Simon Willison’s Weblog

Wednesday, 28th March 2018

Vega-Lite. A “high-level grammar of interactive graphics”. Part of the Vega project, which provides a mechanism for creating declarative visualizations by defining them using JSON. Vega-Lite is particularly interesting to me because it makes extremely tasteful decisions about how data should be visualized—give it some records, tell it which properties to plot on an axis and it will default to a display that makes sense for that data. The more I play with this the more impressed I am at the quality of its default settings. # 5:22 pm

Baltimore Sun Public Salary Records (via) The Baltimore Sun have published an interactive search engine for public salaries of Maryland state employees, and it’s powered by Datasette! Since data journalism is one of my key use-cases for Datasette I’m incredibly excited to see this in the wild. They’ve also published the underlying source code (see the via link) which is a really nice example of how to use Datasette’s custom templates and canned query functionality. # 5:12 pm

Charles Proxy now available on iOS (via) I didn’t think this was possible, but the Charles debugging proxy is now available for iOS. It works by setting itself up as a VPN such that all app traffic runs through it. You can also optionally turn on SSL decryption for specific hosts by installing a special certificate (which involves jumping through several hoops). It won’t work for apps that implement SSL certificate pinning but from playing with it for a few minutes it looks like most apps haven’t done that, even apps from Google. Well worth $8.99. # 3:57 pm

Cloud-first: Rapid webapp deployment using containers (via) The Research Software Engineering group at ICL have written a tutorial on deploying web apps as Docker containers using Azure and they use Datasette as the example application. # 3:50 pm

Touring a Fast, Safe, and Complete(ish) Web Service in Rust. Brandur’s notes from building a high performance web service in Rust, using PostgreSQL via the Diesel ORM and the Rust actix-web framework which peovides Erlang-style actors and promise-based async concurrency. # 3:47 pm

Describing events in code (via) Phil Gyford built an online directory of every play, movie, gig and exhibition he has been to in the past 38 years using a combination of digital archaeology and saved ticket stubs. He built it using Django and published this piece extensively describing the process he went through to design the data model. # 3:41 pm

2018 » March