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

Web developer evolution

After the frameworks post I kept thinking about this. Of course any generalizations I make are heavily colored by my own direct experience, but the progression seems to go along these lines:

  1. Make static web pages.

  2. Make modular pages using simple includes (in SSI, PHP, ASP, or what have you).

  3. Make pages with more involved functionality (form submissions to database, basic CRUD).

  4. Get sick of re-building dynamic stuff for every project; write your own kinda portable library or framework.

  5. Get sick of maintaining your own framework, then:

  6. (a) find an existing framework that fits your philosophy and has support (commercial or open source community); use that. -- OR -- (b) Start an open source project to build the ultimate dream framework, then:

  7. (a) Release it to great acclaim -- OR -- (b) Watch it wallow in obscurity; return to step 6.

I'm sure there are further steps in the chain, such as getting sick of web development altogether and moving to Costa Rica to start a solar-powered commune, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Sunday, May 21st, 2006
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