Simon Willison’s Weblog


Sunday, 25th December 2011

Is there a way to find out what apps are used by a specific django-based website?

Not really. You might be able to figure out some of them by looking out for common patterns of URLs and form field names, but a lot of reusable django apps don’t really expose much of a signature.

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Why does Wolfram|Alpha present all search results as pictures rather than text?

Wolfram Alpha is essentially a web interface to Mathematica (plus a huge corpus of structured data). Mathematica has been around for decades, and has an extremely sophisticated visualisation engine (try typing “sin(x)/cos(x)” in to Wolfram Alpha and see what happens). It’s also very good at rendering mathematical formulae that would be very hard to represent in plain HTML (without using MathML, which isn’t supported by IE).

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What is a good video series on learning Python?

It probably won’t teach you the basics, but we’ve collected 190 videos from conference talks about Python here:

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What are the coolest benefits/perks offered by startups?

I heard that Songkick give all of their employees a monthly gig budget to encourage them to go to live music (since that’s what the site is all about), which I think is a neat and appropriate perk.

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2011 » December