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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SourceForge prettifying

A few days ago, Sourceforge got a makeover:

The SourceForge.net Engineering team has completed the implementation of a new look-and-feel for the SourceForge.net site. This is the first major change to the appearance of the SourceForge.net site in more than three years. This work is part of a planned incremental revamp to the SourceForge.net site. Initial focus has been placed on revamp of page header, footer, layout; and specific improvements to the SourceForge.net front page, project summary page, login page, file release page, and download page. Launched 2005-11-14.

Very nice, and long overdue. It's clearly an incremental update -- you can see how content boxes from the old layout have been shuffled into the new one without much internal change in some cases -- but it is a huge improvement. The first thing I noticed when I arrived at one of the new-style project pages this week was the CodeZoo-style big green "Download" button. Nice touch. I suspect that many novice users have come and gone from SF pages without ever figuring out how to download what they came for.

I've had my worries about Sourceforge. A post has been percolating in my head for a few months now where I look over the Sourcefore alternatives/competitors (there are many) and see where Sourceforge stands in relation to them. Maybe I'll put that off for a while longer.

There's lots more for them to do, of course -- it's a very complex site. The page layout is still pretty chaotic and the URLs are still crufty. But I give a lot of credit to the team that's undertaking these updates, and look forward to seeing the next steps.

Saturday, November 19th, 2005
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1 comment

0 comments pending approval
Comment from Joseph , 2 days later

From a usability perspective, it's a nightmare. There are so many gradients that your eye just rattles over the bumps of the first six rows in the grid, and keeps hitting new ones down the page. Things flicker and pop about as your mouse moves over the screen. No text wants to say "read me first". I must say I don't share your enthusiasm at all — the old design had its faults, but not such glaring defects as these.

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