Simon Willison blogs at http://simon.incutio.com/ xml

The Resource Expert Droid

25/06/2009 @ 10:00 UTC

Simon Willison : The Resource Expert Droid - The Resource Expert Droid. Like the HTML Validator but for your server’s HTTP headers—extremely useful.

joshua : mnot’s Web log: The Resource Expert Droid - like the cacheability server, but better

Simon Willison's four lessons from the Guardian's journalism crowdsourcing experiment

24/06/2009 @ 16:00 UTC

Andy Baio : Simon Willison's four lessons from the Guardian's journalism crowdsourcing experiment - they deliberately made it game-like to encourage participation  [via]

Simon Willison : Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian's (spectacular) expenses-scandal experiment - Four crowdsourcing lessons from the Guardian’s (spectacular) expenses-scandal experiment. Michael Andersen from the Nieman Journalism Lab interviewed me about the MP expenses crowdsourcing site.

Test-Driven Heresy

24/06/2009 @ 11:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Test-Driven Heresy - Test-Driven Heresy. Tim Bray advocates TDD for maintenance development, but argues that it may not be as useful during the exploratory, greenfield development phase of a project.

To Sprite Or Not To Sprite at Vladimir Vukićević

24/06/2009 @ 03:00 UTC

deusx : To Sprite Or Not To Sprite at Vladimir Vukićević - "The biggest problem with CSS sprites is memory usage. Unless the sprite image is carefully constructed, you end up with incredible amounts of wasted space. My favourite example is from WHIT TV's web site, where this image is used as a sprite.

Simon Willison : To Sprite Or Not To Sprite - To Sprite Or Not To Sprite. CSS sprite images are decompressed to full bitmaps by browsers before they are rendered, so sprite files with large numbers of pixels will dramatically increase the memory footprint of your site.

Google asked people in Times Square:"What is a browser?"

20/06/2009 @ 02:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Google asked people in Times Square:"What is a browser?" - Google asked people in Times Square:“What is a browser??. Stuff like this makes me despair for creating a secure web—what chance do people have of surfing safely if they don’t understand browsers, web sites, operating systems, DNS, URLs, SSL, ce

The breakneck race to build an application to crowdsource MPs' expenses

19/06/2009 @ 22:00 UTC

Simon Willison : The breakneck race to build an application to crowdsource MPs' expenses - The breakneck race to build an application to crowdsource MPs’ expenses. Charles Arthur wrote up a very nice piece on the development effort behind the Guardian’s crowdsourcing expenses app.

Towards a Standard for Django Session Messages

19/06/2009 @ 22:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Towards a Standard for Django Session Messages - Towards a Standard for Django Session Messages. I completely agree that Django’s user.message_set (which I helped design) is unfit for purpose, but I don’t think sessions are the right solution for messages sent to users. A signed cookie containing

Unimpressed by NodeIterator

19/06/2009 @ 22:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Unimpressed by NodeIterator - Unimpressed by NodeIterator. John Resig, one of the most talented API designers I’ve ever come across, posts some well earned criticism of the document.createNodeIterator DOM traversal API.

jcgregorio : John Resig - Unimpressed by NodeIterator - Java-think raises its ugly head again, this time infecting Javascript.

Guardian crowdsources investigation into MPs' expenses

18/06/2009 @ 22:00 UTC

Andy Baio : Guardian crowdsources investigation into MPs' expenses - brilliantly using readers to dig through 700,000 documents to aid their investigation

Simon Willison : Investigate your MP's expenses - Investigate your MP’s expenses. Launched today, this is the project that has been keeping me ultra-busy for the past week—we’re crowdsourcing the analysis of the 700,000+ scanned MP expenses documents released this morning. It’s the Guardian’s

C64 Twitter client

17/06/2009 @ 09:00 UTC

Simon Willison : C64 Twitter client - C64 Twitter client. Awesome.

Jeremy Zawodny : C64 Twitter client - C64 Twitter client: heh

Jython 2.5.0 Final is out!

17/06/2009 @ 00:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Jython 2.5.0 Final is out! - Jython 2.5.0 Final is out!. It’s been a long time coming—congratulations to the team.

