Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged webdevelopment in Feb

Filters: Type: entry × Month: Feb × webdevelopment ×


Should I use Django forms or pure HTML in order to do not establish borders for the growth of my app?

Use Django forms. Django scales horizontally on the front-end, so if your site needs to handle large amounts of traffic you just need to run multiple front-end servers—your form handling code will scale up just fine.

[... 65 words]

Which web/software development conferences a student should attend and why?

Offer to volunteer at conferences. If accepted, you’ll get in for free and you’ll get to meet loads of people (including spending time with the speakers)—in exchange for a full days work manning desks, finding speakers in time for their talks, giving people directions and generally helping organise and clean things up.

[... 104 words]

Has JSON pretty much replaced XML for string processing for the web, or are there use cases where XML is still necessary?

It’s replaced XML as the default format for most APIs. XML is still necessary for Atom/RSS feeds and other existing standards built on top of XML. It’s also a better choice than JSON for markup-style data—stuff like XHTML where tags are applied to sequences of characters within larger chunks of text.

[... 81 words]

What is the best way to allow  users to add videos on a website ?

Encourage them to host their videos on YouTube, Vimeo etc and give you the URL, then generate an embed code on your site (using your own code or with the http://embed.ly/ API).

[... 71 words]

How can a new developer get involved in open-source projects?

I was going to say the same thing. Find a useful project in GitHub (preferably one that clearly has an active maintainer), fork it, fix a bug (look at the project’s issue tracker) then make a pull request.

[... 80 words]

Why are front end developers so high in demand at startups if front end development is relatively easier than other fields of engineering?

You’re starting with an invalid assumption. Front end development is absolutely not “easier” than other forms of engineering.

[... 333 words]

Can Scala gain wider usage than Java any time soon?

No, because Scala is harder to master than Java.

[... 54 words]

How do you change page content and URL without reloading the whole page?

This can only be done using JavaScript. You use XMLHttpRequest to pull in new information from the server (also known as Ajax—most people use a JavaScript library such as jQuery to handle this) and then use the HTML5 history API, in particular the pushState method, to update the URL.

[... 133 words]

How long until Ruby developers are as cheap as PHP developers? is it already happening? should I still learn it or it only has a couple years left and I’m better off with SSJS?

If you want to be a highly paid engineer, you should worry less about your expertise in a specific language and more about developing broad and deep skills across a wider range of development topics.

[... 197 words]

Why do websites contain multiple webpages when they could use AJAX?

Because it shouldn’t require a full-blown JavaScript interpreter just to access content on the Web.

[... 32 words]