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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At least 237143 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Framework de-flummoxing

Eric Meyer recently wrote a post titled "Flummoxed by Frameworks" that received a lot of commentary. I belatedly added my own two cents. I have a feeling that this isn't the last time the subject will come up; I'm copying my own response here (along with the link to Eric's post) mostly so that I can find it later when I want to explain this to somebody else!

Eric, you mention that you wrote all of An Event Apart's registration stuff using PHP and MySQL. I take this to mean that you did it once. Imagine if you did it three times, or five times, or fifty times for different clients, with minor variations. Imagine how sick you'd be of re-implementing the same core features over and over. Your approach would change a little bit with each job, as you discovered better ways to implement certain features. Imagine the nightmare of trying to support all those clients each one using a slightly different snapshot of your learning process.

Now imagine how much you'd appreciate pre-written software that took care of the common pieces for you, allowing you to focus on the variations. Thats what frameworks are about.

Friday, May 19th, 2006

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