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.

Book

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!

Colophon

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, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, Markdown, Mercurial, OS X, Python, Review Board, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, Ubuntu Linux

Spam Report

At least 236509 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Sparkle: automatic application updates

Here's a very cool little open source module for Cocoa application developers: Sparkle by Andy Matuschak. It allows applications to detect, download, and install new versions automatically. It apparently can be added to a project without any glue code at all. It supports Appcast feeds. It's got handy features like Skip This Version and Remind Me Later. It can work with .dmg files or .zip archives.

During my brief stint with Cocoa programming I really wanted something like this. As a user, I like it because it makes life on the bleeding edge much more convenient.

Andy says he was inspired by the way TextMate does this and wanted to create an open source tool that everyone could use. In the month that it's been out, it's gotten enthusiastic response from developers. It has already been incorporated into Pixen and Cocoalicious and will reportedly be used in a future version of Adium. Not bad for the first month!

Saturday, February 11th, 2006
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