Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged webdevelopment in Dec

Filters: Month: Dec × webdevelopment ×


Are Django versions released too often?

The Django release process is well documented (see Django’s release process) and has been specifically designed to address the concerns of developers who don’t want to have to spend too much time keeping up to date with the latest version.

[... 182 words]

As a non-technical single founder for a web startup, is it better to hire a design firm to build the prototype, or find a technical co-founder?

Find a co-founder. The problem with using an outside agency to build your initial prototype is that you won’t really start learning about your product until after you have launched it. You need to have the talent available in-house to then make changes and improvements based on the feedback you get from real users.

[... 123 words]

Is there a substantial difference between using a Mac or a Windows machine for web development (particularly RoR)?

No matter if you are on Mac or Windows you should be using a Linux virtual machine for development, ideally running the same operating system as you deployment environment (I like Ubuntu for this). Vagrant is a popular tool for managing this kind of setup.

[... 151 words]

Is greater comfort with Windows a good enough reason to switch from PHP to ASP.NET?

Learning Linux really isn’t that hard, and it will dramatically increase your potential horizons as a programmer. Install Ubuntu on a virtual machine on your laptop and start running through some tutorials.

[... 53 words]

What is the ways to view the examples without download the example files in github?

If you can view the file on raw.github.com you can drop the first dot to view it on rawgithub.com—a free proxy service.

[... 107 words]

How can I detect manual record insert from mysql cansole into my code in django .?

You can’t. The best you can do is have Django periodically poll MySQL to see if anything has changed (maybe with a custom management command run by cron)—having a TIMESTAMP field on every table which will be automatically set to the current time when a record is inserted will help you spot things that have changed.

[... 80 words]

Which are the best front-end schools in London, UK?

General Assembly in Clerkenwell run several intensive courses relating to front-end web development that look very good.

[... 32 words]

What will HTTP be superseded by?

HTTP 1.x will likely never be completely replaced, but there is ongoing work at the moment to define HTTP 2.0. The first draft of this was released in November and is based on Google’s SPDY protocol, which is already widely deployed in Google Chrome and Google’s web properties (other browsers have experimented with support for SPDY as well): http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

[... 122 words]

Which language and framework would you use today?

Unless I had a very good reason to use something else (a pure websocket/real-time collaboration app perhaps) I’d go with stock Django on PostgreSQL and maybe a bit of Redis. Simple, powerful, stable and works reliably.

[... 50 words]

What are good ways to develop software architectures using multiple languages?

There are a bunch of options for communicating between different languages, but these days the simplest is definitely JSON—it maps directly to common data structures in PHP, Python, Ruby and so on. Treat it as your common interchange format and you can’t go far wrong. It’s very easy to build simple internal web services on top of JSON.

[... 109 words]

If I study HTML5, can I avoid having to learn javascript?

Many of the most exciting new features that fall under the term HTML5 only make sense in the context of JavaScript—things like Canvas, Web Workers, AppCache and so on. So no, you can’t learn HTML5 properly without getting familiar with JacaScript.

[... 60 words]

How can some really large services (like Dropbox) afford to use Python as a primary language, if it’s one to two orders of magnitude slower than other, compiled languages?

Because raw language speed often doesn’t matter that much. In the case if Dropbox the client software spends most of its time waiting for bits to load from the network or from disk. Most large websites spend their time waiting for the database. You can’t speed up network or disk performance by using a faster language.

[... 91 words]

How do I really learn coding?

Build real websites. Find a project and work on it. A personal blog is a great project as it can be simple to start with and get more complex over time.

[... 44 words]

Django (web framework): What are the Best Practice For Displaying another Website from yours?

This isn’t really a Django-specific question—the answer would be the same no matter what server-side tech you use.

[... 121 words]

Does one still need to learn C/C++ if one just wants to build web applications?

No—you don’t need any knowledge of C or C++ to get started building web apps—I know plenty of extremely smart and talented web developers who have never written a line of production C in their while careers.

[... 122 words]

How much ram do you need for 100M hits per day?

That entirely depends on what you are running your site on. If it’s static HTML pages, nginx will work fine on hardly any RAM at all (though you would probably be better off serving the entire site out of S3 and not using a VPS at all).

[... 99 words]

Are there any Meta APIs?

Embed.ly is a good example of this kind of API—it gives you one endpoint which wraps oembed APIs on dozens of other services (plus a bunch of custom scraping code). We use it as part of our video/slide embedding feature on http://lanyrd.com/

[... 57 words]

What specific skills are most important in a front-end web developer and in a back-end web developer?

Understanding of web app security. If they don’t know what XSS, CSRF and clickjacking are I’d be worried.

[... 41 words]

What is a single page application and is this the technology I should use for developing  my web application?

Single page applications are applications which are heavily dependent on JavaScript, with just one web page that you visit which then loads all other content using JavaScript. Prominent examples include Gmail and the new twitter.com

[... 360 words]

Can someone improve their knowledge of programming in Ruby or PHP by using a framework like Rails or Zend, or does the framework just do a lot of the work for you without giving you an opportunity to learn from it?

Read the source, luke.

[... 82 words]

Is there any quantified proof that .NET or others Microsoft technologies are not good for web startups?

How can you “prove” such a thing? You can disprove the statement that “.NET is no good for web startups” by pointing to examples such as Stack Overflow.

[... 51 words]

How long would it take an average programmer to do a Ruby on Rails Reddit clone prototype?

Just FYI, Reddit is an open source Python project: http://code.reddit.com/

[... 34 words]

How should you set up a staging server?

Start by reading this: http://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/12...

[... 20 words]

Why do browsers allow cross-domain JavaScript to execute but not XMLHttpRequests?

It’s called the Same Origin Policy, and it’s principally about intranets. Imagine you have a URL http://intranet.corp/top-secret-...—and you then visit http://evil.example.com/ . If cross domain XHR was allowed the evil site could suck that secret document off your intranet without you realising.

[... 105 words]

What are some scalable OAuth and OpenID server implementations?

Any OAuth library should scale horizontally—I can’t see how any one library would be a better choice than another.

[... 36 words]