Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries in Aug, 2010

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2010 × Month: Aug ×


What is the largest production deployment of Server Side JavaScript?

I believe Flickr used to use Rhino for scripting the image processing (resizing, thumbnailing, sharpening) that was applied to every single uploaded photo. No idea if that’s still the case though.

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How do Solr, Lucene, Sphinx and Searchify compare?

Lucene is a Java library for creating and searching through a full text index. If you want to make use of it, you’ll need to write your own Java code that integrates with it.

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Does SQLAlchemy depend on MySQLdb?

No. SQLAlchemy can talk to all sorts of different DB-API compliant backends, including MySQL Connector/J (Jython only), MySQL Connector/Python, mysql-python (the MySQLdb module) and OurSQL—plus backends for many other databases. See the full list here:

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Django (web framework): Why did theonion.com stop using Drupal?

They wrote about their reasons in detail in a post to the Django sub-reddit a while ago: http://www.reddit.com/r/django/c...

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What is the best way to learn about setting up server software for Python based web apps?

I’m a big fan of Fabric for automated deployment scripts. Start by reading this tutorial: http://morethanseven.net/2009/07...

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In what circumstances should one use “magic quotes” in PHP?

Absolutely never. Magic quotes was a badly designed feature, and PHP has been trying to escape its legacy for years. If you are constructing SQL strings using string concatenation you’re asking for trouble—use prepared statements or a library that interpolates and correctly escapes variables for you.

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Why do some people disable JavaScript in their browser?

For security reasons.

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Which major companies are using Solr for search?

The Guardian newspaper uses Solr for its Open Platform Content API. http://www.guardian.co.uk/open-p...

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Which Solr app for Django is better: Haystack or django-solr-search (solango)?

I’d go with Haystack—while it supports multiple backends, I get the feeling Solr is the principle backend it was developed for. It’s extremely well documented in my opinion, and the SearchQuerySet API it gives you makes running low-level queries really easy if the higher level class-based view it provides don’t do quite what you want.

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What is the largest production deployment of CouchDB for online use?

The BBC have a pretty big CouchDB cluster, which they use mostly as a replicated key-value store. It’s used by their new identity platform which includes customisation features for iPlayer.

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What is the highest traffic website built on top of Django?

My best guess would be Disqus. Instagram are pretty enormous these days as well.

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What is the history of the Django web framework? Why has it been described as “developed in a newsroom”?

I was there!

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