Simon Willison’s Weblog

Quotations in Sep

Filters: Type: quotation × Month: Sep ×

Inevitably we got round to talking about async. As much of an unneeded complication as it is for so many day-to-day use-cases, it’s important for Python because, if and when you do need the high throughput handling of these io-bound use-cases, you don’t want to have to switch language. The same for Django: most of what you’re doing has no need of async but you don’t want to have to change web framework just because you need a sprinkling of non-blocking IO.

Carlton Gibson # 27th September 2020, 3:09 pm

The Bias-for-Building Fallacy is most common in orgs that worship speed. That’s fine, but if you go speedily in the wrong direction, you will end up in the wrong place. That’s why teams should value velocity much more than speed: velocity being a combo of speed & direction.

Shreyas Doshi # 26th September 2020, 2:07 pm

One academic who interviewed attendees of a flat-earth convention found that, almost to a person, they’d discovered the subculture via YouTube recommendations.

YouTube’s Plot to Silence Conspiracy Theories # 20th September 2020, 1:27 am

A manager on Strategic Response mused to myself that most of the world outside the West was effectively the Wild West with myself as the part-time dictator – he meant the statement as a compliment, but it illustrated the immense pressures upon me.

Sophie Zhang # 15th September 2020, 9:21 pm

Simply put, if you’re in a position of power at work, you’re unlikely to see workplace harassment in front of you. That’s because harassment and bullying are attempts to exert power over people with less of it. People who behave improperly don’t tend to do so with people they perceive as having power already.

Sarah Milstein # 1st September 2020, 3:10 pm

Microservices are about scaling teams, not scaling tech

Petrus Theron # 28th September 2019, 4:23 pm

If you’re a little shy at conferences, speaking is The Best way to break the ice. Nobody talks to you before the talk. Everybody want’s to talk to you afterwards, largely because they have a way in. As such, public speaking is bizarrely good for introverts.

Andy Budd # 26th September 2019, 3:15 pm

People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystem are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?

Greta Thunberg # 23rd September 2019, 8:28 pm

Anyone with solid knowledge of both SQL and genetic engineering want to write me an UPDATE query to turn me into a dinosaur?

@simonw # 19th September 2019, 4 pm

When you’re pump­ing mes­sages around the In­ter­net be­tween het­ero­ge­neous code­bas­es built by peo­ple who don’t know each oth­er, shit is gonna hap­pen. That’s the whole ba­sis of the We­b: You can safe­ly ig­nore an HTTP head­er or HTML tag you don’t un­der­stand, and noth­ing break­s. It’s great be­cause it al­lows peo­ple to just try stuff out, and the use­ful stuff catch­es on while the bad ideas don’t break any­thing.

Tim Bray # 1st September 2018, 1:41 am

Content management remains an unsolved problem. Untold billions of dollars (and hours) have been spent building commercial, open source, and custom content management systems since the first Web page was pushed to a Web server using FTP, and yet they all still suck.

Rafe Colburn # 30th September 2010, 12:26 pm

The Web for me is still URLs and HTML. I don’t want a Web which can only be understood by running a JavaScript interpreter against it.

Me, on Twitter # 27th September 2010, 4:37 pm

While I don’t expect Twitter to master its own destiny as far as the decentralization of the medium goes, I do support the idea, and I hope that Twitter as a business can coexist with the need for the world to have a free, open, reliable, and verifiable way for humans to instantly communicate in a one-to-many fashion.

Alex Payne # 16th September 2010, 11:07 am

Look at Sony, or Microsoft, or Google, or anyone. They still don’t get it. They’re still out there talking about chips, or features, or whatever. Or now they’re all hot for design. But they think design means making pretty objects. It doesn’t. It means making a system of pieces that all work together seamlessly. It’s not about calling attention to the technology. It’s about making the technology invisible.

Fake Steve Jobs # 28th September 2009, 10:40 pm

Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.

