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.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

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

Spam Report

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


Last fall I got all fired up about a fork of the GPL'ed Smultron editor for OS X which we called Saskatoon. The project died on the vine, so I zipped up the source code, posted it on Sourceforge, and sent an e-mail to the few dozen people subscribed to our announcement list.

In the aftermath, I noticed an interesting thing -- with 30 downloads in one week, our "Activity Percentile" rose to 99.33%. Unless I'm misreading something, that means that only about 700 of the 100,000+ projects on Sourceforge were downloaded more than 30 times that week.

I appreciate the service that Sourceforge provides. (I think the interface may have been created by drunken monkeys, but that's a separate rant). That said, I wonder if it's wise for them to boast about hosting 100,000 projects when so many of those (mine included) are, by the numbers, of apparently of very little use to anyone.

Sunday, July 31st, 2005
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