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

Spam Report

At least 237132 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Yegge's crusade

I'm generally a big fan of Steve Yegge's rants. See this earlier post for links and quotes from some of my favorites. His writings were a significant influence in my decision to seriously look for a new language to learn in 2007 -- I even bought Programming Language Pragmatics on his recommendation, piecemeal reading of which has definitely expanded my thinking (as well as dredging up parts of that Compiler Construction course I took back in 1989...).

His latest post, "The Pinocchio Problem", is a meandering rant/reverie about complex systems and the future of programming. For me it falls far short of his great pieces. But I had to post about it because of this single passage:

We will never be able to make real progress in computing and language design in our industry until C syntax is wholly eradicated: a task that could take fifty years. The only way to make progress in the meantime is to separate the model (the AST) and the presentation (the syntax) in programming languages, allow skinnable syntax, and let the C-like-syntax lovers continue to use it until they're all dead.

Ironically for me, he slams Haskell in the post too -- for being statically typed. I almost let that get to me until I remembered... Steve hates all programming languages, he just hates some more than others.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007
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