Simon Willison’s Weblog

49 items tagged “datasette”

Analyzing US Election Russian Facebook Ads

Two interesting data sources have emerged in the past few weeks concerning the Russian impact on the 2016 US elections.

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Analyzing US Election troll tweets with Datasette

FiveThirtyEight published nearly 3 million tweets from accounts associated with the Russian “Internet Research Agency”, based on research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren at at Clemson University.

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Datasette unit tests: monkeytype_call_traces (via) Faceted browse against every function call that occurs during the execution of Datasette’s test suite. I used Instagram’s MonkeyType tool to generate this, which can run Python code and generates a SQLite database of all of the traced calls. It’s intended to be used to automatically add mypy annotations to your code, but since it produces a SQLite database as a by-product I’ve started exploring the intermediary format using Datasette. Generating this was as easy as running “monkeytype run `which pytest`” in the Datasette root directory. # 2nd August 2018, 9:03 pm

Documentation unit tests

Keeping documentation synchronized with an evolving codebase is difficult. Without extreme discipline, it’s easy for documentation to get out-of-date as new features are added.

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Datasette: publish_subcommand hook + default plugins mechanism, used for publish heroku/now (via) I just landed a new plugin hook to Datasette master: publish_subcommand, which lets you define new publisher subcommands for the “datasette publish” CLI tool in addition to Heroku and Zeit Now. As part of this I’ve refactored the heroku/now publisher implementations into two default plugins that ship as part of Datasette—I hope to use this pattern for other core functionality in the future. # 26th July 2018, 5:27 am

XARs: An efficient system for self-contained executables (via) Really interesting new open source project from Facebook: a XAR is a new way of packaging up a Python executable complete with its dependencies and resources such that it can be distributed and executed elsewhere as a single file. It’s kind of like a Docker container without Docker—it uses the SquashFS compressed read-only filesystem. I can’t wait to try this out with Datasette. # 13th July 2018, 7 pm

The Now CDN (via) Huge announcement from Zeit Now today: all deployments are now served through the Cloudflare CDN, which means they benefit from 150 worldwide CDN locations that obey HTTP caching headers. This is particularly relevant for Datasette, since it serves far-future cache headers by default and uses Cloudflare-compatible HTTP/2 push hints to accelerate 302 redirects. This means that both the “datasette publish now” CLI command and the Datasette Publish web app will now result in Cloudflare-accelerated deployments. # 12th July 2018, 3:34 am

datasette-vega (via) I wrote a visualization plugin for Datasette that uses the excellent Vega “visualization grammar” library to provide bar, line and scatter charts configurable against any Datasette table or SQL query. # 29th June 2018, 3 pm

Query Parquet files in SQLite. Colin Dellow built a SQLite virtual table extension that lets you query Parquet files directly using SQL. Parquet is interesting because it’s a columnar format that dramatically reduces the space needed to store tables with lots of duplicate column data—most CSV files, for example. Colin reports being able to shrink a 1291 MB CSV file from the Canadian census to an equivalent Parquet file weighing just 42MB (3% of the original)—then running a complex query against the data in just 60ms. I’d love to see someone get this extension working with Datasette. # 24th June 2018, 7:44 pm

Datasette 0.23: CSV, SpatiaLite and more (via) The big new feature in 0.23 is CSV export: any Datasette table or query can now be exported as CSV, including the option to get all matching rows in one giant CSV file taking advantage of Python 3 async and Datasette’s efficient keyset pagination. Also in this release: improved support for SpatiaLite and various JSON API improvements including the ability to expand foreign key labels in JSON and CSV responses. # 18th June 2018, 3:34 pm

SpatiaLite — Datasette documentation. Datasette’s documentation now includes extensive coverage of the SpatiaLite extension for SQLite: how to install it, how to import latitude/longitude points, shapefiles and GeoJSON data into SpatiaLite tables, and how to run SQL queries against it that take advantage of spatial indexes. I’m learning SpatiaLite at the moment and filling out the documentation with each new trick I learn as I go—as Mark Pilgrim once taught me, the best way to learn a new technology is to write about it. # 30th May 2018, 4:34 am

Datasette Facets

Datasette 0.22 is out with the most significant new feature I’ve added since the initial release: faceted browse.

