Simon Willison’s Weblog


Weeknotes: PG&E outages, and Open Source works!

14th October 2019

My big focus this week was the PG&E outages project. I’m really pleased with how this turned out: the San Francisco Chronicle used data from it for their excellent PG&E outage interactive (mixing in data on wind conditions) and it earned a bunch of interest on Twitter and some discussion on Hacker News.

I gave a talk about the project on Thursday for the Online News Association Silicon Valley meetup and made connections with a bunch of interesting journalists from around the Bay Area.

Open Source works!

A highlight of last week was that a bunch of my projects gained new functionality through open source contributions!


I started a very basic website for my Dogsheep personal analytics project.

I also started running various Dogsheep tools via cron on my personal Dogsheep server, to keep that set of databases automatically updated with my latest activity on various services.

Most excitingly, Tobias Kunze built the first independent Dogsheep-style tool: goodreads-to-sqlite!

As the name suggests, it imports your data from Goodreads into a SQLite database. It inspired me to create a Goodreads account which I will be using to track my book reading activity from now on.

Tobias wrote a fantastic blog post introducing the tool which includes some neat example queries and graphs.

In other Dogsheep news, I added an issue-comments command to github-to-sqlite for fetching all issue comments in a repo. My goal is to evolve that tool to the point where it can import all relevant data from all of my repositories and give me a single Datasette-powered dashboard for keeping track of everything in one place.