Simon Willison’s Weblog


Weeknotes: Spinning back up on Datasette

25th May 2021

I’ve been somewhat distracted from Datasette for the past couple of months, thanks to my work on VIAL and the accompanying open source project django-sql-dashboard. This week I scraped back some time to work on Datasette.


This was a feature suggestion by Marjorie Roswell. Datasette defaults to showing a maximum of 30 results for a requested facet, which can be inconvenient if you are faceting on something like U.S. states where you’d ideally like to see all 50 at once.

You can customize this with the default_facet_size setting, but now you can also customize it for a specific page using the new ?_facet_size=100 query string parameter. You can request up to max_returned_rows results, which defaults to 1000.

You can try this feature out, along with a bunch of dependency upgrades and a minor bug fix, in the new 0.57a0 alpha release.

apt-get install now works in the Docker container

The datasetteproj/datasette Docker container had a bug in it where it was not possible to use apt-get install to add extra packages to containers that used it as a base—a problem if you want to use a plugin such as datasette-ripgrep which depends on ripgrep being available.

Brandon Roberts pointed this out along with a suggested fix, which I’ve adopted and will become available after the next non-alpha Datasette release.

Show/hide columns

I’m developing this in a branch at the moment, but I’m finally getting close to a fix for issue #615 (opened in November 2019) that will let the Datasette table view show and hide specific columns, using new ?_col= and ?_nocol= query string arguments. Here’s an animated demo of my work so far:

Animation showing a new option to hide columns in the cog menu

Releases this week

TIL this week