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.

Well blogs

I've recently moved the Wellblogs aggregator to my server from its former home. It's a simple "planet" style presentation that shows the last week's worth of posts across a few dozen blogs written by members of The Well.

The software is a Python engine written by Michael Josephson, and I've been very impressed with it so far. It's based on Mark Pilgrim's Universal Feed Parser, a MySQL data store, Cheetah templates, and some extra bits to gracefully handle the inevitable connection failures involved when fetching dozens of disparate feeds every hour. Getting everything working was a breeze, and as someone doing more web development in Python lately I'm finding the code interesting reading. Hopefully the blogs are too!

Saturday, February 18th, 2006
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