Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items in 2007

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Jash: JavaScript Shell (via) An advanced JavaScript interactive shell bookmarklet that works in IE, Firefox, Opera and Safari. # 9th December 2007, 12:36 pm

Back To The Future of Print. Nat’s contribution to 24 ways: a long needed update on the state of the art in print stylesheets. # 9th December 2007, 12:56 am

Thai personal names (via) “Family names were allocated to families systematically and the use of family names is still controlled by the government. Any two people in Thailand with the same family name are related.” # 8th December 2007, 4:26 pm

The researchers found that simply having the doctors and nurses in the I.C.U. make their own checklists for what they thought should be done each day improved the consistency of care to the point that, within a few weeks, the average length of patient stay in intensive care dropped by half.

Atul Gawande # 8th December 2007, 4:25 pm

JavaScript Internationalisation, explained by reindeer. “Santa even spooked Comet recently by talking about him as if he were some pushy web server.” # 8th December 2007, 2:04 pm

Negative numbers in the Google Chart API. Stuart has some ingenious tricks for showing negative values on Google Charts, based on transforming the data to positive values and then relabeling the axes. # 8th December 2007, 9:03 am

Google Chart API Revisited. Marty does some more digging. # 7th December 2007, 11:59 pm

Unfortunately, I was shocked, horrified and moderately surprised to see that nowhere is there any mention of how to encode negative numbers. Google, I appreciate you trying to help, and I understand that this grew out of needs for Google Finance, where stock prices can never dip below zero. But there’s really not that much data out there in the real world that always exists solely above the origin.

Marty Alchin # 7th December 2007, 4:47 pm

James Henstridge: OpenID 2.0. Excellent description of the new features in OpenID 2.0, including a clear explanation of directed identity and attribute exchange. # 7th December 2007, 11:53 am

Blogmaker, a free blogging app for Django (via) “Blogmaker is a full-featured, production-quality blogging application for Django. It supports trackbacks, ping and comments with moderation and honeypot spam prevention.” # 7th December 2007, 1:04 am

Thanks to OpenID and OAuth, the Open Social Web is Beginning to Emerge. My blog’s OpenID powered watchlist and “your comments” features got a write-up on Wired! Nice to know that someone has noticed them. # 7th December 2007, 12:57 am

DiSo: Distributed Social Networking applications (via) New project to prototype a decentralised social network on top of WordPress, using OpenID, microformats and social whitelisting. # 6th December 2007, 5:48 pm

Google Chart API (via) Really neat charting API from Google—simply encode your chart data and configuration options in to a URL and Google will serve up a nicely rendered PNG. No API key required. It’s like a documented version of the Google Groups rounded corners API. # 6th December 2007, 5:37 pm

CouchDB Roundup. The CouchDB project is interested in contributions from people who can write a large file driver for Erlang, help figure out the CouchDB security model and build scripts to help benchmark performance, scalability and reliability. # 6th December 2007, 3:48 pm

The companies that couldn’t beat Microsoft have all died, and evolution has resulted in three very different types of companies that are each immune to Microsoft’s strategies in their own way. Yet all are still vulnerable to the same thing: a better product. For the end users, this is a good position for the industry to be in.

Ian Hickson # 6th December 2007, 3:43 pm

Conversation with Bill Gates about IE8 and Microsoft Transparency. Molly asks the tough questions about IE8—it looks like there should be a lot of IE8 material at MIX08 next year. # 6th December 2007, 11:47 am

OpenID 2.0 Final(ly)! Launched at the Internet Identity Workshop. The most interesting feature is probably directed identity, which goes a long way to solving some of the usability issues involved in users having to enter their own URLs. # 5th December 2007, 9:01 pm

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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YUI 2.4.0 released. Lots of great new features, but the one I’m most excited about is Selector: YUI finally has a CSS query engine. # 5th December 2007, 3:32 pm

Django Basic Apps. Nathan Borror has released a suite of simple, reusable Django applications: Basic Blog, Basic Places, Basic People, Basic Library and Basic Profiles. # 5th December 2007, 3:30 pm

Call for Participation for XTech 2008. XTech 2008 will be in Dublin, Ireland from the 6th to the 9th of May. Lots of really interesting topics in the CfP (OpenID, OAuth, Comet, CouchDB...)—deadline for submissions is the 25th of January. # 5th December 2007, 3:28 pm

xkcd: Python. Just type “import antigravity”. # 5th December 2007, 6:09 am

OAuth Core 1.0. The final spec. Expect to see this crop up all over the place in the next few months. # 5th December 2007, 3:39 am

The D Language and Server Logs. Neat example of a simple D program for crunching log files. # 3rd December 2007, 9:02 pm

Datejs—A JavaScript Date Library. Building a date API around chaining——is a neat concept. I’d like to see that adapted for Python’s datetime library. # 3rd December 2007, 9:01 pm

If you only remember one thing about handling non-HTML output via Django: know that you can use the HttpResponse object as if it were a file. Writing to such an object and returning it will give you the output you wrote. It’s a very simple concept, but one that translates well to third-party libraries.

Alex de Landgraaf # 3rd December 2007, 8:44 pm

First Notes on Django. Cool, the IETF are developing internal tools with Django. # 3rd December 2007, 11:38 am

Perl on Rails—Why the BBC Fails at the Internet. Depressing explanation of how the BBC’s decision to outsource its technical infrastructure to Siemens has resulted in severe technology limitations, including the need for everything to run on Perl 5.6 (5.8 came out in 2002). # 3rd December 2007, 9:43 am

Why the h can’t Rails escape HTML automatically? It would be a pretty huge change, but auto-escaping in Rails 2.0 could close up a lot of accidental XSS holes. # 1st December 2007, 8:34 pm

BBC Radio Labs: Perl on Rails. BBC engineered built their own Rails clone in Perl to fit in with the BBC’s engineering infrastructure—it’s already running the new programmes guide. # 1st December 2007, 1 am