E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


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Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.


Though LightTPD (or "Lighty") is the darling lightweight webserver of 2005, Jef Poskanzer's thttpd has been serving static content securely and wickedly fast since 1995 or so.

O'Reilly's ONLamp.com recently posted a tutorial, "Lightweight Web Serving with thttpd", which is worth a look if you run a high-traffic site or have underpowered server hardware. The article walks you through installing and configuring thttpd, setting up CGI and virtual host support, and using thttpd as a static content server behind a more full-featured server like Apache.

I keep a functional install of thttpd at the ready so that in the event of an Apache meltdown my server can at least tell visitors what's wrong. Other sites, like images.paypal.com, have more serious uses for it.

Jef is a long-time member of The Well, incidentally.

(I see in the comments at the end of the O'Reilly piece that the author was somehow unaware of LightTPD -- perhaps there'll be a followup comparison.)

Monday, October 17th, 2005

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