Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 13th September 2023

Introducing datasette-litestream: easy replication for SQLite databases in Datasette. We use Litestream on Datasette Cloud for streaming backups of user data to S3. Alex Garcia extracted out our implementation into a standalone Datasette plugin, which bundles the Litestream Go binary (for the relevant platform) in the package you get when you run “datasette install datasette-litestream”—so now Datasette has a very robust answer to questions about SQLite disaster recovery beyond just the Datasette Cloud platform. # 7:28 pm

Some notes on Local-First Development (via) Local-First is the name that has been coined by the community of people who are interested in building apps where data is manipulated in a client application first (mobile, desktop or web) and then continually synchronized with a server, rather than the other way round. This is a really useful review by Kyle Mathews of how the space is shaping up so far—lots of interesting threads to follow here. # 3:48 am

In the long term, I suspect that LLMs will have a significant positive impact on higher education. Specifically, I believe they will elevate the importance of the humanities. [...] LLMs are deeply, inherently textual. And they are reliant on text in a way that is directly linked to the skills and methods that we emphasize in university humanities classes.

Benjamin Breen # 3:40 am

Simulating History with ChatGPT (via) Absolutely fascinating new entry in the using-ChatGPT-to-teach genre. Benjamin Breen teaches history at UC Santa Cruz, and has been developing a sophisticated approach to using ChatGPT to play out role-playing scenarios involving different periods of history. His students are challenged to participate in them, then pick them apart—fact-checking details from the scenario and building critiques of the perspectives demonstrated by the language model. There are so many quotable snippets in here, I recommend reading the whole thing. # 3:36 am

2023 » September