SWFUpload jQuery Plugin

16/06/2009 @ 12:00 UTC

Simon Willison : SWFUpload jQuery Plugin - SWFUpload jQuery Plugin. Nice looking plugin around an invisible Flash shim that provides multiple file uploads and client-side progress indicators.

philgyford : SWFUpload jQuery Plugin : Adam Royle - A nice jQuery way to implement the SWFUpload thingummy. (via Yoz)

Opera Unite

16/06/2009 @ 11:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Opera Unite - Opera Unite. Opera’s big announcement: a developer preview (“labs release?) of their new web-server-in-your-browser feature, Unite. Includes an Opera-hosted proxy to help break through your firewall. The web server can be customised using server-s

Greg Storey : Opera Unite is here. - Downloading now. You should too.

Andy Baio : Opera Unite - web server hosted in the browser using Opera's proxy servers for a simple URL; file sharing seems the most useful

Dealing with election results data

12/06/2009 @ 18:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Dealing with election results data - Dealing with election results data. Alf Eaton loaded the Guardian’s European election results spreadsheet in to Google’s new Fusion Tables tool.

The GIF Pronunciation Page

11/06/2009 @ 23:00 UTC

Simon Willison : The GIF Pronunciation Page - The GIF Pronunciation Page. It’s jiff. Here’s evidence.

Cryptographic Right Answers

11/06/2009 @ 23:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Cryptographic Right Answers - Cryptographic Right Answers. Best practise recommendations for cryptography: “While some people argue that you should never use cryptographic primitives directly and that trying to teach people cryptography just makes them more likely to shoot themsel

Exactly how well did the BNP do where you live?

11/06/2009 @ 12:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Exactly how well did the BNP do where you live? - Exactly how well did the BNP do where you live?. Guardian journalists spent a day and a half calling round different local authorities to get a proper breakdown of the European election results (which are only officially published in aggregate) and publ

Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames

11/06/2009 @ 10:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames - Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames. I have to admit I was planning to just let Facebook get on with it, assuming that the OpenID provider part would show up of its own accord—but maybe I should write a thoughtful and persuasive essay about it

François Hodierne : Exclusive: The Future of Facebook Usernames - Anil Dash - Excellent :-) #

Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store

10/06/2009 @ 10:00 UTC

Rod Begbie : Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store - Short story by Robin Sloan (Al Gore's doppelgänger, dontchaknow) about "recession, attraction, and data visualization". [via#

Andy Baio : Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store - must-read short fiction on data visualization, Google book scanning, and immortality

Simon Willison : Mr. Penumbra's Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store - Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store. Enormously entertaining short story about data visualisation and creepy San Francisco bookshops by Robin Sloan.

Styling buttons to look like links

10/06/2009 @ 02:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Styling buttons to look like links - Styling buttons to look like links. Nat has a neat trick for styling submit buttons to look like regular links—so there’s absolutely no excuse for using a “delete? link when you should be using a POST request.

philgyford : Styling buttons to look like links | Natalie Downe - For the very few occasions when you want to make a submit button look like a standard link. Not that you should. (via Simon Willison)

Augmenting photos - with OSM!

9/06/2009 @ 12:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Augmenting photos - with OSM! - Augmenting photos—with OSM!. “You climbed up a mountain and took a photo ... but it’s 2009! Why doesn’t it have all kind of magic over the top of it.?—Marmota matches your landscape photos to height field data, then overlays data from OpenSt

The Twitpocalypse is Near: Will Your Twitter Client Survive?

9/06/2009 @ 11:00 UTC

Simon Willison : The Twitpocalypse is Near: Will Your Twitter Client Survive? - The Twitpocalypse is Near: Will Your Twitter Client Survive?. Twitter tweet IDs will shortly tick over past the maximum signed 32 bit integer, potentially breaking applications. I learnt this lesson when the same thing happened to Flickr photo IDs: neve

walking papers lives

7/06/2009 @ 14:00 UTC

Simon Willison : walking papers lives - walking papers lives. Round trip mapping: print out a map from OpenStreetMap, walk around annotating it with a pen, then scan the result back in (a QR code ensures the area and orientation is recognised) . Specifically targeted at eye-level stuff which

Daniel's Daily Monster

7/06/2009 @ 14:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Daniel's Daily Monster - Daniel’s Daily Monster. Jon Hicks: “Every week day I draw a little monster card to go in my son’s lunchbox.? Geek dads rock.  [via]

Installing Django, Solr, Varnish and Supervisord with Buildout

7/06/2009 @ 14:00 UTC

Simon Willison : Installing Django, Solr, Varnish and Supervisord with Buildout - Installing Django, Solr, Varnish and Supervisord with Buildout. Useful, detailed instructions... but I still think this stuff is Way Too Difficult at the moment. I’m a big fan of the idea of sites that are assembled from multiple smaller web services

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