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

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

One Laptop Per Child -- with Python

The OLPC wiki says:

If you are able to program in Python then you can start building OLPC applications right now. The core tools, Python and GTK, are available on Windows, Macintosh and UNIX. It is not necessary to get Sugar up and running right away unless you want to do something complex using dbus. For most educational applications, you only need to have Sugar for the final testing phases.

That first sentence seems a bit ambitious, but it all does look pretty simple, and I like the list of guidelines:

  1. Remember that the end user is a kid.
  2. Keep the power consumption low. Avoid animated graphics or provide a way for the user to turn them off.
  3. Use simple datastores such as pickle or dbm. For relational databases use SQLite
  4. Keep your GUI simple. Remember that the final application will be running in a tabbed page inside Sugar
  5. Use UNICODE for all strings
  6. Use the gettext module for all string literals
  7. Get a friend to translate all string literals and test your program in their language
  8. Where possible, use international iconic symbols instead of text

Friday, December 1st, 2006

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