Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in 2006

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Unobtrusive OpenID. Sam’s implementation passes association data in the URL rather than using sessions. I need to do that here. # 28th December 2006, 9 pm

How is Google giving me access to this page?

Google have an open URL redirector, so you can craft a link that uses that:

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Login to other services with Technorati. Technorati are now an OpenID provider. I’d much rather they were a consumer though; at the moment you can claim your blog with OpenID but you can’t log in to your Technorati account with an OpenID from elsewhere. # 26th December 2006, 8:41 pm

Sending a postal letter via the internets?

Thanks mycapaciousbottega. It looks like there’s still a business opportunity here because doesn’t work! I got through the create-your-letter step, but when I hit the “pay” button I got an error from the payment service stating that their user account didn’t exist.

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Serving Multiple Hosts from a Single Django Instance. Includes a patch to pull the urlconf from the request object, where it has been placed by some custom middleware. # 25th December 2006, 11:21 pm

What is the physically smallest and cheapest laptop capable of running OS X?

Apple rumors are worth approximately nothing, but there’s one going around that a ultra-slim 12“ MacBook Pro is going to be announced at MacWorld Expo some time in the second week of January; might be worth holding on until then to see if there’s any truth to it. There’s certainly a 12” sized hole in the line-up at the moment.

[... 81 words] fun with automated links. Nat’s documented one of’ least promoted features—the ability to auto-post your links to your weblog once a day. # 25th December 2006, 12:26 am

Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites. I finally got around to reading this. Fascinating; lots to digest. # 24th December 2006, 7:32 pm

VMWare Fusion (virtualization for Mac). Competition is good. The race is on between VMWare and Parallels as to who can get 3D acceleration virtualized first (and let me play Half-Life 2 without using BootCamp). # 24th December 2006, 12:49 pm

Rails vs Django Paper and Slides. Even if you’ve already read the paper you should check out the slides. Really good flow, clear and clever use of diagrams. # 24th December 2006, 12:43 pm

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection (via) Vista’s content protection is a nightmare for hardware manufacturers and consumers alike. It’s far worse than even BoingBoing readers would expect. # 24th December 2006, 10:34 am “I have created a python module which can launch a subprocess, wait for the process with a timeout, and kill that process and all of its sub-subprocesses correctly, on Windows, Mac, and Linux.” # 23rd December 2006, 12:23 am

html5lib (via) A python library for working with HTML5 documents. # 22nd December 2006, 11:58 pm

WebFaction blog: BIG holiday present! (via) WebFaction offer Django/Rails/TurboGears hosting for $7.50/month, allowing one long-running process and 40MB of RAM for their basic plan. # 22nd December 2006, 11:44 pm

The Daily Python-URL. Python’s number one news source, now powered by Django. # 22nd December 2006, 11:39 pm

digg: Screencast: How to use OpenID. No exclamation mark this time—let’s see if it makes a difference. # 22nd December 2006, 9:50 pm

OpenID screencast

OpenID’s biggest problem is its learning curve. Using it as actually really simple, but if you’re not technical the amount of stuff you have to know before you can understand it is enormous. If you are technical, it just doesn’t seem like it should work—there are a bunch of questions that come up every time OpenID is discussed anywhere (“but surely there’s nothing to stop someone else from spoofing your ID”) which OpenID has answers for, but which are easily misunderstood.

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Seems easy to me; if you want to serialize a data structure that’s not too text-heavy and all you want is for the receiver to get the same data structure with minimal effort, and you trust the other end to get the i18n right, JSON is hunky-dory.

Tim Bray # 22nd December 2006, 12:47 am

Comment transformer votre blog en une OpenID ? My piece on OpenID tranlated in to French by Christophe Ducamp. # 21st December 2006, 3:26 pm

Javascript character set screw-ups (via) Some browsers treat JavaScript files as having the same content-type as the page from which they are linked. This could cause problems with UTF-8 encoded JSON; the workaround is serving up ASCII with unicode escape sequences. # 21st December 2006, 3:20 pm

CNET interviewer assaulted by flying wang. Aah, Second Life. Never a dull moment. # 21st December 2006, 10:36 am

Introducing text-stroke. Webkit has some sexy new CSS properties: -webkit-text-fill-color, -webkit-text-stroke-color, -webkit-text-stroke-width. # 21st December 2006, 10:34 am

The good thing about reinventing the wheel is that you can get a round one.

Douglas Crockford # 21st December 2006, 10:14 am

Why JSON isn’t just for JavaScript

Dave Winer’s discovery of JSON (and shock that “it’s not even XML”) has triggered an interesting discussion thread, on his blog and elsewhere. Plenty of people have re-assured him (and themselves) that it’s only used for JavaScript—it’s convenient in the browser but irrelevant elsewhere.

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Percussive maintenance, with a twist. How to fix your broken iPod by dropping it, repeatedly. # 20th December 2006, 9:15 pm

I read on Niall Kennedy that has come up with an API that returns a JSON structure, and I figured, sheez it can’t be that hard to parse, so let’s see what it looks like, and damn, IT’S NOT EVEN XML! [...] Who did this travesty? Let’s find a tree and string them up. Now.

Dave Winer # 20th December 2006, 7:21 pm

Three steps to OpenID. Maybe explaining OpenID isn’t as hard as I thought... Jacob Kaplan-Moss nails it in three. # 20th December 2006, 12:44 pm

Conditionally Sticky Sidebar. A nicer implementation of the trick I’m using for my add comment form; this one takes advantage of position: fixed in browsers that support it. # 20th December 2006, 1 am

ErlyWeb Documentation. The Erlang web framework finally gets some formal documentation. # 20th December 2006, 12:45 am

Beginning of the end for open web data APIs? Google just ditched their SOAP API in favour of a crippled Ajax widget. What are the implications for other free-as-in-beer APIs? # 20th December 2006, 12:44 am