Lenny Domnitser’s
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This is a static archive of the domnit.org blog,
which Lenny Domnitser wrote between 2006 and 2009.

Utility Mill is Cool

I was going to make passing mention along with news about Stepic, the Python image steganography library (that’s coming), but Utility Mill deserves more of a plug.

What happened was, I got an email from a fellow named Greg Piñero saying that he made a web interface to Stepic. I liked it, but was more impressed with the site he hosted the utility on: Utility Mill is a sort of wiki for little web utilities. You make a utility by creating some input fields through the Utility Mill web application, then write Python code to do something. It’s as simple as webifying a utility can be: if you have a text input called NAME, your code just uses that variable and prints output:

# Hello World for Utility Mill
print 'Hello', NAME

The utilities are radically open-source: code is viewable by anybody, and editable by any registered user (with revision control, natch). It’s all licensed under the GPL. That same code generates a human interface, as well as XML and Javascript APIs for free.

I soon realized that Greg not only made the utility, he also created the website. We exchanged emails about security (it seems he has it pretty well figured out), bugs and features, and possible business models.

Also, Utility Mill’s limited-memory environment kicked me to make some improvements to Stepic that I’ve been meaning to make for a little while. (A release with these changes is forthcoming.)

Here’s my Utility Mill profile: lenny.