Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in Aug, 2007

Filters: Year: 2007 × Month: Aug ×


Webistrano. Web based interface for managing Capistrano deployments. Cal recommends having a “deploy to live site” button in his book; this looks like an easy way to build that. # 31st August 2007, 11:05 pm

Python 3.0a1 released. Wow, that was a pretty fast turnaround. Betas are planned for 2008, with a final release scheduled for August. # 31st August 2007, 8:36 pm

A meeting must fight to exist. It must defend its existence to its attendees who should constantly be asking “Why are we here?”

Rands # 31st August 2007, 5:50 pm

They promised us jetpacks, too. Ben Hammersley points out that the recent flying car story has done the rounds many times before. I’m sure I remember it from my childhood. # 31st August 2007, 10:28 am

XFML (via) Throwing the new home for the XFML specification some Google juice; the domain name got nabbed by a squatter. # 30th August 2007, 10:27 pm

Ganeti (via) New from Google (developed in the Zurich office): virtual server management tool designed to “facilitate cluster management”, built on top of Xen. # 30th August 2007, 9:51 pm

Long pages work. And thanks to Pay Per Click advertising, splitting an article over multiple pages to get more ad impressions doesn’t make sense any more. # 30th August 2007, 12:40 pm

Thoughts on (and pics of) the original Macintosh User Manual. “[I] was struck by how it had to explain a total paradigm shift in interacting with computers”. # 30th August 2007, 5:32 am

The biggest mistake I made in Leonardo was making “foo” and “foo/” mean the same thing.

James Tauber # 29th August 2007, 8:52 pm

Google Web Toolkit: Towards a better web. Good overview of why GWT exists, but I take exception to the title: requiring JavaScript to even display something does not make the web “better”. # 29th August 2007, 8:21 pm

A Django Cache Status. Django view to display stats pulled from your memcached server. # 25th August 2007, 2:08 pm

Why the Alt Attribute May Be Omitted. “The benefit of requiring the alt attribute to be omitted, rather than simply requiring the empty value, is that it makes a clear distinction between an image that has no alternate text (such as an iconic or graphical representation of the surrounding text) and an image that is a critical part of the content, but for which not alt text is available.” # 25th August 2007, 1:11 pm

At one point I thought I hated programming because I was just so sick it... It turns out I don’t hate programming, I just hate programming in Java.

Russell Beattie # 25th August 2007, 1:09 am

BCS Oxfordshire: 2007/8 Programme. Need to get these in to Upcoming and tagged for oxfordgeeks.net. # 24th August 2007, 4:49 pm

jQuery 1.1.4: Faster, More Tests, Ready for 1.2. The backwards compatibility policy for 1.2 is pretty clever: provide a plugin that restores removed functionality (such as XPath selectors). # 24th August 2007, 4:22 pm

Building a JavaScript Library. Slides from John Resig’s Google Tech Talk. Some great tips in here, including: make your APIs orthogonal, look for common patterns, keep things extensible and write the documentation yourself. # 24th August 2007, 4:02 pm

Brad Neuberg’s Personal Research Agenda. Inspiring; lots of interesting problems to solve. I also liked the idea of moving to Thailand during a tech downturn and hacking on interesting projects while spending $200/month on living costs. # 23rd August 2007, 1:40 am

Satchmo 0.5 Release. Django powered e-commerce application, “the webshop for perfectionists with deadlines”. # 22nd August 2007, 10:36 pm

The other interesting thing about the 1.0.2 update is that Apple didn’t try to prevent the hacks that are out there [...] one would have assumed that Apple would have done *something* in this release as a sort of “shot across the bow” but they didn’t, which bodes well for a future, more open platform.

Russell Beattie # 22nd August 2007, 10:08 pm

The Shrinking Python Web Framework World. Python used to suffer from a paradox of choice with regards to Web frameworks; today things are considerably easier for new developers. # 22nd August 2007, 10:06 pm

Live Query jQuery plugin. Ingenious plugin that lets you register jQuery event bindings to be executed when a new element matching the provided selector is added to the DOM. Performance is kept snappy by only running the check after a jQuery DOM manipulation method has been executed (append, prepend, attr etc); it won’t notice elements added using regular DOM methods. # 22nd August 2007, 10:01 pm

In 1997, I chose to suppress a similar finding: users tend to click on banner ads that look like dialog boxes, complete with fake OK and Cancel buttons.

Jakob Nielsen # 21st August 2007, 6:34 pm

Django and the iPhone tutorial. How to install SSH, Python and Django on your iPhone and get Django running against the call database. Less complicated than I expected. # 21st August 2007, 11:34 am

H.264 support coming to the Flash player. It looks like this is a response to the higher video quality offered by Silverlight. I wonder if YouTube knew about this when they started transcoding their videos to H.264 for the Apple TV and iPhone. # 21st August 2007, 8:28 am

XRAY now works in IE. Westciv’s smart CSS debugging bookmarklet now works in IE 6. # 21st August 2007, 8:07 am

An update on Google Video feedback. Google are now offering a real refund to everyone who bought a video, and are letting people keep the Google Checkout credit as well. Purchased videos will keep working for six months. # 21st August 2007, 7:54 am

BBC Olinda digital radio: Social hardware. Schulze and Webb made a social radio prototype for the BBC; the IPR will be under an attribution license so manufacturers can run with it without asking for permission first. # 20th August 2007, 9:47 pm

Some thoughts on Mahalo. Rich Skrenta with notes on running a large site that lives and dies by SEO traffic. # 20th August 2007, 5:23 pm

I’ve been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system—it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes.

Joel Spolsky # 20th August 2007, 3:58 pm

Bust A Name. Smart Ajax powered domain search; you give it some words, it shows you available combinations. It’s still almost impossible to find something that doesn’t suck though. # 20th August 2007, 3:40 pm