Switching from Disqus to Commento

🔖 code 

This website has been following the blog software hype train since it’s inception. The progression went like so:

  1. Facebook “posts” (discontinued)
  2. Blogger
  3. Blosxom - a very early static site generator, way ahead of it’s time.
  4. Wordpress
  5. Jekyll
  6. Hugo (current)

At the transition between Wordpress and Jekyll, like many others, I needed a solution for comments on a static site and Disqus was the clear choice. But then many of us learned that by using Disqus, we were allowing ads to be placed on our own pages. We were bogging down our websites with loads of third party trackers and possibly even violating our own reader’s privacy.


Lil' Jay

🔖 birds 

There is a Scrub Jay that likes to hang around our feeder we named Little Jay. Lots of birds hang around our feeder, and most of them don’t get names. But Little Jay is challenged, which makes him endearing. It also makes him easy to recognize.

Little Jay


Dear 2019, From 2020

🔖 other 

Why do years only last for 12 months? Can’t they last a little longer?

Dear 2019,

You really should have stuck around. Which is funny, because the people living during my time didn’t seem to think you were very pleasant back then. Your news was full of dire circumstance, conflict and uncertainty. People were getting hurt, they were angry and scared. But as your successor, let me tell you, you had it easy.


Flask or Django? Which to Choose for your Project

🔖 code  django  flask  python 

Often I get asked by fellow python developers why I chose Django/Flask for a particular project (usually by someone who prefers the framework I didn’t choose 😉). I think both frameworks are excellent and are well suited for a variety of use cases.

So how do I decide which to use for a new project? I found a simple heuristic to get 90% of the way to a final decision, and it’s pretty easy to follow:


Essential Django Apps for Every Project

🔖 code  django  python 

Django projects have the ability to install apps, which are analogous to plugins in other frameworks.

Some of these apps provide simple functionality: django-gravatar installs a template tag for displaying a user’s gravatar in a template. Other apps are large, like Mezzanine which provides an entire CMS framework to your project.

No matter what you are building, you should consider the following apps. I use them in almost all of my projects.


Redefining Productivity

🔖 life 

After nearly 5 years I’ve left my position at Las Cumbres Observatory. During my time there I got to work with scientists on interesting problems in Astronomy. I wrote a lot of code, most of it open source. Without going into too much detail, it was most everything I wanted in a job and probably the best one I’ve ever had.

I can go into details about why I left and my thoughts on full-time vs part-time employment in another post.

For now I’d like to start the new month, and my new “career” by laying out some goals and how I’d like to achieve them. This is for my own benefit: a soft of self evaluation to nobody in particular except myself.