A New Direction for Easy Open Data

29 Aug 2013

About 6 months a go I published Easy Open Data, a tool to make it easy to publish custom-formatted open data from Google Spreadsheets. The response I received was wonderful, and it has been gone on to be used by people to open up all sorts of interesting data.

Unit Testing Third-Party REST APIs in Python

06 Aug 2013

I’ve wrestled with this problem for some time, and finally cracked it. Here’s how to write unit tests for methods that use third-party REST APIs.

Semantic HTML is the Gateway Drug to Open Data

04 Aug 2013

James Padolsey says that semantic HTML is dying.

How to store Visitor ID in Google Analytics

29 Jul 2013

Google analytics doesn’t store records for each individual visitor, but with a bit of JavaScript magic, it can be done.

We Need a Longer View of the Content Lifecycle

04 Jul 2013

Recently I’ve been trying to understand different content management strategies and the implications these have for the underlying technology. Most of what I’ve read fails to consider the long-term utility of content, considering only the newest to be useful. We need to develop a longer view of the life of web content. We should plan for content to live, not for years, but centuries.

How to Spoof RESTful Verbs in WebApp2

19 Jun 2013

WebApp2 is the default Python micro-framework that ships with Google App Engine. It it light-weight and easy to use, but comes without many bells and whistles.

Thank You for a Wonderful Product Launch

11 Mar 2013

This morning I launched easyopendata.com upon the world, and it has been a wonderful day.

Using Persistent Cookies in Sinatra

31 Jan 2013

I’m making a note of this here, because using persistent cookies in Sinatra doesn’t seem to be very well documented anywhere else.

Scraping Tweets the Easy Way

28 Jan 2013

Most organisations who are putting effort in to their social media presence will want to record and monitor the impact that their activities have. But collecting tweet data through the API to process can be fiddly.

Barcharts in the Command Shell

24 Jan 2013

Here’s a little function I wrote to plot the distribution of values passed in through a pipe.