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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!


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Flock, a browser for bloggers

Flock, a Firefox-based browser with special features for bloggers, is now available in "Developer Preview" form. Because it's based on Firefox, stability and performance are pretty well ironed out. The interesting stuff, in brief, is:

Those are the ones that struck me the most, but there's more; read the intro pages that appear by default when you launch Flock.

I like it, but since 1) I'm not much of a del.icio.us user, and 2) my homebrew blog doesn't (yet) support any of the standard APIs, I don't feel compelled. Also, the engine is Firefox, which may be the best thing going on Windows and Linux, but on the Mac lags Safari and Camino in terms of visual polish and "nativeness."

Anyway, the Flock crew is clearly having a lot of fun and they are doing something very interesting. It was bold to do this by forking a new client instead of just trying to do it all via Firefox extensions, but I think it was the right decision. People who don't actually try it will say things like "blah blah, what's so new about this, I already do that in my browser using blah blah blah."

I think that a dedicated fanbase is going to emerge quickly. Because of the nature of Flock, these people will be very active web users who blog and share photos and post their bookmarks to del.icio.us, and that means it's going to gain visibility very quickly. I'm sure those clever Flockers realize this. So what happens after that?

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

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