developers in Los Angeles?

Mahalo is based in Santa Monica, and they have a very talented team of Python/Django people. They also host a regular Django meetup: http://www.meetup.com/ladjango/

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