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sqlitebiter. SImilar to my csvs-to-sqlite tool, but sqlitebiter handles “CSV/Excel/HTML/JSON/LTSV/Markdown/SQLite/SSV/TSV/Google-Sheets”. Most interestingly, it works against HTML pages—run “sqlitebiter -v url ’’” and it will scrape that Wikipedia page and create a SQLite table for each of the HTML tables it finds there. # 17th May 2018, 10:40 pm

Datasette: Full-text search. I wrote some documentation for Datasette’s full-text search feature, which detects tables which have been configured to use the SQLite FTS module and adds a search input box and support for a _search= querystring parameter. # 12th May 2018, 12:09 pm

Datasette: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (via) The Metropolitan Museum of Art publish a CSV file on GitHub with details of 464,360 items from their collection. I turned it into a searchable Datasette instance. # 9th May 2018, 6:38 pm

Notes from my appearance on the Changelog podcast

After I spoke at Zeit Day SF last weekend I sat down with Adam Stacoviak to record a 25 minute segment for episode 296 of the Changelog podcast, talking about Datasette. We covered a lot of ground!

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Datasette 0.21: New _shape=, new _size=, search within columns. Nothing earth-shattering here but it’s accumulated enough small improvements that it warranted a new release. You can now send ?_shape=array to get back a plain JSON array of results, ?_size=XXX|max to get back a specific number of rows from a table view and ?_search_COLUMN=text to run full-text search against a specific column. # 5th May 2018, 11:25 pm

Datasette—a talk at Zeit Day SF 2018 (via) Slides from the talk I gave today about Datasette and Datasette Publish at the Zeit Day SF conference. # 28th April 2018, 9:31 pm

Exploring the UK Register of Members Interests with SQL and Datasette

Ever wondered which UK Members of Parliament get gifted the most helicopter rides? How about which MPs have been given Christmas hampers by the Sultan of Brunei? (David Cameron, William Hague and Michael Howard apparently). Here’s how to dig through the Register of Members Interests using SQL and Datasette.

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JSON Escape Text. I built a tiny tool for turning text into an escaped JSON string—I needed it to help create descriptions and canned SQL queries for adding to Datasette’s metadata.json files. # 25th April 2018, 4:13 am

Datasette ClusterMap Plugin – Querying UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Ratings Open Data (via) Tony Hirst wrote a tutorial on using datasette-cluster-map to analyze food hygiene ratings data from the FSA # 20th April 2018, 8:50 pm

Datasette plugins, and building a clustered map visualization

Datasette now supports plugins!

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Datasette 0.19: Plugins Documentation (via) I’ve released the first preview of Datasette’s new plugin support, which uses the pluggy package originally developed for py.test. So far the only two plugin hooks are for SQLite connection creation (allowing custom SQL functions to be registered) and Jinja2 template environment initialization (for custom template tags), but this release is mainly about exercising the plugin registration mechanism and starting to gather feedback. Lots more to come. # 17th April 2018, 3:59 am

Datasette 0.18: units (via) This release features the first Datasette feature that was entirely designed and implemented by someone else (yay open source)—Russ Garrett wanted unit support (Hz, ft etc) for his Wireless Telegraphy Register project. It’s a really neat implementation: you can tell Datasette what units are in use for a particular database column and it will display the correct SI symbols on the page. Specifying units also enables unit-aware filtering: if Datasette knows that a column is measured in meters you can now query it for all rows that are less than 50 feet for example. # 14th April 2018, 3:56 pm

Wireless Telegraphy Register (via) Russ Garrett used Datasette to build a browsable interface to the UK’s register of business radio licenses, using data from Ofcom. # 12th April 2018, 4:08 pm

Datasette 0.15: sort by column (via) I’ve released the latest version of Datasette to PyPI. The key new feature is the ability to sort tables by column, using clickable column headers or directly via the new _sort= and _sort_desc= querystring parameters. # 9th April 2018, 5:25 pm

Baltimore Sun Public Salary Records (via) The Baltimore Sun have published an interactive search engine for public salaries of Maryland state employees, and it’s powered by Datasette! Since data journalism is one of my key use-cases for Datasette I’m incredibly excited to see this in the wild. They’ve also published the underlying source code (see the via link) which is a really nice example of how to use Datasette’s custom templates and canned query functionality. # 28th March 2018, 5:12 pm

Cloud-first: Rapid webapp deployment using containers (via) The Research Software Engineering group at ICL have written a tutorial on deploying web apps as Docker containers using Azure and they use Datasette as the example application. # 28th March 2018, 3:50 pm

Observable notebook: San Francisco trees from Datasette. I used an Observable notebook to rebuild my San Francisco tree search demo against a Datasette API of a CSV of trees published by the SF Department of Public Works. The map updates live as you type a query, and every cell can be toggled to view the underlying source code. # 1st February 2018, 12:37 am

Datasette Demo (video) from the SF Python Meetup

I gave a short talk about Datasette last month at the SF Python Meetup Holiday Party. They’ve just posted the video, so here it is:

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