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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Learning Haskell inch by inch

I did some more Haskell reading over the long weekend, mostly from Yet Another Haskell Tutorial*. There is definitely some challenging stuff (the Monads chapter in A Gentle Introduction to Haskell begins, 'This section is perhaps less "gentle" than the others...').

Overall, though, the combination of elegance and power and consistency in Haskell is very satisfying. The language has very little to apologize for.

I'm not really able to write much code yet, but I've started to be able to read it. I'm playing with adding Haskell coloring to dpaste, via the HsColour colorizing engine (written in Haskell, naturally). In trying to track down some formatting glitches -- which may well turn out to be in my code, not theirs -- I was actually able to look at the HsColour source and kind of understand how it does its thing.

I meant it when I said this was a project for the year -- I know there will be stretches where I just have to put it down in order to get other things done. But it looks like I'm going to have no regrets.

* Unrelated to programming, but it's awfully sad that the current top Google hit for "YAHT" is a page full of boat pictures.

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007
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