Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 22nd March 2024

The Dropflow Playground (via) Dropflow is a “CSS layout engine” written in TypeScript and taking advantage of the HarfBuzz text shaping engine (used by Chrome, Android, Firefox and more) compiled to WebAssembly to implement glyph layout.

This linked demo is fascinating: on the left hand side you can edit HTML with inline styles, and the right hand side then updates live to show that content rendered by Dropflow in a canvas element.

Why would you want this? It lets you generate images and PDFs with excellent performance using your existing knowledge HTML and CSS. It’s also just really cool!

# 1:33 am / css, javascript, typescript, webassembly

Claude and ChatGPT for ad-hoc sidequests

Visit Claude and ChatGPT for ad-hoc sidequests

Here is a short, illustrative example of one of the ways in which I use Claude and ChatGPT on a daily basis.

[... 1,754 words]

Threads has entered the fediverse (via) Threads users with public profiles in certain countries can now turn on a setting which makes their posts available in the fediverse—so users of ActivityPub systems such as Mastodon can follow their accounts to subscribe to their posts.

It’s only a partial integration at the moment: Threads users can’t themselves follow accounts from other providers yet, and their notifications will show them likes but not boosts or replies: “For now, people who want to see replies on their posts on other fediverse servers will have to visit those servers directly.”

Depending on how you count, Mastodon has around 9m user accounts of which 1m are active. Threads claims more than 130m active monthly users. The Threads team are developing these features cautiously which is reassuring to see—a clumsy or thoughtless integration could cause all sorts of damage just from the sheer scale of their service.

# 8:15 pm / facebook, threads, mastodon, activitypub, fediverse