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.

Book

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!

Colophon

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

Spam Report

At least 236509 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.

Markdown

When I was starting this site and designing the software that powers it I decided that I didn't want to use raw HTML for writing posts. After 10 years of authoring HTML I still find it visually obtrusive, and somewhat distracting when trying to focus on writing. I considered both Textile and RST but ultimately settled on Markdown. The implementation I use is Michel Fortin's PHP Markdown, which has worked flawlessly.

I find that, as advertised, Markdown is great for writing text (and hypertext). The source is very readable -- which makes the writing process a lot easier, especially for longer posts -- and I almost never need to write straight HTML.

I use Markdown for the comment engine, too, though some of my HTML-tag-stripping is problematic there. I suppose I could improve the user experience with live comment previewing...

Thursday, October 6th, 2005
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