Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries in 2007

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2007 ×


Unobtrusively Mapping Microformats with jQuery

Microformats are everywhere. You can’t shake an electronic stick these days without accidentally poking a microformat-enabled site, and many developers use microformats as a matter of course. And why not? After all, why invent your own class names when you can re-use pre-defined ones that give your site extra functionality for free?

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Comet works, and it’s easier than you think

I gave a talk this morning at the Yahoo! Web Developer Summit on Comet, cometd and Bayeux.

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Figuring out OpenSocial

So it’s out, and lots of people are talking about it, but I’m still trying to work out exactly what it is. There seem to be two parts to it: a standardised set of GData APIs for accessing lists of friends and their activities (like the Facebook news feed) and a bunch of JavaScript APIs for enabling developers to write hostable widgets and “container sites” to embed those widgets.

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Getting from point A to B (the right way)

If your laptop is relatively recent it might have hardware support for virtualization (Intel Core Duo chips do, for example). If so, it’s worth looking in to using VMWare or Parallels to run a virtual linux server locally on your machine. You’ll need a fair amount of RAM for this as well—2 GB minimum probably.

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Questioning Steve Ballmer

This morning I attended a half day briefing at Microsoft UK entitled “The Online Opportunity—What Makes a Successful Web 2.0 Start-Up?”. Despite the buzzword laden title the event was well worth the trip up from Brighton, mainly due to the Q&A with Steve Ballmer (a pretty rare opportunity).

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Designing for a security breach

User account breaches are inevitable. We should take that in to account when designing our applications.

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jQuery for JavaScript programmers

When jQuery came out back in January 2006, my first impression was that it was a cute hack. Basing everything around CSS selectors was a neat idea (see getElementsBySelector) but the chaining stuff looked like a bit of a gimmick and the library as a whole didn’t look like it would cover all of the bases. I wrote jQuery off as a passing fad.

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Website for the masses!

You could try building it on top of a wiki engine, like MediaWiki—see my comment on this older question.

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What to do on vacation?

I had a fantastic (and not expensive) Cajun meal here last night at Montage—really fun place, very quirky.

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A note about simple registration

Simple registration is an extension that allows OpenID consumers to ask your provider for extra information—your name, e-mail address, date of birth and so on.

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Doing Local Right

“Doing Local Right” was the title of my talk at this year’s @media Europe. Patrick had asked me if I could put together a case study, and I jumped at the chance to share some of the work of my former colleagues at the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas. I had the privilege of working at the newspaper for a year in late 2003-2004.

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Help me figure out my Macbook Pro!

For (slightly) better diagnostics of your wireless connection problems, try running the “Console” application (use Quicksilver or Spotlight to find it). That will show your the system log which often includes more information about connection errors.

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Massive Dreamhost hack, WordPress not to blame

On mezzoblue, Dave Shea reports that someone had modified every index.php and index.html file on his site to include spam links at the bottom of the page, hidden inside a <u style="display: none;">. Dozens of other people in his comments reported the same thing happening to their sites.

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Problems with XHTML content type.

The first question you should be asking is why you need XHTML—if you don’t have a specific reason (the need for XML parsers to be able to consume your pages) you’re much better off with HTML 4.01 for now, and HTML 5 in probably a year or so.

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oxfordgeeks.net

Nat and I had a bit of a mini-hackday this bank holiday Monday. Nat’s been doing a great job summoning local geeks out of the woodwork with Oxford Geek Nights event, but it’s still pretty hard to find other interesting events in the Oxfordshire area. It’s not that there aren’t any, it’s just that the geek community in Oxford is currently pretty fragmented.

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The Implications of OpenID

My second presentation at XTech 2007. Unfortunately there’s just the Matt Webb keynote to go, and I spent most of the conference worrying about my talks. There’s a lot to be said for speaking as early as possible.

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JavaScript Libraries: The Big Picture

I just gave my first talk at XTech 2007 (I’m speaking again on Friday, on OpenID). Slides are on slideshare.net.

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Turn your Django application in to an OpenID consumer

I’ve just put the finishing touches on the first releasable version of django_openidconsumer, a package that makes it easy to add OpenID consumer support to any Django application.

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Extending a WiFi network with two Macs and a FireWire cable

Last night’s Oxford Geek Night went really well, despite more than the usual flurry of problems. It’s definitely true that the more geeks there are in a room the less likely it is that the projector will work! Thankfully we got everything up and running in time for the talks to start, although it was a pretty close call.

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San Diego, tell me more

You should totally go to Horton Plaza. It’s a shopping mall, but it’s also basically one big architectural joke. Everything is at funny angles, and stairs and ramps never take you where they think you will. I usually have no interest in visiting malls at all but I totally loved it.

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Stupid computers.....do what I want!

Look for a header called X-Forwarded-For, but be sure to read this first.

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Oxford Geek Night 2

If you missed the last Oxford Geek Night, you really owe it to yourself to make it to the next one. If you were there then you shouldn’t need any convincing.

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My Future of Web Apps talk as a slidecast

The team at Carson Systems have a pretty quick turnaround on their podcasts; they’ve had full recordings of every speaker up for a few days now. I spent a bunch of time over the weekend splicing the recording of my talk together with my slides, and the result is now available at The Future of OpenID (a slidecast).

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Six cool things you can build with OpenID

I’ve posted the slides from my Future of Web Apps talk on OpenID, minus the demo videos. I’m planning to put together a video that combines the slides, demos and audio once the official podcasts have been published.

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Warning, this is a bad site!

Unfortunately it’s not a glitch in the matrix—this happened to a friend of mine. If a site gets this warning and isn’t listed on StopBadWare.org it just means that Google have blacklisted it themselves—they don’t share their reasons with StopBadWare, and provide no mechanism to find out why they’ve blacklisted you. The link to StopBadWare is something of a red herring.

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OpenID at the Future of Web Apps

People seemed to really like my talk—they even laughed in the right places! I’ll be posting full notes, slides and writing an article for Vitamin over the next few days. For the moment I’m just enjoying coming down from the adrenaline high.

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Speaking at the Future of Web Apps

Just a quick update to say that I’ll be speaking at the Future of Web Apps conference in London on February the 21st, talking about OpenID. I really enjoyed last year’s event and feel honored to be included in such an exciting schedule.

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Why you should be using disambiguated URLs

Good URLs are important. The best URLs are readable, reliable and hackable.

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idproxy.net: Use your Yahoo! account as an OpenID

In an ideal world, some or all of the sites with large user databases (Yahoo!, AOL, Google, Amazon and so on) would act as OpenID providers, allowing their users to sign in to OpenID supporting sites around the Web. Until that happens, people who want to use OpenID need to sign up for Yet Another Account to do so.

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Social whitelisting with OpenID

A key feature of OpenID is that it provides a globally unique identifier for every user, no matter what site or service they are using on the Web.

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