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, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, Markdown, Mercurial, OS X, Python, Review Board, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, Ubuntu Linux

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At least 236325 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

On Rewriting Software

Kevin Barnes has an interesting post about software rewrites. Here are some of the questions he thinks you should be able to answer "yes" to in order to proceed with a high chance of success:

I find his list thought provoking for two reasons. First, like (all|most) programmers, of course I have applications in use that I would like to rewrite.

Secondly, though, and perhaps more significantly, it seems like a really good list of questions to tape up by your desk when you start a new project. We end up with things we want to rewrite often because of the things that we were going to "fix later". Then "later" gets later and "fix" gets expensive and, well, there we are. A reminder of just how important some of those early decisions are might just be a tonic.

(If you are interested in the subject, Chad Fowler also has a recent post which I haven't had a chance to read yet.)

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

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