Microsoft spokesperson # 24th September 2009, 4:49 pm

Ask browser users, and they’ll tell you the overwhelming reason why they can’t upgrade to a more modern, standards-compliant browser is because their work won’t let them. Ask IT departments why this is the case and they’ll point to the six- to seven-figure costs of upgrading turn-of-the-century Intranets written to work in, and only in, Internet Explorer 6. Google have provided a way for websites to opt out of IE6 (and even IE7) support without requiring enterprise-wide, Intranet-breaking browser upgrades.

Charles Miller # 23rd September 2009, 3:08 pm

In the past, the Google Wave team has spent countless hours solely on improving the experience of running Google Wave in Internet Explorer. We could continue in this fashion, but using Google Chrome Frame instead lets us invest all that engineering time in more features for all our users, without leaving Internet Explorer users behind.

Lars Rasmussen and Adam Schuck # 23rd September 2009, 9:59 am

Years ago, Alex Russell told me that Django ought to be collecting CLAs. I said “yeah, whatever” and ignored him. And thus have spent more than a year gathering CLAs to get DSF’s paperwork in order. Sigh.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss # 21st September 2009, 6:35 pm

There was this clamour in the past to get companies to open source their products. This has stopped, because all the software that got open source sucked. It’s just not very interesting to have a closed source program get open sourced. It doesn’t help anyone, because the way closed source software is created in a very different way than open source software. The result is a software base that just does not engage people in a way to make it a valid piece of software for further development.

Ian Bicking # 21st September 2009, 6:22 pm

Developing for the iPhone at the moment is like picking up dimes in front of a bulldozer.

Tim Bray # 21st September 2009, 5:30 pm

We experimented with different async DB approaches, but settled on synchronous at FriendFeed because generally if our DB queries were backlogging our requests, our backends couldn’t scale to the load anyway. Things that were slow enough were abstracted to separate backend services which we fetched asynchronously via the async HTTP module.

Bret Taylor # 11th September 2009, 5:31 pm

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him.

Gordon Brown # 10th September 2009, 11:39 pm

The only down side is everyone I’ve talked to at Freebase seems pretty solid on this being their proprietary secret sauce, because a good, fast scalable open source tuple store might actually jump start a real semantic (small-S) web after all these years.

Kellan Elliott-McCrea # 29th September 2008, 3:29 pm

We’ve found CSRF vulnerabilities in sites that have a huge incentive to do security correctly. If you’re in charge of a website and haven’t specifically protected against CSRF, chances are you’re vulnerable.

Bill Zeller # 29th September 2008, 1:11 pm

Yahoo could also have followed Gmail’s lead, and disabled the security-question mechanism unless no logged-in user had accessed the account for five days. This clever trick prevents password “recovery” when there is evidence that somebody who knows the password is actively using the account.

Ed Felten # 22nd September 2008, 4:21 pm

The Palin hack didn’t require any real skill. Instead, the hacker simply reset Palin’s password using her birthdate, ZIP code and information about where she met her spouse—the security question on her Yahoo account, which was answered (Wasilla High) by a simple Google search.

Kim Zetter, Wired # 18th September 2008, 10:23 pm

The greatest coup Microsoft pulled with Internet Explorer was putting the word “Internet” in its name. It sits there, on the desktop of every new Windows computer, and it says “Internet”. So you click it. [...] What better way to beat a browser with the word “Internet” in its name—a browser that seemingly can’t be beat no matter how hard we try—than the Internet Company itself making a browser?

Tom Armitage # 3rd September 2008, 10:19 am

Currently WebRunner applications share cookies with other WebRunner applications, but not with Firefox. WebRunner uses its own profile, not Firefox’s profile. There is a plan to allow WebRunner applications to create their own, private profiles as well.

Mark Finkle # 30th September 2007, 4:08 pm

Large codebases are the problem, not the language they’re written in. Find a way to break/decompose big codebases into little ones.

Bill de hÓra # 27th September 2007, 3:11 pm

I have another technique [...] that I’ll be switching jQuery to. If you attempt to insert into the document.body before the document is fully loaded, an exception is thrown. I take advantage of that to determine when the document is fully loaded.

John Resig # 26th September 2007, 12:21 pm