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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Massachusetts and Microsoft

Tim Bray recently posted an update on the Massachusetts OpenDocument decision, dissecting some leaked talking points from Microsoft. These expand on the one-liner I quoted in my previous post on the subject. This passage gets right to the heart of it:

The notion that using standardized formats and protocols gets in the way of innovation is twenty-year-old thinking, it was wrong then and its wrong now. I remember perfectly well, back in the Eighties, IBM and Wang and Pr1me and DEC explaining why their proprietary networking stacks were much more innovative and better than this new-fangled least-common-denominator Internetworking thing, and why their proprietary operating systems were more innovative than Unix. (Hey, most of those companies are out of business, aren't they?)

These days, anybody trying to sell a one-vendor proprietary networking stack would be laughed out of the market. I am quite certain that in another decade or two, anyone trying to sell a proprietary office-document format will be too. Massachusetts is smart enough to be a little ahead of the game.

Update: Browsing outward from Tim's essay I came across a few other interesting pages related to Massachusetts, Microsoft, and OpenDocument:

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

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