Local data previewer for CKAN that uses the resource cache instead of the remote data
by Ross Jones


This extension is a modified, but local implementation of the OKFN dataproxy that runs as a CKAN extension rather than on Google AppEngine. This has been written to improve the performance on data.gov.uk and increase the maximum file size processed.

The interface to the extension::


is not exactly the same - dataproxy requires the URL instead of the resource id - the data returned is identical. Rather than always fetching the data from the remote site the new controller at the above route will first attempt to find the data in the ckanext-archiver’s local archive.


The most straightforward method of installation is::

git clone git://github.com/rossjones/ckanext-datapreview.git
cd ckanext-datapreview
python setup.py develop

Once complete the datapreview should be added to your ckan.plugins property in the appropriate .ini file.


  • XLRD - retrieved by setup.py
  • ckanext-archiver - for the resource cache

As this extension is based on the dataproxy it is currently using the same old copy of brewery (0.5.0) which is not available in pypi (link for 0.5.0 version references tip in a HG repo). It is included in this source code repository.


Currently when previewing this data with recline.js the dataproxy backend has a hard-coded URL to http://jsonpdataproxy.appspot.com which means it is unable to be used with this extension.

On data.gov.uk we have patched a local copy of recline to use the new datapreview, however a patch to the recline dataproxy backend should be feasible.


  • Increases the limit on download size (doesn’t have the appengine download limit)
  • When provided with a HTML file pretending to be a CSV file, it returns an error instead of rendering the HTML on linefeeds.
  • Uses the local archive cache if it exists rather than hitting the remote site.

Possible future enhancements

  • Render any RDF provided in a useful format for display, possibly CSV derived from a JSON-LD serialisation.
  • Unpacking of .zip files

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