Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 28th February 2024

For the last few years, Meta has had a team of attorneys dedicated to policing unauthorized forms of scraping and data collection on Meta platforms. The decision not to further pursue these claims seems as close to waving the white flag as you can get against these kinds of companies. But why? [...]

In short, I think Meta cares more about access to large volumes of data and AI than it does about outsiders scraping their public data now. My hunch is that they know that any success in anti-scraping cases can be thrown back at them in their own attempts to build AI training databases and LLMs. And they care more about the latter than the former.

Kieran McCarthy # 3:15 pm

Testcontainers (via) Not sure how I missed this: Testcontainers is a family of testing libraries (for Python, Go, JavaScript, Ruby, Rust and a bunch more) that make it trivial to spin up a service such as PostgreSQL or Redis in a container for the duration of your tests and then spin it back down again.

The Python example code is delightful:

redis = DockerContainer(“redis:5.0.3-alpine”).with_exposed_ports(6379)
wait_for_logs(redis, “Ready to accept connections”)

I much prefer integration-style tests over unit tests, and I like to make sure any of my projects that depend on PostgreSQL or similar can run their tests against a real running instance. I’ve invested heavily in spinning up Varnish or Elasticsearch ephemeral instances in the past—Testcontainers look like they could save me a lot of time.

The open source project started in 2015, span off a company called AtomicJar in 2021 and was acquired by Docker in December 2023. # 2:41 am