Weeknotes 2020.09.14

Things I've been looking at in the week beginning Monday the 14th of September, 2020.

Personal Data Warehouse

I watched and thoroughly enjoyed Simon Willison's talk at PyCon AU - https://2020.pycon.org.au/program/73uk8x/, which I missed live probably because my internet was playing up. He talks about a number of things and in particular Datasette and it's ecosystem - https://github.com/simonw/datasette.

I swim to keep vaguely fit. I try and swim at least 3 times a week and sometimes even achieve that target. To keep track of my progress against my goals and because I'm a nerd I have a CSV file where I record key details of each swim. Turns out I've been doing this since August 2008.

As a nice compact data source I often use this file to try out tools and technologies.

I loaded it up into Datasette but ran into a snag - my date and time columns don't display very well in the Datasette web interface. That's because I had used Simon's csv-to-sqlite module to create my database, but it (quite rightly) doesn't type the Sqlite columns because the Sqlite engine itself ignores datatype declarations.

Meanwhile I've been using this data to try out Metabase and to build dashboards on my laptop. Metabase introspects your database and does take into account the datatypes declared for columns.

To get typed columns in my database I built it by hand and use my own csvload script to populate the Sqlite database. I feed that database to Metabase and build dashboards like this;


If you are looking for a straight forward business intelligence tool I highly recommend taking Metabase out for a spin.

Interesting Media

(c) Getty Images The lovely people at the Sydney Opera House have put up a video of a Paul Weller concert they hosted in 2018. I was there and the only thing the video doesn't capture is just how loud it was. Bloody magnificent. A great choice of tunes as well, just imagine having a back catalogue that let's you play 'Eton Rifles' as the third track.