Playing with Freebase – List of television spin-offs

April 24, 2007

I started playing with Freebase a few days ago. It’s like a cross between the Wikipedia and a database. It also has an API and a Javascript template language MJT.

Yesterday Alec Flett suggested using the API to make a list of television spin-off shows using the API and MJT.

Here’s the hand-written page on the Wikipedia: List of television spin-offs

Here’s my auto-generated list. (Freebase account required). It’s the first time I’ve written anything using MJT. Feedback very welcome.

Screenshot of auto-generated TV Spinoff list

Here’s a screen-shot to prove that it works 😉

How the code works:

  1. Execute a query for all TV Programs with Spin-offs
  2. Create a hash-table of programs that are spin-offs
  3. Display all the root TV programs
  4. Display all the spin-off TV programs
  5. For-each spin-off, move its DOM element to be a child of its parent TV program

The program also highlights the 30-odd TV Programs with claim to be spin-offs of themselves. Looks like the data could do with some cleaning up.

Bugs to fix:

  • Internet Explorer support (currently only works in Firefox)
  • Alphabetically sort sub-branches of tree as well
  • Stop using Wikipedia CSS file
  • Find a more elegant way to invoke Javascript after a database query finishes

Updates: Nov 07 – fixed broken link


Google Page Creator Reliability / Uptime problems

April 20, 2007

I recently moved my caving club website Spekul.be to Google Page Creator, citing its ease of use and rock-solid reliability.

Now I’m not so sure how reliable Google Page Creator is. The direct link to my site works fine:http://www.spekul.be-a.googlepages.com/

But trying to access www.spekul.be has just started to give the following error messages today:

Google Page Creator 502 Server Error

Google Page Creator 503 server error

Other people have reported the same hosting problems with Google Page Creator.

Does anybody know:

  • If sites hosted by Google Page Creator are frequently down?
  • Do you have accurate uptime statistics for your webpage hosted on Google Page Creator?
  • Is there an official “current Service Status” for Page Creator?

UPDATE: 12 hours later Spekul.be is back up. I’m now trying to collect statistics on Google’s reliability as a web host, if you had a similar problem then please add a comment below.