Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in 2004

Filters: Year: 2004 ×

Optimizing JavaScript for Execution Speed (via) Performance tips from Andy King # 1st December 2004, 9:47 am

Building a Metadata-Based Website. Meta-food for thought. # 1st December 2004, 9:46 am

Python 2.4. Woohoo! It’s been released. # 1st December 2004, 12:57 am

Ten Most Wanted Design Bugs. My favourite is unexplained greyed-out menu items. # 1st December 2004, 12:29 am

Python Parsing Tools (via) Ned’s compilation of Python parsing libraries. # 30th November 2004, 2:53 pm

Mozilla Firefox article on Wikipedia. Today’s featured article. # 28th November 2004, 1:24 pm

Eclipse download hell

One of the many thing the Mozilla/Firefox team have got right is the fantastic ease with which the application can be downloaded. Visitors to are greeted with a nice big “Free Download” link, aimed straight at the version for their (automatically detected) operating system hosted on a mirror geographically close to their IP address. It’s hard to think of any way they could improve on this.

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Bug Report (via) PPK’s latest, an interactive CSS browser bug database. Fantastic! # 24th November 2004, 12:31 am

No EU Software Patents

It would be nice if someone with some serious design credentials would knock up some more aesthetically pleasing banners.

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The Register hit by XSS

Here’s a nasty one: popular tech news site The Register was hit on Saturday by the Bofra exploit, a nasty worm which uses an iframe vulnerability in (you guessed it) Internet Explorer to install nasty things on the victim’s PC. Where it gets interesting is that the attack wasn’t against the Register themselves; it came through their third party ad serving company, Falk AG.

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Tim Bray: Opening Everything. “... the days when the recipe for success included wrapping the engineering in a veil of secrecy, those days are gone.” # 21st November 2004, 4:03 pm

XUL Filemanager (via) Really, really impressive technology demo. Firefox required. # 21st November 2004, 12:53 am

RFC 1925: The Twelve Networking Truths. “This memo documents the fundamental truths of networking for the Internet community.” # 20th November 2004, 9:26 pm

Introducing Java 5. It seems to mainly fix common irritations, which can’t be a bad thing. # 19th November 2004, 5:16 pm

S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System (via) If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so. It’s great. # 18th November 2004, 9:39 pm

Hack your way out of writer’s block. I frickin’ LOVE Merlin Mann. # 18th November 2004, 9:33 pm

Metafilter new user signups are open. Requires a $5 one-time donation. # 18th November 2004, 8:04 pm

Google Scholar. Search academic papers. Invaluable for degree course final year projects. # 18th November 2004, 3:25 pm

Kittens! (via) It’s the motherlode! # 18th November 2004, 11:16 am

The Man Behind the FedEx Logo (via) An interview, mostly about the subliminal arrow. # 17th November 2004, 12:50 am

Syrup Sponge. Best. Pudding. Ever. # 16th November 2004, 5:41 pm

Blinded by Science (via) “How ’Balanced’ Coverage Lets the Scientific Fringe Hijack Reality” # 16th November 2004, 2:19 pm

MeriBlog: Mumps. More mump pics. # 15th November 2004, 2:09 pm


I’ve become yet another statistic in the Bath Mumps epidemic of 2004. I’m quarantined until next Monday, and this afternoon we had a camera crew from ITV West come round to film some doom-and-gloom footage warning students to get vaccinated. Amusingly the camera man hadn’t had Mumps and took suitable precautions to avoid infection. I’m told that the piece will go out on ITV news for the south west at 6pm this evening.

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Why MP’s should get blogging. Another MP who gets it. # 14th November 2004, 12:17 pm

The True Story of Audion (via) A long but fascinating read. # 12th November 2004, 12:08 pm