Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in 2011

Filters: Year: 2011 ×


What is the typical time overhead in using an open source package vs. an equivalent commercial package?

It totally depends on the software in question. If you are moving to popular, well maintained open source packages (things like nginx, solr, MySQL) you can often expect a large improvement in developer productivity due to the increased amount of tutorials, forums, mailing lists, irc channels and stackoverflow/quora posts you’ll have access to.

[... 76 words]

How do events get listed on Lanyrd?

We’re not automated—all of our events are added by our community. If we’re not listing your event yet, you can sign in with twitter and add it yourself (try http://lanyrd.com/conferences/add )

[... 47 words]

Does Quora use node.js?

Quora use their own event-based Python web framework which they’ve talked about quite a bit, called LiveNode. I believe it’s based on Tornado, the open source Python evented framework/appserver that was open sourced by Facebook after they acquired FriendFeed.

[... 49 words]

What’s the best way to keep a list of online users in a web application?

It depends on your definition of “online”—for this answer, let’s count anyone who has visited a page within the last 5 minutes.

[... 192 words]

Are there any large tech conferences/events in Australia?

Web Directions South is a big Australian web event—you’ve just missed it though, it was a couple of weeks ago: http://south11.webdirections.org/ ( http://lanyrd.com/2011/web-direc... on Lanyrd). It’s along the lines you describe, although tends to be more developer-focused than business-focused.

[... 83 words]

Why can’t we sell tickets for Get Together, our debut conference in London this year?

I just tried finding your event using both Google and Twitter’s search and I couldn’t find any information an it. I suggest setting up a Twitter account for the event and trying to increase your Google visibility a bit.

[... 179 words]

What are some good ways to search for an event?

Our site, http://lanyrd.com/ aims to solve this problem. We have over 13,000 conferences and other professional events listed (including seminars, meetups etc)—you can search them, but you can also sign in using your Twitter account to see which events your contacts are speaking at or attending.

[... 83 words]

What online, startup and mobile related events will take place in Romania in 2011?

The Eastern European Mobile Monday Developer Summit is a big mobile event in Bucharest on 26-28 September: http://mobilemondaysummit.eu/ and http://lanyrd.com/2011/eemomo2011/

[... 69 words]

What Social Media events or conferences are taking place in November 2011 in San Francisco or New York?

There don’t seem to be many “social media” events happening in November—September and October are peak season.

[... 120 words]

There is plenty of evidence in the ecosystem to support the hypothesis that, if given the tools to do so easily, object-oriented programmers are ready to embrace functional techniques (such as immutability) and work them into an object-oriented view of the world, and will write better, less error-prone code as a result. Simply put, we believe the best thing we can do for Java developers is to give them a gentle push towards a more functional style of programming.

Brian Goetz # 19th August 2011, 12:20 pm

Where is the best place to find a ticket to (the now sold-out) Strange Loop 2011?

Many conference organisers maintain a waiting list of people who want a ticket—it’s worth contacting the organiser and asking if he has a waiting list you can be put on.

[... 54 words]

What are the best big data conferences?

O’Reilly’s Strata is excellent—I went to their first event in February in Santa Clara, and they’re running another one in New York on 22nd-23rd September: http://lanyrd.com/2011/stratany/

[... 128 words]

How we use Redis at Bump. A couple of neat tricks I hadn’t seen before: using Redis to aggregate log files from multiple servers (they all push in to a Redis queue, then one process pulls from the queue and writes to disk), and using Redis blocking queues for RPC by specifying a different temporary queue to return the result. # 16th July 2011, 4:37 pm

What are some technology events to attend in San Francisco Bay Area in Fall 2011?

From browsing through our list here: http://lanyrd.com/places/san-fra... here are the ones that stand out:

[... 92 words]

Does Y Combinator ever fund British startups?

Yes. Our startup http://lanyrd.com/ went through Y Combinator Winter 2011 (Jan to March this year) and we’re a pair of UK co-founders. We’re back in London now.

[... 41 words]

What are the steps that you perform and the tools that you use before, during and after an event/conference?

PPK just published an amazingly comprehensive free guide to running a conference, which includes a chapter on what to do during the event: http://quirksmode.org/coh/confer...

[... 50 words]

What technical conferences or get togethers take place in London during the summer?

July and August are the quiet season for conferences (since many people are on holiday during those months—the larger events tend to stick to March to June or September to November).

[... 148 words]

What is the largest event organizers group on linkedin?

I think the largest group is http://www.linkedin.com/groups?g...—“Event Planning & Event Management”—it has over 35,000 members.

[... 35 words]

If Lanyrd allows anyone to edit conference information, how do you assure users that the information is correct?

The same way that wikipedia does—by relying on users to fix problems as they spot them. So far this has worked extremely well. We also prominently link to the official conference website so people can check the information themselves if they need to.

[... 69 words]

We can deploy new versions of our software, make database schema changes, or even rotate our primary database server, all without failing to respond to a single request. We can accomplish this because we gave ourselves the ability suspend our traffic, which gives us a window of a few seconds to make some changes before letting the requests through. To make this happen, we built a custom HTTP server and application dispatching infrastructure around Python’s Tornado and Redis.

Dan Manges, Braintree # 30th June 2011, 9:27 pm

The New Heroku (Part 4 of 4): Erosion-resistance & Explicit Contracts. I really like Adam’s description of Software Erosion—I’ve seen that happen to my projects a bunch of times, and it really is an important problem to solve. # 29th June 2011, 5:26 pm

What tech conferences are upcoming in San Francisco?

We have a pretty good list here: http://lanyrd.com/places/san-fra...

[... 23 words]

What are some site/app options for event recommendation/discovery?

Our site http://lanyrd.com/ recommends events (conferences, meetups, expos, guest lectures etc) based on who you follow on Twitter. In my opinion it works extremely well in suggesting events that would be a good fit for you.

[... 51 words]

Visualizing WebKit’s hardware acceleration. Command line flags for launching Safari (and the iOS simulator) in a way that highlights areas of the screen that are being hardware accelerated—particularly useful if you are using the “-webkit-transform: translate3d(0,0,0)” trick. # 27th June 2011, 10:31 am

What are the best conferences about startup in 2011 (2nd semester) ?

We have a list of upcoming startup events here: http://lanyrd.com/topics/startups/ ( http://lanyrd.com/topics/startup... lists just the ones in the USA)

[... 39 words]

Are any major tech conferences held in San Francisco in August or early September?

Dreamforce (the Salesforce/Cloud computing conference) is pretty huge—30th August to 2nd September: http://www.salesforce.com/dreamf...

[... 48 words]

What are some other conferences similar to Velocity?

Surge (28-30 Sept 2011 in Brooklyn) has a very good reputation: http://omniti.com/surge/

[... 41 words]

What are the best event sites/listings for London?

http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/ is a fantastic events listing site for unconventional arty/cultural events—lots of interesting guest lectures, open houses, guided walks etc.

[... 37 words]

What are some good ways to promote a “networking event” on the internet ?

Add your event to http://lanyrd.com/ and encourage your attendees to mark themselves as attending. That way, anyone who follows them on Twitter and uses Lanyrd will hear about the event, either directly on the site or via email if they’ve signed up for our email alerts.

[... 80 words]

Does Google (company) have their own Audio Visual department for their large conferences, or do they contract another company?

I believe it’s their own in-house team—when we ran the first DjangoCon at Google’s Mountain View HQ a few years ago I understood that the video team were their own (the same team that records their internal Google Tech Talks). It might be an external company that they contract in, but it felt like they were permanent staff.

[... 85 words]