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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Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

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At least 237138 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

SourceForge needs help

Despite their adoption of Big Green Download Button technology, SourceForge still has an absurdly cumbersome download process. I know it's annoying to just gripe (I try to see the positive side too); I'm just surprised that it's still this crufty. According to the OSTG site, "SourceForge.net hosts more Open Source development products than any other site or network worldwide." But if the pace of modernization doesn't pick up, I'm afraid that won't be true for much longer.

Here's the process I went through to download a 22K zipped application. (Approximate total weight of these pages, not counting the downloaded file: 600K.)

1 I arrive at the application's project page. Cool, a big green download button! I'll click it.

2 OK, nothing's downloading, I'm on some other page. But look, there's another green download button! I'll click that.

3 Hm, a list of files. Well, I want the zip archive. There's nothing green. I'll just click on the filename.

4 Cool, it remembered my preferred mirror and is downloading! At least I think it is. The page seems to be refreshing every few seconds. Hm, I see the word "failed" in the URL up there. I wonder if that means the download isn't working. Here, let me change my preferred mirror. Scroll down, find a different mirror, click the radio button -- oops, the page refreshed on me! OK, try again, pick a mirror, update... I'm sure I'll have this soon. You guys can go to lunch without me, I'll meet you there.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006
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0 comments pending approval
Comment from Jessica , 1 week later

I haven't had the mirror problem, but damn is the rest of that annoying. fumes

Comment from Gamelexi , 1 week later

I asked myself often why there is such a long and confusing way to get the files. Is it because you are generating advertising impressions on the way to get the file? I am not sure, but probably it is the answer for it.

Comment from Darrin , 6 weeks later


it's been that way ever since i can remember going back 6+ yrs before they had all those ads.

it's a process bourne of developers and the like wanting not only the current version of an app but previous versions for whatever reason. it's kludgy to be sure, but sf.nets goals are (were?) far different than the bulk of large internet sites.

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