Simon Willison’s Weblog

Quotations in 2007

Filters: Type: quotation × Year: 2007 ×


I definitely like Python 3K’s Unicode support better [...] In fact, I think I prefer Ruby 1.8’s non-support for Unicode over Ruby 1.9’s “support”. The problem is one that is all to familiar to Python programmers. You can have a fully unit tested library and have somebody pass you a bad string, and you will fall over.

Sam Ruby # 28th December 2007, 7:05 pm

Boxing Day toy discovery: Mega Bloks not compatible with Duplo! See, Alex Russell? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU INNOVATE AHEAD OF STANDARDS

Yoz Grahame # 26th December 2007, 5:58 pm

I don’t even use Firefox and Firebug anymore, the revised Web Inspector in Leopard has been incorporated in Coda and that does everything I need and more.

Jon Hicks # 20th December 2007, 3:09 pm

To get a better future, not only do we need a return to “the browser wars”, we need to applaud and use the hell out of “non-standard” features until such time as there’s a standard to cover equivalent functionality. Non-standard features are the future, and suggesting that they are somehow “bad” is to work against your own self-interest.

Alex Russell # 16th December 2007, 11:33 pm

Don’t EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit.

Linus Torvalds # 16th December 2007, 9:53 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

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

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

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

Simply put, free and open-source software is just the scientific model applied to programming: free sharing of work open collaboration; open publication; peer review; recognition of the best work, with priority given to the first to do a meaningful new piece of work; and so forth. As a programmer, it is the best arena in which to work. There are no secrets; the work must stand on its own.

Dave Shields # 30th November 2007, 11:47 pm

What do we call personal information management when it moves into shared online spaces? I asked myself that question, and the answer that came back was: social information management.

Jon Udell # 27th November 2007, 10:05 pm

I can’t help feel that BDD is a case of a bad idea spreading; the motivations for BDD are fine (a change in developer testing workflow), but the technique they use to try to reach the desired workflow is totally bizarre.

Ian Bicking # 27th November 2007, 7:16 pm

Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity.

Jeffrey Zeldman # 20th November 2007, 11:44 pm

I think it is well established that HTTP Authentication needs a major kick in the ass and OpenID and OAuth may get us most of the way there. However, until I see RFC#s attached to both I’m hardly going to consider them to be complete. I propose the creation of an IETF WG on Identity and Authentication. The WG would be chartered to produce two RFCs covering each of the two areas. OpenID and OAuth could be used to seed the WG effort.

James Snell # 18th November 2007, 12:15 am

I don’t understand why the NSA was so insistent about including Dual_EC_DRBG in the standard. It makes no sense as a trap door: It’s public, and rather obvious. It makes no sense from an engineering perspective: It’s too slow for anyone to willingly use it. And it makes no sense from a backwards-compatibility perspective: Swapping one random-number generator for another is easy.

Bruce Schneier # 16th November 2007, 10:25 am

In the long term, I want to replace JavaScript and the DOM with a smarter, safer design. In the medium term, I want to use something like Google Gears to give us vats with which we can have safe mashups. But in the short term, I recommend that you be using Firefox with No Script. Until we get things right, it seems to be the best we can do.

Douglas Crockford # 7th November 2007, 3:36 pm

But here’s the thing: Regular people on the web *love* Snap previews. I know you don’t believe it—I didn’t want to believe it. But it’s completely true. In the testing and feedback I’ve seen, it’s some emotional pull about the fact that links “do something” now, instead of just being on the page.

Anil Dash # 2nd November 2007, 6:49 am

The Web Application Scale of Stupidity goes from OGF (One Giant Function) to OOP (Object Oriented Programming), like this: OGF ——– sanity ——— OOP

Cal Henderson (paraphrased) # 2nd November 2007, 6:23 am

“The web is fundamentally better when it’s social, and we’re only just starting to see what’s possible when you bring social information into different contexts on the web,” said XXXX.

Google's unreleased OpenSocial Press Release # 31st October 2007, 6:39 pm

A school in the UK is using RFID chips in school uniforms to track attendance. So now it’s easy to cut class; just ask someone to carry your shirt around the building while you’re elsewhere.

Bruce Schneier # 24th October 2007, 8:36 pm

Django may be built for the Web, but CouchDB is built of the Web. I’ve never seen software that so completely embraces the philosophies behind HTTP. CouchDB makes Django look old-school in the same way that Django makes ASP look outdated.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss # 20th October 2007, 1:46 pm

Historically, Internet companies have rarely encrypted passwords to aid customer service.

Fasthosts # 18th October 2007, 5:27 pm

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February.

Steve Jobs # 17th October 2007, 6:04 pm

Yet when you look at the projects in the UK, these projects are failing. The more they fail, the more it drives [the UK government] down this weird behaviour of only selecting the biggest people—even though they’ve failed two or three times before.

John Powell # 16th October 2007, 5:33 pm

I can’t say I’m overwhelmed with surprise. I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.

Doris Lessing # 12th October 2007, 7 pm

The larger question is why on earth, in 2007 and ten years after XML came out, we are still using text files that don’t label their encoding?

Rick Jelliffe # 8th October 2007, 12:27 pm

SOA [...] is the generally held belief that when implementing systems one should expose system functionality for general consumption directly from the network, as well as or instead of burying it behind a user interface.

Pete Lacey # 6th October 2007, 1:44 am

The arc of TF2 is something that’s probably familiar to a lot of amateur developers or designers. When we got here the first thing we built was overly complex, very hard core, almost impenetrable to anyone who wasn’t familiar with FPSs in general. And as we found as we played it, wasn’t more fun because of it.

Robin Walker # 6th October 2007, 12:04 am

Obviously, everyone knows that patration means “the freedom and portability to move from one service provider to another without hinderance or boundaries”

Simon Wardley # 5th October 2007, 11:38 pm

I thought the big draw for Apple hardware was that “It Just Works.” By breaking it, you must know you’re giving up the “Just Works” factor, so what’s left? Rounded corners?

Mark Pilgrim # 5th October 2007, 4:32 pm