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.

Soft launch

I quietly launched my first production Django site today, a replacement for a mess of legacy third-party PHP code. Unfortunately, it's a members-only service related to my job and so I don't have a public URL to share.

A couple interesting points: the new site was developed alongside the still-live legacy PHP apps, using some of the same data -- including a user table that's used for authentication. django-admin.py inspectdb made model creation fairly easy. I also found Scott Hurring's PHPSerialize module indispensible for working with the highly crufty legacy data.

This seems like a good time to thank all the authors and contributors to Django, as well as the folks who have answered my questions on IRC and the people who have taken the time to write up their experiences in technical detail.

It was a lot of work, and frankly I could have knocked out a PHP version in much less time. But I wanted to set the stage for cleaner, saner development in the future. I only expect to get faster.

More to come -- some of it open to the public, even.

Thursday, January 19th, 2006
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0 comments pending approval
Comment from radek , later that day

Willing to share some experience with the transition?

Comment from Paul , later that day

Do you mean details on using the legacy data, or more general comments?

Comments are closed for this post. But I welcome questions/comments via email or Twitter.